Expatica news

Dutch news in brief, 4 August 2004

Unions threaten Dutch State with legal action

The three main Dutch trade union federations are threatening to lodge a complaint against the Dutch State at the Council of Europe and the UN International Labour Organisation. The federations claim the government’s plan to selectively declare CAO workplace agreements no longer binding for an entire sector violates international law, Radio Netherlands reported. The government is concerned that wage rises reached in CAO accords could lead to a general rise in labour costs across en entire sector.

20pc of gays threatened in past year

One out of every five gay people in the Netherlands has been confronted in the past 12 months with anti-gay threats, research by the Gay Krant has indicated. Aggression against gay people predominantly occurs in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and the east of the country. Gays in The Hague and the north of the country are safe from threats. The research was conducted by Out Now Consulting on behalf of the Gay Krant (Gay Newspaper). Verbal threats were the most common complaint.

NS to raise ticket prices 3.25pc

Dutch rail NS has announced plans to consumer watchdog groups Consumentenbond, Rover and ANWB to raise ticket prices by 3.25 percent next year. According to the rail operator’s contract with the Dutch government, it is allowed to raise prices once per year. This price rise, which is implemented on 1 January every year, may amount to the rate of inflation plus 2 percent. The NS said it wished to utilise the maximum-allowed price because it is experiencing financial difficulties, news service RTL reported. The Consumentenbond said it was disappointed with the decision. In a two-step move, tickets rose 6 percent in price this year as part of the annual price rise arrangement and a performance-based agreement the NS signed with consumer groups.

Dutch consider F-16 deployment in Afghanistan

The Dutch military is investigating whether it can supply an extra deployment to the Nato security and reconstruction mission in Afghanistan. A handful of Dutch officers will depart this week for Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan to examine if the Netherlands can supply F-16 fighter jets to help secure the Afghan elections scheduled for September, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. Dutch Apache combat helicopters are already patrolling the skies above the Afghan capital Kabul and MPs recently approved the deployment of 120 to 150 troops to serve in the north of the nation.

Asylum-seeker sisters drown

Two sisters aged seven and nine drowned in the Lage Veld in Wierden on Tuesday, police said. The girls, who originated from Burundi, were being housed in the nearby asylum seeker at Azelo. The girls, who could not swim, were at the lake with family and friends. The first girl was pulled from the water at 3.15pm, but could not be revived. The second girl was found motionless in the water shortly after.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news