Dutch news in brief – 6 February
Saudi embassy denies imam extremism link
The Saudi Arabian ambassador has assured the Netherlands that the Saudi embassy does not finance Dutch mosques to promote extremism. Foreign Minister Ben Bot called the ambassador to a meeting after reports claimed that extremist imams in the Netherlands were being sponsored by the Saudi embassy, Radio Netherlands reported. Only moderate imams receive Saudi money, Minister Bot said.
Retailers reject EUR 100 notes
To combat the growing number of forged EUR 100 notes, Dutch retailers are refusing to handle them in cash transactions. The council of Dutch retailers will spread a sticker among its members to alert customers to the new measure. The stickers will also be spread among cafes, restaurants and hotels by branch association KHN. Retailers previously refused to handle EUR 200 and 500 notes. The Dutch central bank DNB said 26,000 forged euro notes were seized in the Netherlands in 2003, about 8 percent more than forged guilder notes seized in the 2001 before the currency switch in 2002.
Shell investigates oil and gas reserves entries
Shell has launched an inquiry into the accounting entries of oil and gas reserves and has confirmed that measures have been taken to prevent future overestimates of oil reserves. The Anglo-Dutch fuel company has also reported a USD 11.7 billion profit for 2003 compared with USD 9.2 billion in 2002. The company suffered a dent in confidence when it reduced overestimated oil reserves by 20 percent last month. Chairman Sir Philip Watts has refused to resign.
Fuel thieves to be tracked down
The Transport Ministry has reached a final agreement with service stations over the prosecution of fuel thieves. Transport Minister Karla Peijs has promised that bailiffs may use the name and address gathered from car number plate details to track down thieves to collect the money owed. Privacy regulations previously prevented service stations from tracking down motorists who drive off without paying.
Labour leader celebrates daughter’s birth
The leader of main opposition party Labour PvdA, Wouter Bos, became a father on Thursday when his wife Barbara gave birth to a baby daughter. The girl weighed 4,600g and is called Iris. Bos said he and wife are “chuffed” by the birth. The MP has also reduced his work schedule for the coming few weeks, saying his “wife and daughter now have a right to me”.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news