Expatica news

Dutch news in brief, 6 October 2004

PM’s skin transplant a success

The skin transplant that Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende underwent on his right foot last Friday was a success, the Government Information Service (RVD) said Wednesday. But Balkenende will be treated for another week in hospital. The special bandage applied to the Christian Democrat CDA leader’s foot after the operation was removed on Wednesday, revealing that the skin has attached itself to the wound. The transplant, taken from Balkenende’s thigh, is expected to fully grow over the wound in the coming period.  Balkenende can now start on the process of rehabilitation and learn how to use his right foot again.  Doctors have confirmed the aggressive infection in the prime minister’s foot has been successfully fought and he stopped taking medicine several days ago. Balkenende underwent two operations to remove the infection. Doctors expect to know in the coming week when Balkenende can be released from hospital.

Maja’s friend faces suspended sentence

The public prosecutor demanded in Arnhem Children’s Court on Tuesday a suspended four-month youth detention sentence against the girlfriend of Maja Bradaric, whose burning corpse was found dumped near Nijmegen last November. The prosecution is demanding that 15-year-old Nina K. undergo psychotherapy and guidance during a youth rehabilitation process. The Nijmegen girl is accused of having prior knowledge of plans to murder Maja and that she failed to alert police. The prosecution’s demand took into account the fact that experts have declared Nina to have diminished accountability. Three males were sentenced in May to jail terms ranging from three years to 11 years for the brutal killing.

The Tokkies – your evening’s entertainment

The Netherlands most famous misfit family, the Tokkies, are embarking on a new business venture. For the price of EUR 1,775, father Gerrie Ruijmgaart, mother Hanna Tokkie and their two children can be booked for 90 minutes for various events, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported on Wednesday. “You can let them pull beers, sign autographs or be photographed with them,” an official with Agency Jan Vis said. The booking office said there is so much demand for the infamous Tokkies that the family could appear at 30 functions by the end of the year. Nightclubs, student associations and events organisations are interested in booking the family. The Tokkies have become a household name due to their eccentric behaviour and a violent feud with Amsterdam neighbours last year. After their eviction in January, guru motivator Emile Ratelband said he would buy the Tokkies a house and accused the Netherlands of being anti-social. It has since been revealed he is struggling to fulfil the promise financially. The Tokkies will make their first appearance on 4 November in the entertainment centre Morgenzon in the Brabant village Zeeland.

Book readers declining with each generation

The overall amount of time spent reading books in the Netherlands has fallen by one third since 1975, the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau reported Wednesday. But the study also found that bookworms still spent as much time reading as what they did 30 years ago. The decline in the amount of time spent reading was attributed to the fall in the number of book readers. The bureau’s study indicated that every new generation has fewer readers of books, newspapers and magazines compared with the preceding generation. A large majority of the 50-65 age group was still reading magazines and newspapers in 2000, compared with 46 percent of the 20-34 age group, Dutch public news service NOS reported. The amount of time that Dutch nationals devote to media and computers has remained the same since 1975. Of the average 45 hours of free time each week, 19 hours is devoted to media and ICT. Two thirds of the time spent on media (12.4 hours) is spent watching television.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news