Expatica news

Dutch news in brief – 8 March

‘Killer nurse’ admits deaths were strange

Convicted serial killer Lucy de Berk has admitted that she also considered it strange that she was on duty when six patients died unexpectedly in separate incidents at the Red Cross Hospital (RKZ) in The Hague in 1997. Speaking in her appeals trial in The Hague, De Berk said she regularly questioned why the patients died while she was on duty, but colleagues had assured her that sometimes a wave of deaths occur. Sentenced to life in jail last year, both De Berk and the prosecution have appealed. She is charged with 13 murders and five attempted murders.

Sharp rise in immigrant jobless rate

Unemployment increased more among immigrants than native Dutch in the past two years, the statistics bureau CBS said on Monday. It said the jobless rate among Turkish, Moroccan and Antillean/Aruban nationals increased relatively quickly to 14 percent last year compared with 9 percent in 2001. The unemployment of native Dutch increased from 3 to 4 percent, while the jobless rate of western immigrants rose from about 4 to almost 7 percent, the CBS said.

Bishops report to Pope

Dutch bishops are on a visit to the Vatican, where they will meet with Pope John Paul II. During the six-day visit which takes place every five years, the bishops give an account of their policies to the church leadership. After a poll showed 75 percent of Dutch Catholics think the bishops are “invisible”, Cardinal Adrianus Simonis said Roman Catholic intellectuals should become more involved in social debate. The Dutch archbishop also said the Catholic Church in the Netherlands was “vague and undefined”, but youth are receptive to the church and the faith.

MPs demand teens undergo scooter lessons

A parliamentary majority of MPs from the Christian Democrat CDA, Liberal VVD and Labour PvdA have demanded that youths demonstrate their riding skills before being allowed to ride a scooter. The VVD and PvdA have proposed the implementation of a scooter licence, while the CDA has backed a compulsory riding course without an exam. Transport Minister Karla Peijs wants to raise the minimum age youths can ride a scooter from 16 to 17, but the three parties stand opposed to the plan. Currently, youths only need to complete a theory exam in order to ride a scooter.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news