Expatica news

News in brief – 22 March

Dutch economy continues to lag behind

Dutch economic growth continues to lag behind other European nations, with the volume of exports rising significantly slower compared with the portion of world trade that is important for the Netherlands. Government economic advice bureau CPB said the Dutch market loss between 2001 and 2005 was 5 percent, which on an historical basis, was a large figure. Economic growth this year is expected to be 1.25 percent and 1.5 percent neat year. The jobless rate is expected to rise to 7 percent in 2005.

Preventative bird flu cull at fourth farm

The Agriculture Ministry slaughtered about 100 ducks, chickens and other birds at a farm in the North Brabant town of Liempde over the weekend after it was revealed the birds were carrying antibodies against the bird flu. The farm is the fourth to have recently undergone a preventative cull against the bird flu virus, which ravaged the Dutch poultry industry last year, resulting in the slaughter of more than 25 million birds.

Conflict continues over dike subsidence

It remains uncertain if the Department of Waterways (RWS) will build a dam wall at the site of the subsided canal dike at Stein in Limburg. Construction of the EUR 400,000 dam wall was to start on Monday, but the RWS considers it too expensive. Instead, investigations will be conducted to determine if permanent repairs to the canal can be made without the need for a dam wall. The construction of the wall was partly designed to determine the cause of the 27 January dike subsidence as waterworks company Limburg WML and RWS continue to point accusing fingers at each other and argue about who should be held accountable and financially responsible.

Public news service apologises to PM for blunder

Public news service NOS has sent an apology letter to Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende for broadcasting the wrong videotape of his official announcement of the death of Princess Juliana. The broadcast showed Balkenende make a mistake over the term of period Juliana reigned as Queen and was quickly interrupted as NOS moved to broadcast the correct version. NOS blamed the incident on a human error, but government information service RVD will discuss the matter with the broadcaster to ensure it does not happen again.

Research reveals men are lonelier than women

Men are lonelier than women, research conducted by the Fontys Hogeschool Sociaal Werk in co-operation with Eindhoven Council indicates. Important aspects of the research were social networks and loneliness. The survey showed loneliness is declining in the city and contradicted theories that primarily older people are lonely and that loneliness is increasing. Moreover, there is only a scarce link between loneliness, education and income, the research indicates.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news