Dutch news in brief, 10 December 2004

10th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

Call to raise pension age to 67

Call to raise pension age to 67

Several top public servants are demanding that the AOW pension age be raised from 65 to 67 and that the WAO worker disability pension be reduced from 70 to 55 percent of a person's last wage. The proposals are contained in a memo circulated between the top public servants of the Finance, Economic Affairs and Social Affairs ministries. The memo is a reaction to a Central Planning Bureau (CPB) report asserting that despite the aging population, the Netherlands will remain prosperous in the coming decades. A spokesman for Economic Affairs Minister Laurens Jan Brinkhorst said the public servants wanted to correct the rose-coloured picture of the report. The Cabinet was due to discuss the proposals on Friday.

Man faces 3 years jail for Verdonk threat
The public prosecutor has called on a court in Amsterdam to impose a three-year jail term, 12 months of which would be suspended, on a 22-year-old man accused of threatening Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk. The man is alleged to have telephoned local news service RTV North Holland in June warning Verdonk to change her strict immigration policy within two weeks. The court will hand down its ruling on 23 December.

PM's neighbours targeted in mail scam

Thieves have stolen monetary transactions destined for letter boxes in the apartment block in The Hague where Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende lives. The thieves stole the letters via TPG Post's mail relocation service. Several of Balkenende's neighbours have fallen victim to the scam. TPG Post said on Friday the prime minister was not affected by the scam and asserted it handles 600,000 relocations every year and not even 100 are affected by such crimes. The postal service is investigating how to improve its security, particularly online mail relocation requests.

Fireworks aplenty as top chef celebrates

The world's second best Chinese cook, S.H. Hu, was fined on Thursday night in the presence of Leiden Mayor Henri Lenferink for illegally setting off fireworks in front of his Asian Palace restaurant . Police said the master chef had not been in possession of a fireworks permit. Hu decided to light the fireworks to celebrate the silver medal he recently won at the World Championship for Chinese Cooking in China. He was also celebrating the reopening of his renovated restaurant and had invited the city mayor to attend.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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