Dutch news in brief, 14 July 2006

14th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

Dutch Rail unveils upbeat report card

Dutch Rail unveils upbeat report card

Passengers of Dutch rail company NS have once again given a more positive appraisal of the service. Some 70 percent of passengers gave the NS a score of 7 or higher out of 10 for the second quarter of 2006. The amount of satisfied customers was 3 percent lower in the same period last year. The reports are carried out jointly with consumer groups, the government and the rail company. Punctuality has also improved. Over 88 percent of services ran on time in the second quarter, compared with 86.4 percent in the first.

Burglar stuck in chimney

Police called in the Fire Brigade to free a burglar from the chimney of a home in the southern city of Maastricht. Occupants of the building on the Wycker Brugstraat rang the emergency number 112 earlier to say that someone was on the roof. There was nobody on the roof when officers arrived, but they could hear noises from the chimney. A 32-year-old local man was stuck eight metres down the chimney. 

Barking dog leads to cut in property tax

A court in The Hague agreed a neighbour's barking dog is grounds to cut a home-owner's property tax, newspaper 'De Telegraaf' reported. The man, who lives near The Hague, took the case to ask for a reduction in official valuation of his home (WOZ) because the dog who not stop barking. The property tax is based on the council's valuation. The judge agreed the constant noise could make the property less attractive to potential buyers and the valuation should take this into account. The court cut the WOZ on the house from EUR 402,000 to EUR 362,000.

Coptic Christians denied school grants

Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven is not obliged to give the Coptic community grants for two primary schools in Amsterdam, the Council of State has ruled. The Christian Democrat Minister based her decision on advice from the Education Council that the Coptic community is too small and is not sufficiently active in Dutch society to merit financial support. There are approximately 5,000 Copts in the Netherlands, of which 1,855 are under 28. Most of the young Copts are living in Amsterdam and The Hague. The State provides grants to a range of denominational schools, including Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim ones.

Blunder exposes 'Angels' witness

An anonymous witness in the Hells Angels triple-murder case has been put in danger by a mistake by the prosecution service (OM), RTL Nieuws claimed. The Nomads, the Limburg chapter of the Angels, believe the witness's name was let slip during questioning. "If we know who this person is, something will be cocked," a source told the broadcaster. Several Nomads are in jail for killing three former members of the club but they are appealing. The OM has decided it is now too dangerous to used the witness in the new hearing.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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