Dutch news in brief, 15 February 2005

15th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

Door opens to compulsory contraception

Door opens to compulsory contraception

Compulsory contraception for person with learning difficulties who are judged unable to raise children safely and are denied parental authority by the courts is no longer opposed by a Dutch parliamentary majority. Long a taboo for the Parliament, the Christian Democrat CDA and Labour PvdA no longer reject the measure as a last resort, Radio Netherlands reported. But both parties believe individuals should be given the opportunity of voluntarily agreeing to take the three-monthly injectable contraception. CDA Health State Secretary Clémence Ross is opposed to compulsory contraception and sterilisation.

Budgetary windfall of EUR 500m

Government spending figures from 2004 indicate the Dutch Cabinet has received a windfall to the tune of EUR 500 million, political sources said on Tuesday. The windfall was largely found in the budgets for the Finance and Education ministries. The latest windfall is separate to the EUR 680 million windfall announced last week. Higher than expected tax revenues are also set to reduce the budget deficit to 2.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Initial figures had indicated a budget deficit of 2,9 percent, just under the 3 percent maximum set by the euro-zone's Growth and Stability Pact.

Dutch 'link to Oil for Food fraud'

The regime of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein bribed personnel of a Dutch company in Vlaardingen to export more oil than allowed under United Nations sanctions, a US Senate committee has claimed. The committee investigating the UN's Oil for Food programme claims there is "overwhelming evidence" that a worker with the company Saybolt was bribed, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported. Saybolt was hired by the UN to ensure that the amount of oil loaded into tankers did not breach the allowed limit. One of the inspectors, Portuguese Armando Carlos Oliveira, allegedly received USD 105,000 from the Iraqi regime, but is still employed by the Dutch company.

Freed hostage turns tour guide

Rescued Dutch hostage Arjan Erkel is planning to enter the travel industry and organise group trips to Tajikistan, which is situated above Afghanistan and Pakistan. "They are beautiful people, it is a beautiful land. I worked there for 18 months prior to my kidnapping," Erkel said. "I know the region, which remains attractive. I have also been there for a holiday." The former aid worker with Doctors Without Borders guarantees the area he will take tourists is safe. Erkel was held hostage for almost two years in the Russian republic of Dagestan, before a EUR 1 million ransom was paid securing his release in April 2004.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

0 Comments To This Article