Dutch news in brief, 20 May 2005

20th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

Cross-border drug policy agreed

Cross-border drug policy agreed

Local councils in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are working towards a joint policy to tackle the drugs problem in border areas. Mayors from around southern Limburg drew up  a joint resolution on the issue at a conference in Maastricht on Friday. However, any eventual joint policy will depend on the national governments agreeing the necessary legal framework, Radio Netherlands reported. It is hoped government ministers from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany will attend a new conference in October.

Van Gogh mural vandalised

A mural of Theo van Gogh on a wall near the Linnaeusstraat was vandalised for the second time in a week on Wednesday night. The painting in Oost/Watercraft was splashed with grey paint, newspaper 'Het Parool' reported. The artwork — a commemorative piece for the murdered Van Gogh — was irreparably damaged. The artists John Prop and Loes Diephuis have lodged a police report. The artists intend to make a new portrait of Van Gogh, who was shot and stabbed to death last November by a suspected Islamic militant.

Onur Air flight ban still in place

The Dutch aviation inspectorate completed its inspection of Onur Air's safety in Istanbul on Friday and is returning to the Netherlands. The team of five inspectors examined the controversial airline's procedures and methods. But the ban on Onur Air flights in the Netherlands will not be lifted before Monday. This is despite the fact the director of the Turkish inspectorate, Topa Bilgetin Tokar, said no safety problems were detected with Onur Air planes. The Dutch traffic safety authority IVW said the inspection team will first report back and discussions will be held on Monday.

AIVD suspect refused bail

The security service AIVD interpreter who allegedly leaked state secrets to suspected terrorists has been ordered to stay in remand detention. Rotterdam Court has refused permission for Outman Ben A. to visit his pregnant wife, but will allow him to be at his wife's side when she gives birth, which is expected to occur in June, 'RTL News' reported. His trial starts on 15 July.

Refugee council to cut jobs

The Dutch Refugee Council (Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland) has announced it will cut an unspecified number of jobs due to the falling number of asylum seekers entering the Netherlands. It is not yet known how many jobs will be cut or whether forced redundancies will occur. Talks are in their early stages, a spokesman in Amsterdam said. The number of asylum seekers entering the Netherlands has been greatly reduced since tougher immigration laws were introduced in 2001.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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