Dutch news in brief, Monday 22 September 2008

22nd September 2008, Comments 0 comments

Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

22 September 2008

Verdonk less popular
De Telegraaf reports that the Proud of the Netherlands party led by former integration minister Rita Verdonk is in "free fall".

The most recent polls show that the populist politician has dropped from 14 to 11 seats.

The recent decrease is blamed on her inadequate performance during last week's budget debates in parliament.

AD writes that the Rita effect is slowly evaporating.

Last summer, her party scored 25 seats. But according to AD, an "invisible Verdonk is slowly falling in opinion polls".

The paper writes that she must prove to her supporters that she is better than the rest.

An expert on voter research says "Verdonk's supporters are for the most part people who have no confidence in the establishment. Her voters expect Verdonk to solve their problems. So far, she has proposed very few original ideas, and the frequent rows within her party make her look just like those other politicians her voters hate so much".

The party leader blames the slow erosion of voter support on negative reporting in the media.

Repeated road hogs should have Aso-box
De Telegraaf has a report on Christian Democratic MP Sander de Rouwe who will ask Traffic Minister Camiel Eurlings to investigate the possible introduction of so-called Aso-boxes which should be installed in the cars of road hogs.

De Rouwe says that motorists are suffering under the anti-social behaviour of a few thousand road hogs who repeatedly lose their licences on a temporary basis but never really change their ways.

According to de Rouwe, it must be technically feasible to install a device in their cars which registers their anti-social behaviour.

“Satellite controlled speed limiters are already a reality, so it should be possible to register tailgating and red light running."

According to De Telegraaf, there are two options, either the car stalls, or police check the Aso-box data after a few months. In the worst case, permanently revoke the road hog's driver's licence.

Crucial to the device is that road hogs know they are under observation.

De Rouwe says: "You will no longer be able to anonymously pay you fine".

GPs say digital medical files have many mistakes
AD has a report on Dutch GPs, who are massively resisting the introduction of digital medical files.

GPs say that the system, which is intended to be operational by the autumn 2009, has so many teething troubles that patients will be put at serious risk.

Health Minister Ab Klink is demanding that the system is up and running by September 2009 to drastically reduce the number of medical mistakes.

However, the National Association of GPs (LHV) says this date is not feasible and accuses the ministry of putting patients at risk by strictly adhering to it.

Deputy LHV Chair Paul Habets says: "The ministry has invested dozens of millions of euros, but very little has been achieved.

Tests show that the technology involved is inadequate, and doctors will be spending more time to check whether data are correct. At the expense of patient care."

The directors of ten hospitals have said they are more interested in plans proposed by Google and Microsoft to make patient's records available via the internet.

In a reaction, minister Klink points out that all GPs will receive EUR 6,000 in 2009 to keep their digital files up to date.

He said it would not be a problem, should doctors be unable to join the new system.

Car-free Sunday
Today's de Volkskrant features a picture of a couple of kids riding their scooters on an empty Amsterdam motorway.

As many as 22 Dutch towns and cities took part in the 10th annual car-free Sunday.

The organisers said that with thousands of cyclists, pedestrians and full cafe terraces, the day was a great success.

The Amsterdam authorities said there were very few problems, except from the usual swearing motorists who tried to drive into the car-free zone between 8am and 5pm.

The car-free Sunday is part of Progress Week, in which environmental and traffic safety organisations try to focus attention on sustainable mobility.
[Radio Netherlands / Georg Schreuder Hes / Expatica]

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