Dutch news in brief, Thursday 10 September 2009

10th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.

Dutch banks to regulate bonuses
All papers report the code of conduct regulating bonuses issued by the Dutch Banking Federation (NVB) on Wednesday. AD headlines "banks ban big bonuses," de Volkskrant writes "banks introduce caps on bonuses" and NRC Handelsblad reports "bankers’ bonuses restricted to a year's salary".

All this sounds like very good news; the banks appear to be finally cleaning their houses and taking some responsibility for the economic chaos wrought by overweening ambition and greed.

However, there is also criticism of the NVB code of conduct. According to Trouw, "the code of conduct is packed full of exceptions," but MPs wanted a deal with a bit more muscle".

De Telegraaf reports financial experts are lukewarm over NVB plan. The paper writes, “financial institutions are clearly demonstrating their goodwill and the code of conduct appears to be substantial but in reality, it's a bit like putting a plaster on a broken leg".

Cabinet plan to tackle drug tourists criticised
The cabinet's plan to introduce a pass system that would prevent foreigners visiting coffee shops - marijuana cafés - leaked out Wednesday and AD reports that the Cannabis and Coffeeshop Association (BCD) is furious.

Michael Veling of the BCD fumed: "Banning foreigners is discrimination, pure and simple".

 The government's national marijuana pass will only be available to Dutch nationals over the age of 18 and restricts the number of coffee shop visits to one per day and a maximum purchase of three grams.

The government move comes in response to an increase in problems caused by drug tourists in towns and cities along the Dutch borders.

In response, Veling said “the pass system will force drug tourists to buy on the streets and that will cause huge problems".

Maastricht Mayor Gerd Leers has enthusiastically welcomed the pass plan but notes that the European Court could rule against the proposal.

Meanwhile, coffeeshop owners in the southern border city are not in favour of the plan.

"Drug tourists spend EUR 140 million in Maastricht annually. That equals 1,900 full-time jobs, it's economic madness to ban them," said a spokesperson for the local BCD.

Health minister looks into installing ventilation systems for bars
Trouw reports Health Minister Ab Klink is proposing changing the anti-smoking law in order to make it applicable to owner-operator establishments again.

Two separate courts recently ruled that the anti-smoking law does not apply to owner-operator bars and cafés because the law is designed to protect employees; if there are no employees, then the law does not apply.

De Volkskrant writes Klink proposed allowing smoking if bars and cafés install ventilation systems capable of removing all of the cigarette smoke and producing clean air.

The lawyer representing smoking cafes says he is waiting to see the proposal in black-and-white, "a great deal will depend on the legal formulation of the regulations. And as far as the ventilation system goes; that depends on the clean air norm that the minister is demanding. It simply isn't possible to make the air 100 percent clean anywhere".

Dutch men's soccer team waltz through World Cup qualifiers
The Dutch men's football team made it through to the World Cup in South Africa with a one-nil victory over Scotland Wednesday night and AD publishes a photo of jubilant, sweaty blokes in orange kit congratulating themselves and each other.

The paper writes that the Netherlands also set a record as the first team in more than 25 years to make it through the qualifying rounds without losing or drawing a single match.

Trouw notes the Dutch women's team failed to make it through to the final of the European women's football championship that kicks off this evening in Helsinki.

Sunday’s match was a thriller and some two million people in the Netherlands watched as England finally defeated the Dutch women in extra time by two goals to one.

Trouw writes this was the most successful Dutch women's team ever but that success was despite the Dutch Football Association, not thanks to it. The paper say the football association is “a bastion of conservatism and had refused to support women players”.

Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica

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