Dutch news in brief, Thursday 13 August 2009

13th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Football hooligans on the rampage in Amsterdam
"Dutch hooligans attack England fans" headlines AD. A photo of riot police lined up in the centre of Amsterdam was printed on its front page.

According to the paper, some 250 Amsterdam Ajax and Twente SC fans ran yelling and screaming through the red light district attacking English football fans, who had travelled to Dutch capital to see the England-Netherlands match. 

De Volkskrant writes Deputy Mayor Lodewijk Asscher had announced extra security measures in the capital in the run-up to the match and hundreds of riot police were deployed in the city centre. Around 30 people were arrested before the match.

England fan Simon Lancaster told AD: "There were hundreds of them, they were throwing tables, chairs, and bottles at us, and we ran inside cafe to hide".

Another fan, who was hit over the head with a bottle said: “It all happened so fast, I heard screaming and then he smashed me over the head with a bottle.”

Swine flu clinc opens in Amsterdam
Several papers report an Amsterdam hospital has opened a separate outpatient clinic where people can be tested for (A) H1N1 or swine flu.

De Volkskrant writes the clinic ignores the guidelines of National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) issued on Friday, which state that only those considered at high risk should be tested.

The Dutch Association of General Practitioners (LHV) said the clinic is a danger to public health.

"If people think they are sick, they shouldn't be sitting in a crowded waiting room infecting other people," said a spokesperson.
NRC Handelsblad reports the Dutch Association of Dispensing Chemists (KNMP) is furious because private companies, including gas and electricity companies and Feyenoord football club have purchased large stocks of the antiviral drug Tamiflu and handed out to employees as a precautionary measure.

According to the KNMP, it is extremely inadvisable to take Tamiflu unless it is absolutely necessary. There are serious side effects to the medicine which only works for six weeks.

The organisation also advises against taking Tamiflu for a second time.

"Nobody knows what the side effects are," said a spokesman.

The LHV has warned against prescribing Tamiflu as a precautionary measure as it could increase resistance to the drug.

More problems for public transport OV chipcard
Trouw reports there are more problems with the OV chipcard due to be introduced as the sole payment method on Amsterdam public transport on 27 August.

The paper says people find the touch screen machines used to purchase and upload credits to the card difficult to operate as "the screens have to be hit really hard before they respond and others simply do not work". 

Amsterdam's public transport company GVB has filed a formal complaint with Thales, the company that produces the touch screen machines.

A similar problem occurred in January 2009 when Rotterdam introduced the OV chipcard and Thales was fined several times.

The East-West Consortium, the company in charge of introducing the chipcard, tells Trouw that the problems have been caused by the increase in the number of people using the machines.

"We never thought so many people would be using them," said a spokesperson for the company. 

According to Rover, the public transport-users association, it's ridiculous to blame the problems on the number of people using the machines.

A Rover spokesperson said:"An evaluation of the chipcard's introduction in Rotterdam revealed a huge number of problems. It appears that the GVB failed to learn anything at all from Rotterdam's experiences".
Spider plague creeping across the Netherlands
Creeping, crawling, scuttling spiders are invading the Netherlands who already had plagues of wasps and ladybirds.

AD interviews Dio Naaktgeboren, the operations manager at Rentokil who said there has been a 20 percent increase in insects in the Netherlands this summer that caused a corresponding increase in spiders .

Naaktgeboren said: "Rentokil has been inundated with calls from across the country about spider trouble".

It's not just people who are afraid of spiders who have been calling Rentokil. Security firms and other businesses have also been calling as spiders set off motion detectors when they scuttle past, triggering burglar alarms.

Security cameras that respond to movement have also recorded hours and hours of web spinning. Until very recently, Rentokil had to disappoint people complaining about spiders, as killing the eight-legged insects was illegal.

Naaktgeboren, who emphasised that spiders are extremely useful, says pesticide regulations were relaxed at the end of June and Rentokil is now allowed to kill spiders.

Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica

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