Dutch news in brief, Thursday 9 October 2008

9th October 2008, Comments 0 comments

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

9 October 2008

Global interest rate cut fails to resolve financial trouble
De Volkskrant writes, "Unique rescue operation has zero effect”, while Trouw states, "Financial unrest is untameable".

These headlines refer to Wednesday's joint cut of interest rates by banks in the United States, Canada, China, the UK, Sweden and the EU.

De Volkskrant reports "A worldwide interest rate cut has failed to restrain the stock exchanges”.

The move was intended to help slowed financial markets, with transactions between banks almost stopped.

According to the paper, share prices greatly changed throughout the day, with European exchanges closing on big losses.

The Amsterdam AEX index lost 7.8 percent, in New York, Dow Jones fell two percent. In October, the AEX lost a fifth of its value.

Trouw blames the International Monetary Fund in part because of its prediction that a recession would affect the West, although the IMF said it would probably last no longer than a year.  

Dutch account holders possibly lost money in Icelandic bank
The headlines feature the collapse of Icelandic internet bank Icesave, a subsidiary of Landsbanki.

De Telegraaf states, "Savings going up in smoke", while AD's main headline reads, “Icelandic piggybank suddenly empty".

According to AD, tens of thousands of Dutch clients fear their savings at Icesave, which paid an attractive interest rate of 5.25 percent, may be lost.

Icesave has 120,000 account holders in the Netherlands with a total of EUR 1.7 billion deposited in savings accounts.

Icesave's parent company Landsbanki says it has no more money and the Icelandic government so far refused to guarantee the bank’s obligations.

A contract between the Dutch national bank and Iceland states that the country must guarantee the reimbursement of the first EUR 20,000 in lost savings, with the Dutch state guaranteeing larger deposits of up to EUR 100,000.

Finance Minister Wouter Bos says he is trying to convince the Icelandic government to meet its obligations, but refuses to say whether the Dutch state will reimburse savers for the first EUR 20,000 in lost savings if Iceland does not.

"If I were to say now that the Dutch state takes responsibility for fully reimbursing lost savings there will be no pressure whatsoever on Iceland to pay up".

More Dutch are placing money in a safe rather than a bank
AD features a report suggesting that many Dutch savers no longer trust any banks.

Major safe manufacturers report substantial increases in turnover.

A spokesperson for one of the factories said that many people are so scared they are willing to give up interest and put their money in their own safe.

He said that many of his customers are people "who want to keep tens of thousands of euros in their own homes".

Moroccan youths cause trouble in Gorinchem
After recent incidents involving Moroccan youths threatening bus drivers in Gouda, Thursday's papers report that a similar group is causing trouble in the southern town of Gorinchem.

De Telegraaf writes, "Now the fire brigade is being besieged as well".

Earlier in October, a group of youths threw fruit at firemen on their way to put out a fire set in dumpsters behind a local shopping centre.

When the firemen began extinguishing the fire, a group of 20 Moroccan youths began threatening the firemen, with one of them entering a truck and honking its horn.

The fire brigade requested and received police protection.

A spokesperson said: “It doesn't bear thinking about that one of these boys might suddenly cut off the water supply. That would create extremely dangerous situations, which we want to avoid".

Work First participants can refuse unsuitable jobs
De Volkskrant reports that a court in the city of Arnhem ruled in favour of a man whose welfare benefits were cut in 2007 because he refused to accept work offered by the local council.

He argued that weeding or packing tubes of glue would not help him find a suitable job.

The court said people on welfare should not be forced to participate in so-called 'Work First' programmes without their individual situations being considered.

The reintegration programmes, which often include subsidised jobs, aim to help people acquire job skills and find a regular job.
Most councils believe that anyone between 18 and 65 years old must accept any job offered to them.

The court's ruling is expected to affect the 80 percent of local councils which introduced Work First programmes.

Fortis branch is robbed in Drenthe
AD features a photograph on its front page of a forensic detective investigating the facade of a local branch of Fortis bank in the northern province of Drenthe.

On Wednesday morning, two armed robbers forced a bank employee to give them an undisclosed amount of cash.

No clients were in the bank at the time of the robbery and no one was injured.

The international financial crisis seriously damaged savers' confidence in the banking system, but AD states, "Robbers still trust Fortis".

[Radio Netherlands / Georg Schreuder Hes / Expatica]

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