Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 5 May 2009

5th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Queen visibly moved by applause
Almost all the papers printed photos of Queen Beatrix at Monday's remembrance ceremony on Dam Square in Amsterdam.

De Telegraaf publishes a photo of the queen smiling as Els Swaab, chairperson of the 4 and 5 May Committee, reached over to touch her shoulder. The queen was visibly moved by spontaneous applause from well-wishers as she stood before the national monument.

Mayor of Amsterdam Job Cohen broke the tension by referring to the Queen's Day attack, saying: "This year in particular we are fortunate to have her presence."

Trouw called this gesture of support from the spectators unique in the history of the commemoration of the dead.

The extra security included 500 police officers, snipers on the roofs of surrounding buildings, police vehicles blocking the streets leading to the square and police powers to stop and search spectators.

De Telegraaf reports that the Queen’s sister Princess Margriet made an unexpected appearance among the crowds at the remembrance ceremony in Apeldoorn.

Meanwhile, preparations are underway for Liberation Day on Tuesday 5 May. According to Trouw, extra security measures have not been taken and festival programmes have not been shortened. At best, the comperes will tone down their presentation.

The north-eastern city of Zwolle will kick off the festivities. In Wageningen a liberation torch will be lit in front of Hotel De Wereld, which will travel to each of the festivals held in 12 provinces and the capital.

Baby Hendrikus allowed home under surveillance
Baby Hendrikus – the baby who was placed under foster care a day after his birth – has been allowed home for three months with camera surveillance, reports AD.

Hendrikus was placed with foster parents because his biological parents are mentally handicapped.

Six months later, a judge has ruled he can return home under strict conditions, partly because there was no new foster family to take him in. His parents Henk and Miranda are over the moon as they now have the chance to prove they can look after their child.

His parents, whom have lived independently for years without any help, were indignant when the baby was taken into care.  This is the first time a handicapped couple has received such intensive supervision. Three days a week, baby Hendrikus goes to a crèche and on the other four  days a family supervisor is present from 7am to 7pm.

It is hoped that similar couples may also benefit from the experiment. In practice 60 percent of mentally handicapped parents come into contact with the Dutch child protection agency. However, a third is perfectly able to care for their children.

“The supervision is a help. As far as I am concerned the supervisors and cameras can stay,” said Miranda.

“Sitting” lawyer ordered to stand up
The Board of Discipline has reprimanded a judge who refused to stand up when the judge enters the courtroom and threatened to suspend him if he continues to remain seated.

The Dean of the National Bar Association submitted a complaint to the bar’s disciplinary court against Orthodox Muslim and lawyer Mohammed Enait, who refuses to stand in court because of his religion, reports De Telegraaf.

A defiant Enait, who claims he is being discriminated against on the grounds of his belief,  said he will not change his behaviour.

In response, the Dean said it is simply a matter of a code of conduct.

It is not the first time Enait has come into controversy for his beliefs. In 2006, he was refused a seat on the Rotterdam council for refusing to shake hands with women.

Enait, who is fast becoming known as the “sitting” lawyer, has appealed against the ruling and will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if he has to.

Magic conductor entertains passengers with tricks
In recent months, newspapers have been inundated with reports on violence against train conductors and bus drivers.

AD reports of a conductor who never has a problem with difficult passengers. While checking tickets, John Weidijk likes to tell a joke or even do a bit of magic. If he comes across a passenger with his feet on the seat, he lets them take part in a quiz. Answer just answer one easy question and win EUR 27, which the offending passenger promptly loses in a fine. “I could tell them off, but this is much more effective.”

However, when dealing with passengers who get out of hand, Weidijk is stern and tough.

The chief conductor, who has worked for Dutch railway NS for 25 years, never thought he would come so far without proper qualifications. He said he could continue working till he is 80.

Mistaken identity of Queen’s Day killer
The editor of AD, Jan Bonjer, had to publish a rectification after printing a photograph of the wrong man on the front page of Monday’s edition as the driver of the black Suzuki which ploughed into a crowd of spectators on Queen’s Day killing seven  people, including himself.

According to De Telegraaf, Richard Tates’ photograph was taken from the social networking site Hyves and was broadcast by SBS6 on its programme Show News with a black bar across his eyes on Thursday. Friends and colleagues recognised him.

Not only was the picture published in AD, it has also been used by the BBC and German media.

De Telegraaf reports the paper soon found out that the picture was the wrong one.

Richard Tates, who shares the same last name with the Queen’s Day attacker but is not related to him, considered shaving off his beard but decided against it.

“But I have to stay myself. I am not the attacker, a murderer, brother or relative,” said Tates.

Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica

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