The Dutch news in October 2005

21st November 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 October 2005Job CohenJob Cohen named by Time as European 'hate buster'

3 October 2005

Job Cohen

Job Cohen named by Time as European 'hate buster' 

Time Magazine has named Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen as one of the European heroes of 2005. He is the only Dutch person in the list published by Time this week of 37 "extraordinary people who illuminate and inspire, persevere and provoke". Cohen, 57, was born into an intellectual Jewish family; his paternal grandparents perished at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He was appointed mayor of the Dutch capital in 2001. The European edition of Time names Cohen as one of its three "hate busters" of 2005.

3 October 2005
New survey underscores expat discontent in Holland  
Sixty eight percent of the expats who took part in an opinion poll on Expatica have indicated they want to leave the Netherlands because they are so unhappy at the way they are being treated. Some 40 percent of respondents indicated they wanted to leave due to a combination of inefficient bureaucracy, growing xenophobia among the Dutch public and the lack of a service culture. Six percent singled out the lack of customer service as the main reason for wanting to leave. Only 4 percent singled out bureaucracy as the top reason and 3 percent xenophobia. Another 15 percent (80 people) indicated they wanted to leave the Netherlands but could not. Being in a good relationship or contractual commitments appear to be the main reasons why these expats feel they can't leave.

4 October 2005
Commission accuses Verdonk of hampering work 

The independent commission investigating the implications of the tough Dutch asylum laws has disbanded. The commission said on Tuesday it had decided to halt its work on behalf of the association of Dutch municipalities (VNG) because it was being obstructed by Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk. The VNG said the minister had refused to give the commission access to agencies and civil servants involved in the deportation of failed asylum seekers. The opportunity to visit asylum seekers awaiting deportation was also denied, the VNG claimed.

5 October 2005
Public lining up for 007 jobs 
Public interest in working as a secret agent remains high, Home Affairs Minister Johan Remkes told parliament on Wednesday. The recruitment of 200 new staff this year for the Dutch security agency AIVD is proceeding according to plan and the agency is confident of meeting its target of filing 700 new posts within the next four years. The agency, formerly known as the BVD, was virtually left without anything to do following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Following the September 11 attacks in the US, it has re-focused its efforts on fighting international terrorism. The Dutch government allocated it millions of euros in additional funding after filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed by Muslim extremist Mohammed B. in Amsterdam in November 2004.

7 October 2005
Hague mayor cuts the ribbon at Shell's EUR 160m HQ  

Mayor Wim Deetman presided at the official opening of the expanded complex for energy company Shell in The Hague on Friday morning. The firm's three buildings on Carel van Bylandtlaan in The Hague were re-furbished and a new building was added. The project took three years and cost EUR 160 million. The complex consists of offices, a training centre, a supermarket, a hair salon, a bank and sports facilities. The expansion of the headquarters in The Hague was necessary to accommodate the managerial staff transferred from London following the uniting of Royal Dutch and the UK-based Shell under one board. 

10 October 2005
Salaries in Netherlands begin slow climb upwards 
After three years of wage moderation, salaries in the Netherlands are beginning to show some upward motion. Salaries agreed under CAO collective bargaining wage and conditions agreements rose 1 percent in the third quarter of 2005 compared with a year earlier. The increase measured 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2005, according to a report published by statistics agency CBS on Monday. The CAO wage rises hit a 20-year high of 4.6 percent in the third quarter of 2001. Therefore a 1 percent increase in the third quarter of 2005 is still low," the CBS said. While workers will welcome the news, their employers may not be as happy - more of the business's income will go on salaries. A bright spot for company bosses is that total wage costs - including pension and healthcare contributions - are not increasing as fast.

10 October 2005
Dutch minister considers burka ban 
Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk is to investigate the possibility of banning the wearing of the burka in specific situations. A total ban on the Muslim garment that covers the entire body is not possible, the minister believes. Verdonk has ordered her officials to study whether the burka could be banned at certain times and in specific locations on security grounds. She was responding to right-wing independent MP Geert Wilders, who called for a ban on the wearing of burkas in public. He argued that the burka is not "woman friendly" and it prevented quick identification of the wearer.

13 October 2005
Unilever considers outsourcing IT, HR jobs 

Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant Unilever is considering moving  hundreds of Finance, Human Resources and IT  jobs abroad, a company spokesperson confirms on Thursday. Unilever was responding to a report in the German edition of The Financial Times that suggested the company was considering outsourcing 2,500 jobs from around the world to Eastern Europe and India. The Unilever said the figure quoted by the newspaper was "highly speculative" but he could not say how many jobs would go worldwide, or in the Netherlands. But the company has confirmed it is looking to the possibility of outsource administration and IT functions and staff support services. Unilever has  IBM and Accenture as potential service providers. No definite decision has been taken on the issue, Unilever has emphasised.

13 October 2005
Revised Dutch dictionary sparks debate  
The new official Dutch dictionary which revised spelling is unveiled on Thursday, 10 years after the last edition was released. However, the publication of the new Woordenlijst Nederlandse taal — otherwise known as the Groene Boekje (Green Book) — has sparked heated debate. It comes a decade after the last great spelling amendment sent a shockwave through the Dutch language community. Nothing had changed for 40 years until the 1995-released dictionary changed words such as pannekoek (pancake) to pannenkoek (note the 'n' in the middle).

14 October 2005
Raids on terror suspects 'have reduced threat' 

The arrest of seven terror suspects in raids in the Netherlands on Friday removes the acute threat faced by national politicians and the security service AIVD, Interior Minister Johan Remkes has claims. The six men and one women are suspected of having links to the 'Hofstadgroep'. This is the name given by justice officials to a group of young Muslims in the Netherlands accused of operating a terrorist cell. The headquarters of the AIVD in Leidschendam and a number of national politicians were the targets of planned attacks, the minister said.

17 October 2005
Police carry out searches at Hells Angels clubhouses 

Detectives, backed up by firearms units, carry out raids on Hells Angels clubhouses and homes in several Dutch cities in the early hours of the morning. About 1,000 officers are involved and 70 locations are searched. Several members of the motorbike club are arrested.

20 October 2005
Dutch trio 'hacked 1.5m personal computers' 

The Dutch authorities say hackers harnessed the power of 1.5 million personal computers to steal internet banking data. When the men were arrested earlier this month it was suggested they had taken control of 100,000 computers, making this one of the largest 'zombie' networks ever discovered. But detectives discovered about 1.5 million computers were involved as they worked to trace and dismantle the illegal network, the public prosecutor said on Thursday. It is estimated that 300,000 computers were hacked in the Netherlands alone.

20 October 2005
Last bachelor prince ties the knot 

Prince Floris van Vollenhoven has become the last prince of the Dutch Royal House of Oranje Nassau to marry. Prince Floris (30) married Aimée Söhngen (28) in Naarden on Thursday. He is the fourth son of the Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven, and was the 10th in line to the Dutch throne. His mother is a younger sister of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

20 October 2005
Netherlands is worst performer in EU jobs league 

The Netherlands lost more jobs last year than any other country in the European Union but the unemployment numbers are stabilising. While the number of jobs grew by an average 0.6 percent across the EU, employment dropped by 1.3 percent in the Netherlands, according to the European Commission's annual report on employment.

21 October 2005
Dutch planning dial-a-jail network 

A plan by justice officials to establish commercial call centres in jails in the Netherlands is greeted with scepticism on Friday. WGCC, the Dutch association of call centres, said the plan was totally unacceptable. "We advise our members and companies not to offer any services via prisoners," WGCC spokesman Herman Nieuwenhuis told newspaper 'De Telegraaf'. "Certainly not in relation to insurance policies, such as fire and theft coverage."

25 October 2005
Amsterdam to host pole dancing World Cup 
Thirteen pole dancers are to compete for the title of Miss Pole Dance 2005 in Amsterdam next month. The first official World Cup pole dancing event is to take place on November 11 at the Escape nightclub. Participants will come from Venezuela, the United States, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, Japan and Germany. The top three Dutch champions, Nancy van der Horst, Fadance and Nina Schulte, are to take part. Dutch pole dancer Denise Mulder, who also holds the title Miss Nude World 2005, has decided not to participate.

27 October 2005
11 dead in Schiphol Airport detention centre blaze 
Eleven inmates held at a detention centre at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam died on overnight while 15 others were injured. It was one of the most catastrophic fires the Netherlands has experienced in decades. Police are still looking for escaped detainees. Three escapees have been arrested, but police are uncertain how many are still on the run.

28 October 2005
MPs criticise Donner over fire response

MPs slam justice minister over comment that authorities responded to Schiphol detention centre fire adequately. Five detainees escaped and 11 died.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news in October 2005

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