Video: Dutch news roundup, 14 August 2010

Video: Dutch news roundup, 14 August 2010

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Former military dictator Desi Bouterse was inaugurated president of the former Dutch colony Surinam on Thursday. He's the ninth person to hold the country's presidency since independence in 1975.

His election is controversial because he has been accused of ordering the murders of 15 of his political opponents back in 1982. The so-called December Murders have tainted Bouterse reputation and he was also convicted of drug smuggling here in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, he remains popular in Surinam. But for the nearly 400,000 Surinamers living in the Netherlands, Desi Bouterse is a divisive figure.

More than two months have passed since the general election and the Netherlands is still without a new government. Currently, the conservative VVD party and the Christian Democrats, the CDA, are attempting to form a minority coalition with support from anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders' Freedom Party PVV. But Mr Wilders has a tendency to stir up controversy and this week he announced plans to speak in New York City on September 11th, to protest the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. As a result, CDA leader Maxime Verhagen issued a warning to Mr Wilders, who responded by saying the potential coalition agreement changes nothing about his ability to speak his mind.

Last weekend the annual Gay Pride Canal Parade was held in Amsterdam. Nearly 400,000 people lined the city's famous canals for the event, despite the rainy weather. It's the 15th edition of the parade and it's part of Amsterdam's claim that it's the gay capital of the world.

agen issued a warning to Mr Wilders, who responded by saying the potential coalition agreement changes nothing about his ability to speak his mind.

Last weekend the annual Gay Pride Canal Parade was held in Amsterdam. Nearly 400,000 people lined the city's famous canals for the event, despite the rainy weather. It's the 15th edition of the parade and it's part of Amsterdam's claim that it's the gay capital of the world.

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Davion Ford
Radio Netherlands

 

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