Dutch news in brief, 2 May 2005
Building fraud settlement reached
The Cabinet and building sector have reached a settlement over the building fraud affair. The government has agreed to abandon legal battles if the sector pays compensation of EUR 73.5 million. The construction firms found guilty of participating in illegal cartels and price agreements will be forced to pay 1 percent of their 2001 earnings, with a minimum combined amount of EUR 50 million. By signing the deal with the government, construction companies can count on lower fines with the Dutch competition watchdog NMa. Branch association Bouwend Nederland has welcomed the deal.
Silent protest over Pope’s funeral
Queen Beatrix was greeted by a silent protest in the Knights Hall on Queen’s Day. Four Christian Democrat CDA MPs wore yellow and white ties at the special ceremony honouring the monarch’s 25th year of reign. The choice of colours was noteworthy: these are the colours of the Vatican. It was a silent protest against the Queen’s decision against attending the funeral of Pope John Paul II. The fact that the protest came from the largest government party and took place in the Knights Hall on Queen’s Day is unprecedented.
Japanese leader on state visit
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is to visit Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and later Queen Beatrix on Monday. At the end of the evening, Koizumi is to visit a Japanese cultural centre, Siebold-huis, in Leiden. Earlier on Monday, he urged European Union leaders to maintain the weapons embargo against China. The EU is increasingly keen to lift the embargo, which was imposed after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
The best place name in Holland
Doodstil (Dead Silent) has been chosen as the nicest place name in the Netherlands. The village in the Groningen municipality of Eemsmond left the Zeeland town of Waterlandkerk (Waterland Church), the Overijssel town of Muggenbeet (Mosquito Bite) and the Brabant capital of ‘s-Hertogenbosch far behind it. Doodstil won 49 percent of the votes placed via the internet at www.mooieplaatsnaam.tk. The Eemsmond municipality has denied the place name of Doodstil is related to the peace and quiet, but has pointed to historical reasons: a family called Dode of Doede owned a bridge (til) over a local canal.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news