Expatica news

Dutch news in brief – 21 April

European Parliament takes privacy battle to court

The European Parliament decided on Wednesday to take its conflict with the US about the protection of plane passenger privacy to the European Court. The EU has in principle agreed to supply the US with personal details such as email addresses and credit cards of European passengers flying into the US, but the Parliament hopes to nullify the accord in court. The Parliament asserts that passenger privacy is not sufficiently guaranteed. The US is demanding the information to assist in its ongoing war against terror.

Rents to rise by more than 2.9 percent

The rent for one third of the nation’s 2.4 million rental homes will increase this year more than the 2.9 percent urged by Housing Minister Sybilla Dekker. A large number of housing corporations have simply ignored the minister’s request, a random test by the Dutch housing union (Nederlandse Woonbond) indicated. Rents will increase by an average of 2.93 percent on 1 July, but some rental rises top this amount. In the province of Flevoland, rents will increase on average 3.17 percent.

Prosecution ‘chiefs hindered Enschede inquiries’

The Attorneys-General Council, the executive council of the public prosecution office (OM), decided at the start of 2002 against prosecuting the Enschede Council for the tragic fireworks explosion of 13 May 2000. The decision was totally contrary to the wishes of investigating police. The claims were made in a Wednesday-published book Op zoek naar de onderste steen (Searching for the Underlying Stone) by Maarten Bollen. But the Enschede Mayor, Jan Mans, denies that public servants worked against the investigation into the tragedy, in which 22 people were killed when illegally-stored fireworks exploded in a residential suburb.

Concern as traffic deaths rise by 2pc

The number of traffic deaths rose in 2003 for the first time since 1999. The annual death toll rose from 1066 in 2002 to 1088 last year, an increase of 2 percent. Transport Minister Karla Peijs said the rise was worrying and traffic organisations, experts and police urged for a new approach to traffic safety to prevent a continued rise in deaths. Measures could include more police patrols, tougher alcohol restrictions on young motorists, the introduction of a vehicle “block box” and the continued improvement of roads. Traffic organisation 3VO also urged for more 30kmh or 60kmh speed limit zones.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news