Home Dutch News Dutch news in brief, 23 January 2006

Dutch news in brief, 23 January 2006

Published on January 23, 2006

Train delays in the north

A go-slow by staff at transport company Arriva led to delays on train routes in the north of the Netherlands on Monday morning. Some 70 workers took part in the industrial action to protest the company is not paying adequate attention to safety regulations.

MPs get lift to work

Organisations for people with disabilities, chronic illness, senior citizens and care workers brought several MPs from their homes to parliament buildings in The Hague on Monday morning for the debate on the new WMO ‘well-being’ law. The organisations also held a rally to underscore their concerns about the law that gives municipalities responsibility for tasks such as funding the purchase of wheelchairs and paying for home help. The law provides local authorities with a lump sum, but does not specify how what to spend the money on. Seniors and people with disabilities are worried they will be forced to pay higher contributions under the new system. A boat with wheelchairs and other aids was brought to the centre of The Hague for the demonstration.

Major cocaine find at Schiphol

Customs officers and military police discovered 40 kilos of cocaine in the baggage storage area at Schiphol Airport on Friday. The “exceptionally large amount” of drugs was hidden in two metal containers, a spokesperson for the military police service, Marechaussee, said. No arrests were made.

Skate sales soar in icy weather

Skate manufacturer Zandstra is receiving more orders than usual, thanks to the cold weather spreading from the east. The Frisian company has been making ice skates since 1825. Zanstra and its competitor, Viking from Almere, are the only major manufacturers of skates in the Netherlands. A spokesperson for Zandstra said the company would remain cautious as there are conflicting predictions for the weather. The company admits it made too many skates during the cold winter of 1997, the last time an elfstedentocht, the ice-skating race through eleven cities, was held in the Netherlands.

ATM machine blown up

Robbers used explosives to blow up an automated teller machine (ATM) on Bachplein in Schiedam on Saturday night. The suspects fled in a car and evaded the police after a chase on the A20. The police said on Sunday it was unclear if any money had been stolen.

Vandals damage trains

Two trains were severely damaged by vandals in the early hours of Sunday morning. A carriage of a double-decker train was almost totally destroyed by fire at Enkhuizen station. NS said it would seek to recoup the estimated EUR 600,000 cost of the damage from the arsonists, if and when they are caught. The front of an Intercity train suffered at least EUR 10,000 worth of damage when it collided with a wheelchair bridge that vandals pushed on to the tracks near Geldrop station.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news