Expatica news

Dutch news in brief, 25 February 2005

Diamond robbery at Schiphol

Robbers hijacked an armoured truck and escaped with its consignment of diamonds and jewellery from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on Friday, Dutch airline KLM said. A spokesman refused to estimate the value on the loss. The robbers were heavily armed and the empty truck was later recovered. KLM security were threatened during the heist, but no one was injured, news agency Reuters quoted an airline spokesman saying.

‘Loverboys’ held for prostituting girlfriends

Six men have been arrested by a specialist police unit for allegedly forcing young women to become prostitutes. The men, aged 24 to 37, have been dubbed “lover boys”, a term used in the Netherlands to describe men who befriend young women and lavish them with attention and gifts, even international holidays, before compelling them to become prostitutes. The arrests followed complaints by six women, news agency Novum reported. The public prosecutor said the suspects were being investigated for “loverboy practices” and trading in women. More arrests have not been ruled out. There is a Dutch-language website www.bewareofloverboys.nl that warns girls of the dangers of falling for loverboys.

Princes announce royal weddings

Prince Pieter-Christiaan and his brother Prince Floris announced their respective weddings on Friday. Pieter-Christiaan will marry Anita van Eijk in August and the marriage of his brother Floris to Aimée Söhngen will follow in October. Both princes are sons of Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven. Princess Margriet is the third daughter of the late Queen Juliana and the late Prince Bernhard. Her sister is the current Dutch Monarch, Queen Beatrix.

Man jailed for threatening MP Wilders

Rotterdam Court sentenced a 20-year-old man on Friday to 10-months jail, six of which were suspended, for threatening MP Geert Wilders. He was also placed on probation for two years. The man had urged people in an internet discussion group to behead Wilders, who he considered to be an enemy to the Islam faith. The defendant claimed he had not intended for the threat to be taken the way it was and claimed everyone talked like that on the internet. The threat was made on 10 October last year, but the man removed it the next day because he was shocked by media reactions. Wilders lodged an official complaint on 12 October and the man was arrested in November.

GPs to escalate industrial action

Family doctors in the Netherlands are preparing to take further action to demand more money and time to treat patients. The GP association LHV said strike action was not ruled out in the long-term if their grievances were not addressed. To protest at what they say is a mounting workload, GPs are currently referring more patients to specialists and hospitals. The LHV’s regional organisations will decide independently whether to take more drastic steps in the months to come.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news