Thursday, May 29, 2008

Further Increase of Human Trade in the Netherlands.

There were 579 victims of human trade in the Netherlands in 2006. Among these were 30 men. This was stated by the national monitor for human trade Corinne Dettmeijer-Vermeulen. These figures represent an increase over recent years.

Animal Party: Dutch Government Resembles Mugabe Government

Marianne Thieme, the faction leader of the Party for Animals in Dutch parliament has said that the Dutch government neglects citizen concerns as it is not holding a referendum on the European Union reforms. She compared this to the dictatorial behavior of the Mugabe government in Zimbabwe. The Dutch population had voted against the European constitution in a 2005 referendum. Thieme said that as there is no referendum over the new agreement, this shows that the government does not consider the opinion of the Dutch people.

Video Cameras in all Trains of Dutch Railways (NS)

The Dutch Railways (NS) have decided to install video cameras in all their trains in the coming years as a preventive measure against vandalism and misbehavior. Every year there are 600 serious, violent incidents in the NS trains and 4400 cases of misbehavior and vandalism.

Police Investigates Extreme Rightist Website

Police have done a search at the home of a person who is probably involved with the extreme rightist website: At the search, computers were seized. This was reported by the monitoring body of discrimination on the internet (MDI). The website has been active since 2003 and MDI filed complaints since 2006 to the police about its expressions of anti-Semitism and hatred of Muslims and specifically of Moroccans.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Liberal Party Establishes Uncensored Exhibition Space in Parliament

The Liberal Party (VVD) will establish in its faction space in parliament an exhibition facility for censored artists. The party leader Mark Rutte decided on this after his motion to establish such exhibition facilities in the public space of the parliament building received only the support of the Freedom Party. Three artists have already been contacted. Gregorius Nekschot is a cartoonist who was temporarily arrested two weeks ago because his drawings were considered inciting to discrimination. Soorah Hera is a photographer who cannot find exposition space for her pictures of two Iranian homosexuals with masks of Mohammed and his son in law Ali. Ellen Vroegh is a painter whose pictures with naked women were removed by the municipality of Huizen after complaints by Muslims.

Greater Security for Amsterdam Mayor’s Residence

Illegal squatters have thrown stones through the windows of Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen’s residence and the municipality. Thereupon the police placed a container with policemen in front of the building. The squatters had been evacuated from a number of houses in Amsterdam. Many weapons were also found.

More Young Drinkers Hospitalized

The number of youngsters under 16 years which have been hospitalized after abuse of alcohol has greatly increased. In 2006 480 children were hospitalized for such abuse as against 263 in 2001. This was published in the National Drug Monitor which has been communicated by the Minister of Health Ab Klink to parliament.

Government May Take Legal Action against Former Minister

Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen has sent a letter to Parliament saying that the Dutch government will undertake steps to recuperate all or part of the monies it illegally paid to former minister Evelien Herfkens. These were paid as rental subsidy while she was working for the United Nations UNDP organization. If she still refuses to pay the money back legal action will be considered.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Aruba and Dutch Antilles Complain about Increasing Dutch Racism

The parliaments of Aruba and the Dutch Antilles are worried about the increasing racism in the Netherlands against Antillians and Arubans. Parliament member Eunice Eisden said that the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has advised the Netherlands to review its policy towards the Antillians. She said that the entire Dutch policy toward the Antillians is focused on blackening this small group rather than integrating it.

PVV Party: The Dutch Antilles are Run by Criminals

PVV party leader Geert Wilders says that the Netherlands have to get rid, as soon as possible of the Dutch Antilles. In his view these islands are run by criminals. He added: “a blind horse can see that these islands are corrupt.” Wilders stated that the corruption is interwoven with much of the population. He suggested that the money invested in these islands will be spent on the care for the elderly and the infirm in the Netherlands.

Netherlands Unfriendly to Foreign Students and University Teachers

According to the HBO Raad, the umbrella body of Dutch colleges, the Netherlands is unfriendly toward talented international students and guest lecturers. This expresses itself in the high costs of visas and the fees when students want to change their subject of study. Also students are allowed to earn much less money from work than in other countries. This leads to damage to the Dutch economy and the image of the Netherlands.

Government Often Inefficient and Unjust

Much interference by the government is neither efficient nor just. This was said by the newly appointed professor of public finance at Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Bas Jacobs. He claimed that every Euro which was redistributed by the government had a waste of 50%. The realization of social economic justice has a very high price.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Drug Runners Monitor Police

There are 400 drug runners in Maastricht, the provincial capital of Limburg, close to the Belgium border. They have their own observation teams which watch the police to alert their colleagues about upcoming inspections of houses where drug trades takes place. The police change the license plates of their cars frequently.

Environmental Travel Tax Leads to Increase in Flying

The Netherlands is introducing on July 1 an environmental travel tax, which aims to reduce flying. In practice it however leads to increased flying as more Dutch people are now planning to leave from airports in Germany and Belgium.

State Control Office: Target of Cabinet Unclear.

The State Control Office (Algemene Rekenkamer) concludes that the governmental targets of the Dutch cabinet are unclear. Its political priorities are sometimes ‘not very specific, inconsistent and unachievable.’ The office concluded that the cabinet often provides too little relevant information for parliament. One member of the control office said that the quantity of rhetoric with which government policy is sold is not in line with its results.

Minister: Civil Servants Should Pay Their Traffic Fines

Minister of the Interior Guusje ter Horst (Labor) says that civil servants who drive too fast or park their government car wrongly during work hours should pay their traffic fines themselves. She intends to discuss this matter with her colleagues whose ministries pay certain traffic fines for their employees.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Radical Imam had Access to Dutch Defense Computer

A radical Imam Jamal A., also know as Abu Ismail, has worked on a freelance basis for various Dutch authorities including the Ministry of Defense. As such, he had access to the computers of the ministry. The military intelligence service (MIVD) has now stopped this. Ismail, a salafist, is an assistant to the radical Imam Fawaz Jneid of the As-Soenah mosque in The Hague. Jneid has stated his wish that the late Van Gogh and Ayaan Hirsi Ali would contract major illnesses and excommunicated deputy minister Ahmed Aboutaleb (Labor Party).

Rotterdam wants to Limit Power of Ombudsman

The Rotterdam Municipal Council wants to limit the competences of the town’s ombudsman Migiel Van Kinderen. He has written a very critical annual report on the city in 2007 in which he said that the rights and freedoms of its inhabitants are systematically limited.

Consumer Authority: Consumers often Misled

The newly established Consumer Authority concluded in its first annual report that consumers are often poorly informed. More then half a million Dutchmen approached the authority. In 107 cases an investigation was undertaken, in all of these there were transgressions.

Labor Party wants to Stop Illegal Muslim Marriages

Labor Parliamentarian Jeroen Dijsselbloem says that the increasing number of illegal Muslim marriages without previous civil marriages has to be stopped. Dijsselbloem says that this indicates the radicalization of some Muslim groups. He also says that it leads to illegal acts such as polygamy and forced marriage.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Few Dutch of Non-Western Origin in Top Bureaucratic Positions

Only half percent of the top 800 officials of the Dutch government bureaucracy is of non-western origin, in contrast to their 10 % share in Dutch society. Government efforts to increase the number of people of non-western origin in lower bureaucratic functions have failed over the past few years.

Former Deputy Prime Minister: Fire Fraudulent Doctors and Pharmacists

Former Deputy Prime Minister Hans Wiegel, now head of the umbrella body of insurers of Medical Care ‘ZN’ says that fraudulent medical doctors and pharmacists must be fired. Their false declarations cost the insurers more and more money. Last year, 58 million euros of such declarations were found and 8 million euros of fraud were discovered. Fifty seven cases led to complaints with the police.

Government Recognizes Decline of Education Level

The ministry of education now recognizes publicly that the competence of schoolchildren in mathematics and languages has declined. The inspector general of the Education Inspectorate, Annette Roeters admits that currently 15% of pupils perform poorly compared with 10% in 2000. The inspectorate says that the time spent at school is used less efficiently nowadays and the quality of teaching has declined.

Fire Safety of Hospitals Insufficient

The fire safety in hospitals is insufficient. Patients, visitors, and personnel incur risks due to poor maintenance of medical equipment and lack of fire safety. This is the conclusion of an investigation by the Health Inspectorate at Twenteborg Ziekenhuis in Almelo, where in 2006 a patient died due to fire originating from faulty equipment. The Health Inspectorate now requires all Dutch hospitals to present a safety plan within three months.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Belgian Minister: Netherlands has to Stop Tolerating Drugs

The Dutch policy of tolerance for drugs causes Belgium problems in the border area near the Dutch town Maastricht. Special Belgian police officers acting against drug traders encounter as a result difficulties according to Belgian Interior Minister Patrick Dewael. He said that the Netherlands has to stop the policy of tolerance and adapt European policies.

Christian Democrats: Deal Rapidly with Young Criminals

Christian Democrat parliamentarian Coskun Cörüz states that young children who terrorize the street have to be reeducated more rapidly. He says that at present a judge can place children elsewhere if the family doesn’t function but not if they terrorize a neighborhood. Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin (Christian Democrat) says that he is preparing a law which will enable the police to collect children who are on the street after 9 o’clock and bring them home.

Ministry Investigates Website which Reveals Employees Private Data

The Ministry of Defense is investigating whether it has to take measures against a website which publishes names, addresses, and phone numbers of politicians and employees of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and others who are responsible for the expulsion of asylum seekers. The website also mentions data of family members of these people. Of some employees pictures have been placed. (The website does not threaten directly, but is clearly a tool for those who may plan actions against these people.)

Most Car Insurers Refuse Insurance to Seniors

Twenty eight of the 42 Dutch car insurers refuse people who are over 65. This was found by the site ‘’. Research shows however that young men cause as much damage as elderly women. Young men however are not refused, only pay a higher premium.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Parliamentarians: After 25 Years of Harassment Ministry of Defense has to Solve Whistleblower's Problem

Half of the members of Parliament have written to the Deputy Minister of Defense demanding that he solves the financial problems of whistleblower Fred Spijkers. 25 years ago Spijkers exposed the fact that eight soldiers had died due to the ministry’s mistakes. The ministry had tried to keep this affair secret. Amsterdam University recently published a report saying that many authorities had intentionally abused their competence against Spijkers.

Human Rights Watch: Dutch Naturalization Procedures Discriminatory

Human Rights Watch considers the Dutch Naturalization Procedures discriminatory against Moroccans and Turks. The Netherlands is the first country which requires certain immigrants to pass an exam in their country of origin before they can come to the country. This exam tests people's knowledge of Dutch language and society. The measure is not applied for immigrants from the European Union, the United States, Australia, and Japan.

High Chromium in Bodies of Children near Steel Plant

Children living in the neighborhood of the IJmuiden steel plant of the Corus firm have five to fourteen times as much chromium in their bodies as children elsewhere. This results from a study by the University of Nijmegen and the Nature and Environment Organization. Toxicologist Martin van den Berg of Utrecht University said that these concentrations are comparable with those of the most polluted areas in Western Germany. One of the two forms of Chromium is a cancerogenous agent.

Burned Down Architecture Faculty Building Did Not Meet Fire Code Requirements

Jan Bron, head of the Delft Fire Corps says that the burned down architecture faculty building of the Technical University did not meet fire code requirements and had not implemented the firemen’s recent recommendations. The Delft municipal council claims that the firemen performed poorly when attempting to put out the fire.

Monday, May 19, 2008

One Third of Street Pavers have Health Problems:

The inspectorate of labor is carrying out a new inspection into the health of workers who pave the streets. In 2006 it found that on 60% of the locations the work is done in an unhealthy and dangerous way. The working conditions have contributed to one third of the street pavers having health problems in their back, knees, or shoulders. Additionally, the street pavers are sometimes exposed to carcinogenic materials.

Rotterdam Islamic School Receives Lowest Grade Possible:

The performance of the Rotterdam Islamic High School, Ibn Ghaldoun, has declined further and is now rated at the lowest level possible. In the latest report the school is considered a very poor one. Not only does it have unqualified teachers but the quality of care for the pupils is also far below the norms. In previous reports the school had been accused of fraud and the organizing of trips to Mecca, costing as much as 200,000 Euros, at the expense of the government. There were also other unapproved expenses. The government has a claim of 1.2 million Euros against the school.,1

Former Minister May Bring Complaint against Demonstrators:

Former Minister Rita Verdonk considers bringing a complaint to the police as last Friday in Leeuwarden 200 demonstrators shouted calling her “Rita Whore.” The Minister was visiting the town to present her new political movement called “To Be Proud of the Netherlands.”

Minister of Finance: “Mistaken Estimates for Day Care My Fault:”

The government’s estimates of the costs for the Day Care of young children may rise to 3.4 billion Euros in comparison to the 2.4 billion Euros appearing in the Budget. The Minister of Finance has said that the poor estimates are his fault.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tenth Delay in High Speed Train

Parliament criticized the tenth delay in the high speed train line from Amsterdam to Brussels and Paris. The original plan was for the train to start operating in March 2007. Now it is doubtful that it will be ready by October. 2008. The Minister of Transport, Camiel Eurlings (Christian Democrat) still hopes that this new target date can be met.

Increase in Government Payments to Consultants

Ministries have paid last year 650 million Euro for external consultants, as against 450 million Euro in 2006. This is despite the fact that it had been agreed that these expenses should be reduced. The greatest increase was at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, where in 2006, 91 000 Euro was spent. Which increased to 19 million Euro in 2007. A spokesman of the ministry could not immediately explain what caused this increase.

More than Half of Homosexuals Discriminated Against

In Amsterdam, 58 % of homosexuals have been confronted with acts of homophobia. Last year, there were 119 complaints of violence against homosexuals, as against 32 times in the year 2003. Most violent attacks against homosexuals are caused by non-Western immigrants.

Misbehaving Tram Passengers No Longer Admitted

Tram passengers who misbehave on tram line no.2 in Rotterdam will no longer be admitted. Rotterdam is the first municipality which institutes what is called ‘a public transport prohibition’. This concerns, for instance, passengers who vandalize trams, spit, or threaten the employees. Tram line no.2 is the first one to implement this, because at the beginning of 2007-08 there were a number of major incidents.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Netherlands Fifth Largest Weapons Trader in the World

According to the Swedish research institute Sipri, the Netherlands is the fifth largest weapons exporter after the US, Russia, Germany and France. The Dutch researcher Frank Slijper of the Campaign against Weapons Trade, says that much of this trade was approved by the government. The Netherlands has supplied armed vehicles to Egypt, a country which consistently breaks human rights laws. While there is an EU code on weapons trade, Slijper claims that it is not very effective because there are no sanctions on it.

Ethnic Diversity leads to Decreased Confidence in Neighbors and Neighborhood

Greater ethnic diversity in a neighborhood leads to lower confidence of people in their neighbors and the neighborhood. This conclusion derives from an analysis of 5000 interviews with autochtonous Dutch, Turks, Moroccans, Antillians and people from Surinam in the Netherlands. These findings confirm earlier ones concerning the United States by the American scholar Robert Putnam.

Six More Hospitals Stop Esophagus Surgery

Ab Klink, the Minister of Health, has announced that six more hospitals have been ordered to stop performing surgery for cancer of the esophagus because they do not meet the criteria for certification. A few days earlier it had been announced that 11 other hospitals would no longer be allowed to carry out these operations. The opposition Liberal Party (VVD) reproached the minister, saying that the Inspectorate of Health had waited with these measures until a report by a consumer organization had brought attention to the fact that the hospitals did not meet official criteria for certification. Some hospitals have been prohibited from performing surgery on the aorta as well.

Major Strike of Regional Buses

A strike by drivers of regional buses is going on in most of the Netherlands. The drivers are demanding an increase in salary. A few days ago the drivers in a protest action allowed passengers to travel free of charge.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hundreds of Foreigners Who Must Leave Netherlands Can’t be Found

Deputy Minister of Justice Nebahat Albayrak has begun the expulsion of foreigners who have not been granted asylum. Of the 3,400 people to be expelled initially, more than 700 cannot be located. Some may have left on their own.

Not Registering Ethnic Origin of Patients Increases Medical Risks

Out of fear of being perceived as discriminating, medical doctors have not been noting the ethnic origin of patients in their medical files. The Organization for Clinical Genetics – Netherlands (VKNG) has written to the deputy minister of health saying that this taboo both increases risks for patients and hampers scientific research. As certain illnesses appear much more frequently in various ethnic groups, it hampers recognition of an illness if ethnicity has not been listed in the patient’s medical file.

Action Committee Against College in The Hague

An action committee against racism and discrimination has been established at The Hague College (HHS). Two complaints by black teachers were investigated and found justified by a public committee. The action committee wants the college to introduce a code of behavior to avoid racism. The committee also wants the college to compensate the teachers for material and immaterial damage.

Police Trade Union Takes Regional Police Corps to Court

The Dutch police trade union (NPB) is suing the Twente regional police corps. The corps is undertaking a reorganization of the detectives without having discussed it with the union. This is the first time in history that a police corps has been taken to court by a police union.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Crown Prince: Civilization a Thin Layer

Crown Prince Wilhelm Alexander has said that if there should be a major shortage of water, Dutch society may collapse before one’s eyes. He noted that last March 200,000 families in the area of Groningen were without water for a relatively short time, and that incident showed that civilization is a very thin layer. People who had 30 bottles of water were not willing to give up even one to others who were late in coming to supply centers.

Improvement of Conditions in Homes for the Aged and Chronically Ill too Slow

The Health Inspectorate has reported that improvements of conditions in homes for the aged and chronically ill is moving too slowly. A few years ago the inspectorate concluded that in the majority of homes, the care was below standard. In 149 homes residents were subject to serious risks due to poor care.