Thursday, January 30, 2014

Minister Praises Company She Recently Attacked

Lilianne Ploumen, Minister of Foreign Trade (Labor) has praised the CoolCut Textile firm as a firm which is ahead of others because its code of conduct forbids child employment and exploitation. She also praised the company because of the way it promotes sustainability. In November however, she said that CoolCut didn’t take its responsibility toward workers seriously. Thereupon, Roland Kahn, Director of CoolCut, took Ploumen to court. Perhaps to avoid the court case, Ploumen changed her opinion. On a hidden camera, Kahn called Ploumen “a c*nt minister.”

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Major Exam Fraud in the Netherlands Again

At the ROC Amsterdam school, stolen exams have been offered for purchase via SMS. More than 400 students of the school in the section for legal services have to pass 825 new exams. A detective bureau has been hired by the school to investigate how many people are involved in the theft and spreading of exams. The fraud has become public at the time when the criminal case against 11 suspects of theft and receiving of exams at the Islamic high school Ibn Ghaldoun in Rotterdam is before the judges.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Anti-Semitism Largest Category of Discrimination on the Dutch Internet

The 2013 annual report of the monitoring point for discrimination on the internet (MDI) mentions that once again, the largest category of discrimination on the Dutch internet concerns anti-Semitism, with 250 mentions out of a total of 924. This is the more remarkable in view of the small size of the Dutch Jewish community. The second largest category of discrimination concerns Muslims, with 222 mentions. The third largest concerns people of black origin. This is a major increase which can be explained due to the debate on Black Pete. The continuous increase of discrimination on social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as well as mainstream websites is also remarkable. The MDI says that this trend of “normalization of discrimination” is increasing in recent years and is expected to increase even further.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Russian Human Rightist Condemns Dutch Delegation to the Olympics

Russian Human Rightist and former Chess World Champion, Gary Kasparov criticized the delegation of the Netherlands to the Winter Olympics in Sotsji, Russia. He said that the Netherlands with an important delegation including King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte, “serve the interests of the paranoid dictator Putin.” Kasparov added, “The only thing that Putin aims for is a nice picture where he is surrounded by as many other government leaders as possible.”

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Safety System for Dutch Railways May Turn into a Disaster

The Volkskrant daily, consulting experts writes, that the new Dutch safety system for the railways may become a huge disaster due to a conflict between the operating company NS and the infrastructure company ProRail. Experts fear problems of the magnitude of the Fyra fast train system, which had to be abandoned. The Ministry of Infrastructure works together with the rail sector to introduce the system. Experts say that the system however, is still in development and has not been tested anywhere in Europe in a system as heavily loaded as the Dutch one.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Minister Expresses Worry about Islamic University

Minister Jet Bussemaker (Labor party) has morally distanced herself from the statements made by Rector Ahmet Akgunduz of the Islamic University in Rotterdam. There were several reports that he has anti-Western and anti-Democratic viewpoints. She said that she can do little, as there are no official complaints against the rector. The minister has asked the accreditation organization of the university to carefully monitor this behavior.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Police Guard House of Rotterdam Mayor after Threats

Security around the house of Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb (Labor) was strengthened after he received a serious threat which the police decline to detail. It is not known whether there is any connection with the soccer game between Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord of Rotterdam in which fans of Feyenoord will not be allowed to attend. In 2009, a Feyenoord fan was arrested because he made death threats against Aboutaleb. In November, a man from Rotterdam was arrested and accused of wanting to have Alderman Hamit Karakus killed.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Liberal Party: Accreditation of Muslim University should be Ended

Pieter Duisenberg, parliamentarian from the Netherlands’ largest party the liberal VVD, wants to end the accreditation of the Muslim University in Rotterdam. He said that the rector Ahmet Akgunduz, a Sunni, has made dubious remarks which can be interpreted as calls to violence. Akgunduz has also made denigrating remarks about Allawite Muslims. Duisenberg said that by not reacting to the statements of the rector, the board of the university has also failed in its responsibilities. The loss of accreditation has consequences for government funding, financing of students and the value of diplomas.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Frequent Actions against Gas Exploration in Groningen

Protests and demonstrations against gas exploration in Groningen have taken place over a number of days now. A press conference by Henk Kamp, Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment in Loppersum was interrupted. Thereupon, five of the activists were invited to speak with the minister. One of the activists, John Lanting said afterwards: “Kamp has stolen from us for many years, lied and cheated us.” He said that their actions would become more severe and would make world news.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Multi-faceted Heavy Critique of Russian Ministry on Dutch Human Rights

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has written a report about human rights in the European Union. The report contains much critique about the Netherlands. One aspect is that foreigners who stay in the Netherlands legally are continuously discriminated against. The report also mentions the suicide of the Russian Aleksandr Dolmatov, who last year committed suicide in a detention center in Rotterdam. Investigations showed major failures in Dutch procedures concerning migration and asylum. Russia is also worried about the lack of protection in the Netherlands against pedophiles. It mentions in this context, the Dutch organization of pedophiles, Martijn and how this scandal concerning former Dutch senior bureaucrat Joris Demmink, who is accused of child abuse, has been whitewashed.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dutch Version of Mein Kampf Downloaded Often

It is prohibited in the Netherlands to reprint and sell Mein Kampf. Yet, those interested find the digital verion of Hitler’s book without any problem on the internet. The free Dutch translation from 1930 has in the meantime, been downloaded almost 22,000 times.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Horse Meat Unfit for Consumption Sold as Beef and Eaten

Dutch authorities are recalling up to 11,000 kilo of horse meat which was illegally sold as beef in 2013. Most of it has almost certainly been eaten. The meat came from 200 horses from France and entered the food chain last year. The fraud was only discovered at the end of December last year. Several tens of these horses were used by a French pharmaceutical firm to develop serum against rabies and other diseases. Dutch food inspectors claim that it poses little danger to human health.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dutch Cafes and Restaurants are the Most Expensive in Western Europe

Jan-Willem Grievink, the Director of the Food Service Institute said that Dutch cafes and restaurants are the most expensive in Western Europe. Despite the introduction of cheaper menus, eating out is still 20% more expensive in the Netherlands than in Belgium or Germany. The difference in prices as compared with supermarkets is also too large, he added, that makes it much cheaper to eat at home.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Major Accountancy Firm Pays Penalty for Collaborating with Client who Paid Huge Bribes in Saudi Arabia

The major accountancy firm KPMG has paid a penalty of 7 million Euro to the Dutch government, as it has collaborated in hiding hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes by their client Ballast Nedam. The building firm has paid these bribes to Saudi Arabians for contracts carried out in the country.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Asbestos Found in Oven of Largest Dutch Bakery

It has now become known that the largest Dutch bakery group, Bakkersland recalled its bread last year because asbestos from an oven had fallen on it. The bread had already been delivered to the distribution center of a supermarket. This was reported by the TV program Zembla. In past years, there was asbestos in the oven already. According to the previous chairman of the worker’s council of the company, there was no money to replace the cancer-causing asbestos.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

No Alcohol Sales to Minors: Trade Union Afraid of Violence

Since the beginning of this year, no alcohol can be sold to youths under the age of 18. On the basis of research, the trade union CNV Dienstenbond said that 55% of supermarket personnel expects increased aggression as a result of this law. Verbal and physical violence are the result of requests from cashiers for identification from clients. According to the research, 16% of supermarket employees face problems at least once a week with the sale of alcohol. The trade union has opened a monitoring service to get a better handle on this situation.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dutch Soldiers Sent to Mali with Substandard Uniforms

Jean Debie, Chairman of the Union for Civil and Military Defense Personnel, confirmed that the uniforms of the Dutch contingent which is being sent to Mali are substandard. He said that cheap clothing made in China has been chosen over more expensive material from the Dutch textile maker Ten Cate. Debie concluded that the Dutch government usually chooses European tenders for the cheapest, but not the best. He added that one of the problems is fire safety if a bomb explodes near a soldier. The Ministry of Defense disagrees.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Politicians Criticize Soccer Club which Supported Arab Boycott

The Dutch top league soccer club Vitesse from Arnhem left its Israeli player Dan Mori at home when they went to train in the United Arab Emirates. The club stated that initially they had been given assurances that he would get a visa. However, it turned out that the UAE would not let the Israeli in. The spokesperson of Vitesse said that they were surprised, but did not consider canceling the trip to show solidarity with the player. Parliamentarian Omtzigt (Christian Democrat) called Vitesse “a club without a backbone” by accepting this decision and going to Abu Dhabi. They should have remained home out of protest. He added that they accepted the Jew-hatred of the Emirates. Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders also criticized Vitesse.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Seven Hundred People Arrived at Emergency Rooms after Firework Injuries

On 31 December and 1 January, a total of seven hundred victims of firework injuries arrived at emergency wards of Dutch hospitals. Twenty-eight percent had injuries on their fingers, 23% had eye injuries, 23% had facial injuries and 10% had hand injuries. All in all, 70 people had to be seen by surgeons, of which most will have to undergo surgery. Surgeons have already amputated 8 hands in total and 3 partial hands, all resulting from illegal fireworks.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

80,000 Complaints Already About Fireworks

The monitoring site has already received 80,000 complaints about firework nuisance. The complaints are about damages from fireworks, nuisance from leftover fireworks, noise and firework stress on animals. Additional complaints can be brought until 4 January. Afterwards, a report will be prepared which will be presented to Parliament.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Eight People Blinded by Fireworks

The eye hospital in Rotterdam has reported that during the night of New Year’s Eve, 8 people in the Netherlands lost sight in one eye due to fireworks. For one of the victims, the eye has already been removed. So far, 46 cases of people with damaged eyes have been reported, but this may increase further in the coming days. About 50% of the victims were blinded by fireworks that they themselves lit, the other 50% were bystanders.