On the other hand, there is also this, in part of a year end report on Dutch....well, culture. This from a country a little bigger than New Jersey.
2 January 2006
Dutch less gloomy, but not ecstatic about 2006
The New Year starts with pessimissm as four out of 10 Dutch people expect a deterioration of their financial situation, according to research bureau Trendbox. "But this is 15 percent less gloominess than the expectations regarding 2004 and 2005," Trendbox said. The bureau questioned 500 people in December about their expectations for the coming year.
9 January 2006
Mother arrested after bodies of four babies are found
A woman and her partner were arrested in December after DNA testing confirmed they were the parents of four dead babies. The body of a newborn baby was discovered in the home of the woman's mother in Haarlem on 21 December. It has now emerged that the bodies of three other "tiny" babies were found following searches in the garden of the suspects' home in Beverwijk, north-west of Amsterdam.
3 March 2006
Suitcase loss costs KLM EUR 200,000
Airline KLM is fined EUR 200,000 for losing a passenger's suitcase and damaging his credibility more than seven years ago. Dr José Tiongco was travelling with KLM as an envoy of the Philippine authorities in November 1998. He was scheduled to give a lecture at a conference held by the World Health Organisation in Kazakhstan. He flew from Amsterdam to Frankfurt with KLM but his suitcase did not follow him. This meant he had give his lecture in jeans, t-shirt and sneakers — something that damaged his credibility, the judge agrees.
23 March 2006
Dutch navy hit by more rape, drugs claims
The clamour for a wide-ranging investigation grows amid allegations at least two female sailors were raped on a frigate where drug use was rife. It also emerges that four sailors serving on the naval supply ship 'Amsterdam' were sent home by the commanding officer for organising an initiation ritual mimicking the photographs of naked Iraqi detainees being abused by US soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The incident took place last summer while the supply ship was operating in the Arabian Sea as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
26 April 2006
Dutch report cites lack of entrepreneurship
The business climate in the Netherlands scores average to good when compared with the situation in the 19 other industrialised countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a new report has found. But the report published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) identifies a lack of entrepreneurship as a "sticking point" in the Netherlands. The Netherlands scores well in terms of secondary indicators such as the functioning of government and infrastructure. The country does less well when it comes to driving economic growth. The report cites a lack of innovation and entrepreneurship as the main restraints in this regard.
11 May 2006
Thousands 'unfairly' ticketed under ID law
Police have issued 80,000 fines since the start of 2005 to people for failing to carry proper ID. But an investigation published by newspaper 'De Volkskrant' indicates police often acted wrongly. The public prosecution office (OM) thinks police officers are often too quick to hand out a ticket to a person without ID, but whose identity is known. Often the cases relate to 'acquaintances' of the police, such as homeless people or beggars. Others involve people who later come to the police station with a valid ID. The ID law, which came into force in January 2005, states a fine is not necessary in such cases.
24 May 2006
Jail time cut in rape, animal porn case
An appeals court in Arnhem imposed sentences of seven years on the two main defendants in the Kraggenburger rape and animal porn case. Belgian P.M. and E van C., a resident of the Dutch town of Almere, were jailed for 14 and 10 years by the trial court in Lelystad for kidnapping three African refugees in Brussels. The women were subjected to rape and sexual assault in a shed in the Dutch town of Kraggenburger in April 2004. The women were beaten and forced to have sex with Rottweiler dogs for the purposes of a pornographic video.
30 May 2006
Dutch paedophiles set up political party
Pro-paedophile activists have established a new political party in the Netherlands to campaign for the legalisation of sex between adults and children. "Ten years ago we were 'on speaking terms' with society. But since [Belgian paedophile killer] Marc Dutroux there is no more discussion. All paedophiles are being put in the same box. We are being hushed up," Ad van den Berg, the co-founder of the new party said. The NVD will lobby for a reduction in the age of consent in the Netherlands from 16 to 12 and then phased out completely over time. "Forbidding makes children all the more curious," Van den Berg said.
6 June 2006
Ambassador leaving 'homophobic' Estonia
Dutch Ambassador Hans Glaubitz is leaving Estonia because his male partner, a black Cuban, has been the victim of homophobia and racism, the Foreign Ministry confirms. The ambassador's partner was subjected to verbal harassment and threats in the street and threats. These began after a local magazine wrote that the appointment of a gay ambassador with a black partner had to be seen as a Dutch provocation. The Foreign Ministry had hoped that Estonia, like its neighbour Finland, would be able to accept a relationship between two men.