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Dutch report
by Euro Reporter
2015-02-13 10:15:57
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Lack of snow on house leads to drug bust in the Netherlands

Police in the Netherlands have swooped on a house in the town of Haarlem, arresting the owner for growing cannabis plants, after they noticed that his house was the only one in the street not covered in snow. A dusting of snow covered all the roofs in the town, except for one. Once inside, police found industrial-scale cultivation of cannabis, and the heat lamps used to nurture the plants.

After the raid in the town near Amsterdam on February 5, officers tweeted the photo of the house as a warning to other growers. The Netherlands is known for its tolerant attitude towards personal consumption of marijuana. However, the Dutch government only tolerates the cultivation of up to five cannabis plants, and people are only allowed to carry up to five grams of weed (0.17 ounces) each. The previous week, officials had used the same technique to identify and raid a cannabis farm in the city of Zutphen, where they found a bedroom filled with 88 marijuana plants. Two days later, one person was arrested in Arnhem after police discovered a similar plantation.

It was not clear how much cannabis was seized in the Haarlem raid. The Dutch police are not the only ones to use heat signals to detect the presence of plantations. In 2013, the West Midlands Police department released a video on YouTube that showed a plantation in Birmingham seen through a thermal-imaging camera. Police described it as being "lit up like a beacon". Authorities then raided an apartment, in which they found 143 cannabis plants. The technique is certainly not fail proof, however.


Will tourists flock to a virtual flight over the Netherlands?

A group of investors, project developers and banks are pumping €18m into a new multi-media tourist attraction in Amsterdam which will be built on the waterfront in Noord. The This is Holland project will take visitors on a 3D simulated flight over the Netherlands and include a 21-minute trip through the main highlights of Dutch history, the Financieele Dagblad says. The attraction is being built between the Adam Toren – the former Shell offices – and the Eye film museum. Agreement has been reached with the city council on planning permission for the 24-metre high building, the paper says.
The aim is to have the new attraction up and running in September 2016. According to the Parool, the educational aspects of the project will also make it interesting for Dutch people. A similar project named the Holland Experience which also took visitors on a virtual flight over the Netherlands closed down in 2006 because it was loss-making. The Holland Experience was located next to the Rembrandt House on the Waterlooplein.


Greece will not cost the Netherlands any more money

Any new agreement between the European Union and Greece will not cost the Netherlands more money, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told parliament on Wednesday. No one should be afraid this might happen, given the boundaries of the on-going debate with the Greeks, Rutte told MPs. The prime minister chose his words carefully so as not to ‘inflame the situation’, the Financieele Dagblad reports. ‘Answers to “what if” questions and headlines in the international media are no help,’ the prime minister said. Parliament was debating the negotiations with the new Greek government ahead of Wednesday night’s meeting of European finance ministers. European leaders will meet on Thursday and Friday to discuss the situation. Rutte told MPs that the Dutch standpoint is that ‘a deal is a deal’. Greece must deliver the results as promised in the current rescue programme in terms the government’s finances, economic reforms and ensuring a healthy financial sector, the prime minister said.

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