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Dutch report Dutch report
by Euro Reporter
2010-11-23 10:05:28
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Tourist sector fears cannabis ban

The tourist sector fears that Amsterdam in particular will attract fewer foreign visitors if cabinet plans to exclude them from so-called 'coffee-shops' go ahead. The cabinet wants the Dutch cannabis cafes known as coffee shops to be converted into closed clubs with access only for members. In order to be a member, people would have to be Dutch and aged at least 18.

According to the Netherlands Tourism and Congresses Bureau (NBTC), the decision will have negative effects on foreign tourism in the Netherlands. "And certainly in Amsterdam," says a spokeswoman. "We will look into this further in the coming days." One-quarter of tourists visit a coffee shop, according to NBTC. One in 10 visit Amsterdam especially for the cannabis cafes.

Steven van der Heijden, CEO of the Netherlands' biggest tour operator TUI, the move will undoubtedly turn out badly for Amsterdam. "The coffee-shops simply belong there. Just like the Red Light district. It is an enormous tourist attraction for the city, which will now just be messed up."


Another Anti-Islamic Policy in the Netherland?

Geert Wilders for a while can get fresh air. The coalition of the Liberal Party and Christian Democrats in the Netherlands will make the ban of headscarves effective. Wilders is widely known as anti-Islamic figure and always campaigns to stop what is pointed as the “Islamization in the Netherlands”. Next week, Wilders is scheduled for trial on charges of insulting Islam’s speech. Indeed, the ban is a sort of promise when the two parties running the government. But, the road leading to the realization of the ban previously met various deadlock. Christian Democrats need one more meeting on Saturday to ratify the treaty earlier.

Another thing that is also included in the agreement between the two parties is the plan to cut budget as much as24 billion dollars in 2015. Not only that, the coalition also will also make of immigration rules stricter as well as will increase the number of police officers. Liberal Party (VVD) and Christian Democrats (CDA) have 52 seats from 150 seats in parliament. This fact can make them form a minority government. However, they depend on the Independence Party’s 24 seats to pass this bill by a margin small majority. Under the agreement, VVD leader Mark Rutte will be the prime minister to form a cabinet with the CDA, chaired by Maxime Verhagen.


Successful launch of the Netherland's second Patrol Vessel "Zeeland"

Karla Peijs, the Queen's Commissioner for the province of Zeeland, has officially performed the naming ceremony of the "Zeeland", the patrol ship of the Royal Netherlands Navy.  The ceremony took place on November 20 at the Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in Vlissingen. This is the third naming ceremony of the Holland Class vessels. The "Holland" and the "Friesland" were launched earlier this year. Next year, the last ship in the series will be named "Groningen".

The four patrol ships will replace four M-frigates. The new patrol ships will make an important contribution to international law enforcement and security, such as combating piracy and counter drugs operations.

The four new patrol ships have a broad integrated package of sensors. They are equipped with the Thales integrated mast module that integrates practically all RF systems, radars as well as communication and optical sensors on board of the ship in one housing. By using such a high level of automation and state-of-the-art, remote-control systems and weapons, the ship can operate with a crew of just fifty.  For the time being, the vessel will continue to be called "Zeeland", but upon entry into service the vessel will receive the Royal designation and will be named the Her Netherlands Majesty's Zeeland.

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