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Dutch News
Intolerance, poor prospects drive away well-educated immigrants 1/30/2011
Intolerance, poor prospects drive away well-educated immigrants
Some two thirds of the people leaving the Netherlands have an ethnic minority background and are fed up with intolerance or see better career prospects in their country of origin, the Volkskrant reports on Friday. In particular, well-educated young people with a Turkish or Moroccan background are leaving, the paper says, quoting research by Regioplan for the home affairs ministry. They are most likely to cite hardening attitudes to foreigners as the primary reason. Half of the people leaving are aged 20 to 45 and have at least an MBO college diploma. Gerard Schouw, MP for the Liberal democratic party D66, which pressured the ministry to commission the report, told the paper the cabinet should work to create an ''attractive and pleasant'' working climate for well-educated migrants. ''This is very bad for the economy,'' he said. It is a real shame that so many well-educated people are being driven out by the ''symbolic drum rolls'' from the PVV. The party wants an end to all non-western immigration.

Minister plans to boost competition in healthcare
Health minister Edith Schippers hopes to increase competition between healthcare providers and give hospitals the right to set nearly all of their own prices, as part of a shake-up of healthcare provision. In addition, the minister plans to look for other sources of income for hospitals so they do not have to rely on the banks to borrow money, the Volkskrant reports. The minister’s plans are outlined in a letter to MPs, who will debate the new strategy next week. The aim of the proposals is to make the health service ‘21st century-proof’, the minister said. However, it is unclear how much support for the plans there is in parliament. The populist PVV, which has an alliance with the minority cabinet in terms of economic policy, opposes the idea of injecting more competition in healthcare.

MPs call for a halt to phasing out paper public transport tickets
A majority of MPs want the government to halt plans to phase out paper tickets on all public transport because of the new system’s vulnerability to fraud. Earlier this week it emerged that it is relatively easy to manipulate the amount of digital cash stored on the new public transport smart card, known as the ov-chipkaart. MPs have given the transport ministry a month to bring out a new report, Nos television reports. Transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen said during Thursday’s debate that the fraud risk is ‘manageable’ and that it is not necessary to stop the changeover process. And by the end of the year, a new, safer chip will have been developed to make it more difficult to hack the cards, she said. The province of Zuid-Holland is supposed to scrap paper tickets from February 3. Rotterdam and Amsterdam metropolitan regions have already done so. It is not yet clear what the implications of the parliamentary vote are for Zuid-Holland''s plans.

Iran hangs Dutch Iranian woman on drugs charges
An Iranian-Dutch woman arrested in Iran in 2009 has been hanged, according to news agency reports. State television said Zahram Bahrami had been executed for possessing and selling drugs. She was arrested after taking part in an anti-government demonstration. According to news agency AP, the report said that initially she was arrested for committing ‘security crimes’, but it did not say what became of that case. Iran refused to recognise Bahrami’s dual nationality. A spokesman for foreign minister Uri Rosenthal said the minister would summon the Iranian ambassador for an explanation.

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