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Dutch News
Commission identifies 800 priests, monks who abused children 12/18/2011

At least 800 Roman Catholic priests and monks were involved in abusing children in their care between 1945 and 1985, according to a comprehensive report into the church sexual abuse scandal published on Friday.
In addition, church officials, bishops and lay people were aware of what was going on but failed to take action to protect children, the commission, lead by former Christian Democratic party chairman Wim Deetman, said.
The commission was set up by the Catholic church in March 2010 after the sexual abuse scandal broke in the Netherlands and hundreds of victims came forward. Over 2,000 people have now registered their abuse with the authorities and a number of cases will be taken to court.
The 1,100-page report aims to establish the size of the scandal, the consequences of the church''s silence and make recommendations for dealing with abuse in the past and in the future.
In its report, the commission says it has identified at least 800 priests, monks and other members of religious orders who were involved in abuse, of whom 105 are still alive. The commission did not say how many of them are still working for the church.
''To prevent scandals, nothing was done: [the abuse was] not acknowledged, there was no help, compensation or aftercare for the victims,'' the report says. There was a policy of ''not hanging out the dirty washing,'' Deetman told a news conference on Friday morning.
There is a ''cultural silence'', Deetman said. There were rules for dealing with abuse and in some places they were enacted. The claim that church officials did not know what was going on does not hold water, Deetman said.
In total, several tens of thousands of children were faced with unwanted sexual contact from church officials between 1945 and 1985, Deetman said.
A survey by the commission shows that one in 10 people who were children during that period had to deal with abuse or potential abuse, but within church institutions the figure was one in five, the report said.
However, there is no difference between abuse within church and other institutions, the report shows.
Another commission, lead by senior justice ministry official Rieke Samson-Geerlings, is looking into the role of social services in placing children in institutions and foster homes where they were open to abuse.
While there is no scientific proof of a link between Catholic church celibacy rules and the sexual abuse of children, according to church records, some of the instances of abuse could be described as ''out of sexual need'', Deetman said.
''We do not consider it impossible that a number of cases would not have happened if celibacy was voluntary,'' he told the news conference.
In November, bishops and church officials voted in favour of giving compensation to hundreds of victims of sexual abuse. The total bill for the church could be as high as €5m.
In a statement later on Friday, Catholic bishops said they were shocked and shamed by the report.

Dutch workers prefer cash to a corporate Christmas gift
Friday 16 December 2011
Dutch workers would rather have a bonus than a Christmas hamper and almost half of them misbehave at company Christmas drinks parties, according to two polls out on Friday.
Staffing agency Unique found that only 31% of workers are happiest with a Christmas hamper (kerstpakket), while 50% would prefer cash and 12% a gift token.
Around 4.7 million people get a kerstpakket from their employer every year.
And a survey for internet jobs website Monsterboard found that 45% of the Dutch workers polled have misbehaved at a company drinks party.
Some 5% of those who behaved badly claimed to have lost their jobs because of their actions, while another 5% suffered serious damage to their reputations, news agency ANP reported.

Most dentists have to still publish their prices
Wednesday 14 December 2011
Only 37 of the Netherlands 11,000 plus dentists have published their 2012 price lists, now they are allowed to set their own fees, according to research by Nos television.
Health minister Edith Schippers believes allowing dentists to charge their own prices will lead to increased competition, better service and lower prices.
The 37 price lists so far published show wide variations. The cheapest price for a simple filling is €26, the most expensive €82.45, while a simple clean ranges in price from €12.25 to €50.
The price of dental insurance is also going up next year, but many policies have reduced their provisions.
Employers warn government not to make cuts, increase social premiums
Wednesday 14 December 2011
Employers'' organisations have urged the government not to make short-term cost savings in an effort to reduce the budget deficit, saying this will damage both the economy and consumer confidence.
On Tuesday, the government’s macro-economic planning bureau CPB said the economy will contract 5% next year, while unemployment will rise sharply.
Like the employers, the CPB also warned the government not to take short-term measures. It said ministers should take steps to reform the economy and ensure long-term stability, such as increasing the state pension age earlier.
The cabinet will announce in February what measures it is planning to take to cut the budget deficit. ‘There are no taboos,’ finance minister Jan Kees de Jager said.
Employers have also called on ministers to make sure that social premiums do not get out of control. In particular, rising healthcare costs are rising very fast, the VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland said on Wednesday.
Social affairs ministry figures show employers paid over €52bn in social security and healthcare contributions last year, compared with under €40bn nine years ago.
‘Last year, employers spent €10bn on healthcare insurance premiums but they have no influence at all on costs,’ employers’ spokesman Ton Schoenmaeckers told the Financieele Dagblad.
Employers currently pay a wage related contribution towards healthcare costs on behalf of their employees. The self employed and freelancers have to pay that cost themselves.

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