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Dutch News
83% of family reunion requests rejected, says children''s ombudsman 6/9/2013
83% of family reunion requests rejected, says children''s ombudsman
The Netherlands is breaking the UN treaty on children''s rights with its get-tough policy on family reunions, the children''s ombudsman said on Thursday.
In 2008, 12% of family reunion requests were rejected, but this had risen to 83% by 2011, the new report shows.
The report states that while the rules on children joining their parents have become tougher over the past five years, officials have also become more sloppy in implementing them.
''There is a real chance many children are being wrongly separated from their parents,'' ombudsman Marc Dullaert said in a statement. ''The focus on fraud has led to an unreasonable policy.''
Children''s rights
The children''s ombudsman, part of the national ombudsman operation, says the Netherlands is breaking UN treaties on the rights of children because it does not respond to applications ''with speed, humanity and willingness''.
The treaty states every child has the right to grow up with its parents unless this is not in the child''s interest.
Dullaert says all cases involving children which have been rejected since 2008 should be looked at again.

One year reprieve for bachelor degree student grants

The government''s deadline for scrapping grants for new bachelor degree students has been extended from 2014 to 2015, education minister Jet Bussemaker said in a parliamentary briefing.
However, the new rules will come into effect for Master''s students in 2014 as planned, the minister said.
The minister said in a statement the delay will give school leavers more time to adjust to the new situation.
The Liberal-Labour government wants to replace all grants by loans, although the very poorest students would still get some help. Live-out students currently get around €260 a month from the state to help pay for their education. The rest they can borrow.
However, the delay is likely to be related to the lack of support for the changes in the upper house of parliament, political commentators say.

A majority of senators are not prepared to support the plan unless the government offers concessions on student travel cards and on extra investment in education.

Anti-EU sentiment grows: 39% of Dutch back exit, 39% want to stay

A year before the next European parliamentary elections, 39% of the Dutch are in favour of leaving the EU, according to a new poll by Gallup.
Gallup polled a representative sample of 1,500 people in the Netherlands, plus similar numbers in Denmark, France, Germany, Poland and Britain.
Asked if they would vote in favour of leaving the EU in a referendum, 39% of the Dutch said they would. The same proportion said they would vote against.
In addition, 44% of the Dutch said they felt the EU was moving in the wrong direction, compared with 34% who think things are going well.
In Britain, a majority favour a pull-out, the survey found, while in France two-thirds of French people think the European Union is headed in the wrong direction.

Students pay almost €500 for a room in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the most expensive city in the country for students, who have to pay an average of almost €500 a month for a room, according to research by news agency ANP.
''You often end up paying more than a room is worth but the shortage is so acute in some places that landlords can ask a lot of money,'' Kai Heijneman, chairman of student union LSVB, said in a reaction.
The results are derived from an analysis of 15,000 student rooms offered online. Amsterdam was by far the most expensive, with an average rent of €493 a month for an average room of 15 square metres.

The shortage of rooms is particularly acute in Amsterdam and Utrecht, Heijneman said.
The survey found the cheapest student rooms are in Tilburg, Enschede and Groningen, where prices are some 40% lower than in the capital.
The government has plans to develop an extra 16,000 student rooms by 2016. However, the LSVB says more effort should be made to convert empty office blocks into places for students to live.

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