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Dutch News
Immigrants bullied into leaving The Hague district, mayor pledges action 4/20/2014

The Hague''s mayor Jozias van Aartsen and a local housing corporation have
pledged to take action against a group of white residents in a working class
neighbourhood who are bullying immigrants until they leave. The Duindorp
neighbourhood, a pre-war neighbourhood close to Scheveningen harbour, hit the
headlines this week after locals appeared on television saying they saw nothing
wrong in trying to drive out foreigners. ''My son has been waiting for a house in
Duindorp for four years and then along comes a burqa with a man who has a
dromedary and a camel. They get one within a week. Get lost. We don''t want them
here,'' one man, Nico den Heijer, said on camera. Pig''s head Immigrants have
complained about having their windows smashed and swasticas painted on the walls
of their home, local housing corporation Vestia said. One family found a pig''s head
had been nailed to their door ''because they had the cheek to come and live here'',
the AD reports. Housing corporation officials who show prospective new tenants
around have also been threatened so seriously the police have been informed, the
AD says on Friday. Fire A Turkish bakery close by was also set on fire last weekend
and the owner suspects a racist motive. Local Peter de Bruijn, described as a large,
bald man in a jogging suit by the AD, told the paper Duindorp residents all know each
other from school. ''It is a big group of friends, we leave our doors open and nothing
ever happens between us,'' he said. ''But if the foreigners move in, then the problems
start.'' Repercussions Not all locals are opposed to foreigners moving in, but those that
have defended them in the past are reluctant to talk to the press because of local
repercussions, the AD says. The Hague''s mayor, police and Vestia are now trying to
work out how to deal with the situation. Van Aartsen says he will not tolerate the
situation: ''not in Duindorp, not in Scheveningen, nowhere in the city.'' Local politicians
have also expressed their concern at the situation. ''There is nothing the matter with
sentiment but we cannot tolerate the use of violence against other population groups,''
city councillor Richard de Mos, a former MP for Geert Wilders'' PVV, told local
broadcaster Omroep West. Labour MP Ahmed Marcouch has asked justice minister
Ivo Opstelten to make a statement on the issue and urged Wilders to condemn events
in the village.© DutchNews.nl - See more at:

Learn Dutch or lose welfare benefits, new draft law says

People who do not speak sufficient Dutch will lose their rights to welfare benefits after
one year, if draft legislation now sent out to consultation becomes law, broadcaster
Nos reports. Junior social affairs minister Jetta Klijnsma has sent the draft bill to the
Council of State advisory body for its recommendations, the broadcaster says.
Making speaking Dutch one of the conditions for claiming welfare benefits (bijstand)
has been mooted for several years and was included in the coalition agreement.
Welfare is paid to people who do not, or no longer, qualify for unemployment (ww)
or incapacity (wao) benefits. The level of Dutch required to continue to qualify for
welfare involves ‘simple conversations about everyday things’, Nos says. People who
refuse to learn Dutch will have their benefits cut by 20%, which will rise to 40% after
six months. After a full year, the benefits will be stopped altogether.
The cabinet hopes to implement the new rules next year The Dutch requirement is
the latest in a string of reforms to the welfare system which Klijnsma is introducing.
People who refuse to look for work or who wear unsuitable clothing such as a burka
will have their benefits stopped for three months. In addition, claimants will be required
to ''give something back to society'' in return for their financial support.''© DutchNews.nl -
See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/04/learn_dutch_or_lose

Would-be students warned to sign up for college in time

School leavers hoping to go to college or university next
year are being warned they only have two weeks left to apply.
This year applications must be in by May 1 rather than September 1,
but so far only 47,000 students have applied. Last year, 63,000 students had
registered for a course two weeks prior to the cut-off point. -
See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/04/would-be_students_warned_to_si.php#sthash.GFxDOAUT.dpuf

One-third of Amsterdam city trips are made by bike, pressure
on parking

One-third of trips made in Amsterdam are by bike, by far the highest
percentage in Europe, according to a new report on the economic
and health benefits of cycling by the UN''s and the World Health Organisation''s
European offices. Copenhagen is second on the list with a 26% share and
Berlin third with around 13%. Most cities on the list hover between 1% and 3%.
The report says over 76 600 people would be employed in green and healthy
transport every year and 10,000 lives would be saved if major European cities
reached the cycling modal share of Copenhagen. ''An efficient transport system is
vital for the functioning of modern economies. However, transport can greatly
damage environment and health,'' said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director
for Europe, in a statement. ''The pay-offs from these investments
are enormous and include new jobs and healthier people from more
physical activity, fewer road traffic injuries, less noise and better air quality.''
The report estimates 1,600 jobs are connected with cycling in Amsterdam.
They are employed in bicycle retail and maintenance, the provision of clothing
and accessories for cyclists, urban development and developing new mobility schemes.
Overcrowding In February it emerged the Amsterdam area authorities are
to invest €120m in improving facilities for cyclists, of which €90m will be spent on
40,000 new bike parking places. The use of bikes in the Dutch capital has gone
up by more than 40% over the past 20 years, the city council says. This means
narrow bike lanes are having to accommodate an increasing volume of bike traffic
and overcrowded bike racks are ''beginning to affect accessibility''. The city has now
decided to speed up the introduction of measures to help cyclists. These include
looking into ‘green waves’ for cyclists at traffic lights to improve the flow of cycle traffic,
providing cyclists with extra space at crossings and the appointment of an official
responsible for coordinating the removal of disused bikes. These plans come on
top of plans to increase the number of bike parking places by 40,000 and add
a further 17 km of new bike lanes.© DutchNews.nl -
See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/04/one_third_of_

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