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Dutch News
Police officers suspended in new car tender corruption case 10/15/2014

Five police officers suspected of involvement in bribery and corruption in connection with a contract to buy new police cars were suspended on Tuesday afternoon.
The suspected officers, including one senior official, had been given new roles while an investigation was carried out.
Police chief Gerard Bouman told Dutch media on Tuesday he had decided to suspend the officers because the investigation had brought ''new information'' to light. He did not give details.
The case dates back to 2010 and centres on a Volkswagen importer who won the contract to supply 13,000 cars.
Several companies who hoped to win the contract voiced criticism of the purchasing procedure. They said the conditions for the purchase were such that the choice had to fall on the Volkswagen importer.
Justice minister Ivo Opstelten has now ordered a new tendering process because there appears to have been ''a breach of integrity''.
Questions are also being asked about other tendering processes, including breathalysers and radio telephones.

End ''legal limbo'' for immigrants who can''t go home: Council of Europe

Illegal immigrants in the Netherlands are in a legal limbo and urgent action needs to be taken to end the impasse, the Council of Europe’s high commissioner for human rights said on Tuesday.
Nils Muiznieks said in a new report by the Strasburg-based body that if it is impossible or extremely difficult for people to return to their country of origin, they must be allowed to remain in the Netherlands.

A large number of undocumented immigrants live in poverty on the streets or in camps without access to emergency provisions. ‘This situation must be dealt with urgently, because anyone, regardless of the residence status, has the right to an adequate standard of living, including food, clothing and shelter,’ Muiznieks said.

Several hundred failed asylum seekers are currently squatting and living in temporary accommodation in Amsterdam.


‘The Netherlands has a solid human rights protection system, but in practice there are shortcomings that need to be addressed, in particular in the case of migrants and children,’ the commissioner said.

The commissioner said he welcomed moves to give residency rights to people who cannot return to their country of origin and the amnesty for child refugees, introduced for youngsters who have put down roots in the Netherlands.

Nevertheless ‘a humane and human-rights compliant approach is needed,’ he said. ‘Where return is impossible or particularly difficult, the relevant person should be authorised to stay in the Netherlands.’


The council’s social rights committee said last year the Netherlands must continue to provide failed asylum seekers with food, clothing and a roof over their heads.

The Netherlands has a policy of evicting failed asylum seekers from refugee centres if they refuse to cooperate with their deportation.
Refugee organisation Vluchtelingenwerk estimates some 5,000 would-be refugees are put on the street every year.

Banks will ''worry less'' about student debts in mortgage requests

Dutch banks will be milder about ‘new style’ student debts when assessing mortgage applications in the future, the Dutch banking association has reportedly agreed with the education ministry. The government is scrapping student grants from the next academic year, meaning students will build up larger debts by the end of their degree courses. This had prompted fears it would be more difficult for graduates to buy a house.The leniency will only affect new student debts which have a longer pay-back period.In the new deal, banks will assume students with a debt of €10,000 will pay back €45 a month. In the current rules, a €10,000 debt is assumed to mean a €75 monthly repayment.Students currently leave university and college with an average debt of €15,000 but student unions say this may double when grants – nearly €280 a month for an away student – are scrapped.

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