Solar storm heads Earth's way after double sun blasts

Solar storm heads Earth's way after double sun blasts
The Aurora Australis is observed from the International Space Station during a geomagnetic storm on May 29, 2010 (AFP Photo)

Northern lights over Terschelling, Friesland..

Northern lights over Terschelling, Friesland..
(Terschelling, Friesland, Netherlands - 27-28 February, 2014)

Northern lights delight Dutch in surprise showing in north and east.

Northern lights delight Dutch in surprise showing in north and east.
Still from timelapse film by Schylgefilm (Terschelling, Friesland, Netherlands - 17 Mar 2015)

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Koningsdag 2016

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup – Runners up

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup – Runners up
Leeuwinnen show their pride after losing World Cup final to USA

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Dutch king and queen touch down in India for five day state visit

DutchNews, October 14, 2019

The king and queen arrive. Photo: POOL /Frank van Beek / HH 

King Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima have begun a five-day state visit to India after touching down in New Delhi on Monday to a welcome by president Ram Nath Kovind and prime minister Narendra Modi. 

The state visit is the 19th undertaken by the king and his second official trip to India. In 2007, Willem-Alexander and Maxima accompanied his mother Beatrix to the country while she was still queen. 

Dutch trade minister Sigrid Kaag, health minister Bruno Bruins and junior economic affairs minister Mona Keijzer are part of the accompanying trade mission, made up of some 122 different companies. That is in stark contrast to 2007, when just eight companies made the trip, broadcaster NOS said. 

On Monday, the royal couple will be in New Delhi where they will attend a state banquet and a technology summit, where the king will give a speech. 

On Wednesday, Mumbai is on the agenda and on Thursday and Friday the group will travel to the southern state of Kerala. 

The Netherlands has a growing Indian population and trade links between the two countries stretch back 400 years, to the days of the VOC. 

According to India’s ministry of external affairs, India and the Netherlands had bilateral trade turnover of $12.87bn in the period 2018-2019 and the Netherlands is the fifth largest foreign investor in India.

Friday, October 11, 2019

The pink euro: Gay couples earn more than heterosexuals and lesbians

DutchNews, October 11, 2019

A couple made up of two gay men had an average annual salary of almost €108,0000 a year in 2017, according to new research by national statistics agency CBS. 

A heterosexual couple had an average combined salary of €92,000 and two women €91,000, the CBS said in a new report to coincide with National Coming Out Day. 

The difference is largely explained because men tend to work more hours than women and have higher earnings. Women are also more likely to spend more time caring for children. 

On an individual basis, straight men earned an average of €64,000 a year, gay men €58,000, gay women €49,000 and straight women just €36,000. 

Income inequality is also highest within heterosexual couples, the CBS said. 

The figures are based on an analysis of income information relating to all registered partnerships since 2001, when gay marriage was legalised, in which people have not yet reached retirement age.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Netherlands ranks top in Europe in WEF global competitiveness index

DutchNews, October 9, 2019

Photo: World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell 

The Netherlands has overtaken Germany to become the most competitive country in Europe in the latest World Economic Forum ranking of the world’s most competitive economies. 

The Netherlands, which has risen two places in the global list, is now fourth overall,  behind Singapore, the US and Hong Kong and ahead of Switzerland. 

The index, first published 40 years ago, maps the competitiveness landscape of 141 economies through 103 indicators organised into 12 themes covering issues such as a country’s infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, and the labour market. 

The Netherlands’ position is, the report states, due to the ‘declining performance of both Germany and Switzerland’ rather than improvements at home. 

Nevertheless, the report continues, ‘the country’s own performance is consistently strong across all pillars, and it appears in the top 10 of six of them’. 

In particular, the Netherlands shares the lead for its macroeconomic stability and scores well on health and the quality of its infrastructure. The innovation ecosystem is also well developed, the reports authors say. 

Areas where the Netherlands performs less well include the cost of starting a business, flexibility in the way wages are determined and in terms of trade, in the complexity of tariffs.

Related Article:

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Piecemeal firework bans will not solve New Year problems, police chief says

DutchNews, October 8, 2019

New Year fireworks in Enschede. Photo:

Dutch national police chief Erik Akerboom has written to MPs warning of major problems with the introduction of local New Year firework bans – as several cities are bringing in. 

‘Maintaining public order will be more complex for my officers,’ the Telegraaf quoted the police chief as saying. Every year hundreds of people are injured and hundreds more arrested in the annual New Year firework frenzy. 

Local authorities such as Rotterdam are introducing piecemeal bans based on safety concerns but according to the Telegraaf, the port city’s plans are so chaotic that Akerboom doubts public safety will be improved. 

In addition, the measures which are now being taken are not enough to ensure police officers can do their jobs safely, Akerboom said. 

The police also want a nationwide ban on some types of fireworks, but MPs have decided that would be going too far. 

The cabinet confirmed last year that it will not press ahead with a ban on firecrackers and rockets because the New Year fireworks are ‘a valued tradition’. 


MPs are due to debate the issue on Wednesday. 

‘There are no walls between areas where fireworks can be set off and areas where they are banned,’ police spokesman Ruud Verkruijlen said. ‘This will lead to a lack of clarity and possibly also to aggression.’

In addition, he said, in many local authorities the areas where fireworks are banned will be too big to police.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Double Dutch: Sifan Hassan makes it two golds with stunning 1,500 metres win

DutchNews, October 6, 2019

Sifan Hassan celebrates her win. Photo: AP Photo/Martin Meissner via HH 

Sifan Hassan became the first woman in athletics history to win gold medals in both the 10,000 metres and the 1,500 metres at the World Athletics championships in Qatar on Saturday evening. 

Hassan, who won the 10,000 metres title a week ago stormed through the final lap of the 1,500 metres to win the title in what commentators said was an ‘extraordinary’ race. 

Her time of 3min 51.95sec was a championship record and the sixth fastest time ever recorded. 

But a cloud hung over the victory following the suspension of her coach Alberto Salazar for doping offences earlier in the week. 

Hassan told reporters after the game she was innocent of any wrongdoing. ‘It has been a hard week for me,’ she told the Guardian. ‘I was so angry. I couldn’t talk to anyone. I ran all out. I wanted to show that hard work can beat everything.’ 

Hassan, who had several victories to her name before joining Salazar in 2016, said what makes her so angry is that she has been clean all her life. ‘I have been such a good athlete since 2014. Now people start talking all this bullshit,’ she said before apologising for her language. 

Hassan came to the Netherlands as a refugee at the age of 15 in 2008 and began running competitively while training to be a nurse.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Postal firm Sandd fined €289,000 for breaking minimum pay rules

DutchNews, October 4, 2019

Photo: Sandd

Social affairs ministry inspectors have fined postal deliverycompany Sandd €289,000 following a complaint from 28 workers about being underpaid. 

Sandd pays its freelance delivery workers according to the amount of time it estimates it should take them to do a job, not on the basis of actual hours, making it impossible to see if minimum pay rates were being met. 

‘The company had established its norms to the second, but the workers we interviewed said this was impossible,’ the inspectors said in their report. According to the FNV trade union, the Sandd position meant workers had to run between houses ‘and even then they could not meet the norms’. 

Because Sandd could not supply details about the actual amount of time people worked, it was impossible to say if people were being under-paid, the inspectors said. 

This, the inspectors said, is breaking the rules on minimum pay and minimum holiday pay. 

The company was also ordered to improve the way it registers the actual number of hours that freelancers work.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Dutch change international branding: Holland becomes The Netherlands

DutchNews, October 3, 2019

Out go the cliches? Photo:

The Dutch government is going to stop promoting the country abroad as ‘Holland’ and will instead use The Netherlands’, marketing magazine Adformatie said on Thursday. 

The detailed plan will be published later this year, but a group of marketing professionals were briefed on the change earlier this week. The aim, the magazine said, is to be less promotional and more about content. 

The Netherlands currently promotes itself as, illustrated in marketing literature by an orange tulip. The new strategy means, the Netherlands will present itself to the rest of the world as ‘co-creating pioneering solutions to global challenges’, Adformatie said. 

Orange will remain the official colour. 

The words ‘The Netherlands’ will be the official branding at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year and at the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam next May. 

‘Three days and 180 million viewers is a fantastic opportunity for communication and marketing,’ Carolien Gehrels, a former Amsterdam alderman who now works for consultancy Arcadis, said at the presentation. 

The foreign affairs and economic affairs ministries along with representatives from sports, the big cities and cultural institutions have been involved in developing the new strategy, Adformatie said. 

The new approach will also be used in efforts to try to spread tourism nationwide. has contacted the foreign affairs ministry and for comment.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Hidden for 21 years, Ethiopian crown set to return home

Yahoo – AFP, Jan HENNOP,  October 2, 2019

The ornate gilded copper crown, featuring images of Jesus and the Apostles,
was unearthed after refugee-turned-Dutch-citizen Sirak Asfaw (L) contacted
Dutch 'art detective' Arthur Brand (R) (AFP Photo/Jan HENNOP)

Rotterdam (Netherlands) (AFP) - A priceless 18th-century Ethiopian crown is set to be returned from the Netherlands to Addis Ababa after a one-time refugee found it in a suitcase and hid it in his apartment for two decades.

The ornate gilded copper headgear, featuring images of Christ and the Twelve Apostles, was unearthed after refugee-turned-Dutch-citizen Sirak Asfaw contacted Dutch 'art detective' Arthur Brand.

Brand, dubbed the "Indiana Jones of the art world" for his discoveries of missing works, said the crown, which is currently being held in a secure location, would soon be handed to the Ethiopian authorities.

Speaking at his apartment in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, Sirak told AFP the remarkable story of how he came into possession of the crown -- which experts say belongs to a series of some of Ethiopia's most important cultural artefacts.

Sirak, a former Ethiopian refugee who today works as a management consultant for the Dutch government, fled the country during the late 1970s during the so-called "Red Terror" purges.

Once settled in the Netherlands, Sirak used to receive a stream of Ethiopians including pilots and diplomats, along with people who had fled a continuous cycle of hardship in Africa's most ancient country.

Then, in April 1998, while looking for a document, Sirak stumbled upon the crown in a suitcase left behind by one of his visitors.

"I looked into the suitcase and saw something really amazing and I thought 'this is not right. This has been stolen. This should not be here. This belongs to Ethiopia'," he said.

'It would just disappear'

Sirak said he confronted the suitcase's owner -- whom he did not identify -- and told him that the crown "will not leave my house unless it goes back to Ethiopia".

Shortly afterwards Sirak posted a message on an Ethiopian chat group on the internet -- still a new phenomena back in 1998 -- asking what people thought he should do with "an Ethiopian artefact".

But he did not get a satisfactory answer "and I did not want to return it to the same regime that had made it possible for the crown to get stolen," he said.

The former refugee decided to become the crown's de facto guardian "until such time it could go back".

The crown, which is currently being held in a secure location
 in the Netherlands, would soon be handed to the 
Ethiopian authorities (AFP Photo/Jan HENNOP)

For 21 years the crown was hidden in his apartment as Ethiopia continued to be ruled by an iron-fisted one-party government.

During that time, Sirak was pressured by Ethiopians who knew he had the crown and wanted to force him to give it back.

"But I knew if I gave it back, it would just disappear again," he said.

Sirak said however that when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office last year, he felt that things had changed sufficiently in Ethiopia to finally give the crown back.

Brand said Sirak had contacted him and "told me he was in possession of an Ethiopian artefact of great cultural importance.

"It turns out that Sirak Asfaw had been the custodian of a rare 18th-century Ethiopian crown for the past 21 years and wants to give it back," said Brand.

"It was a story straight from a crime thriller," said the art sleuth, who became world famous in 2015 after finding two bronze statues of horses made by Hitler's favourite sculptor Joseph Thorak.

The Dutch government too confirmed to AFP that Brand had told them about the crown's existence saying "its authenticity will now have to be established in close cooperation with Ethiopian authorities," before the next steps will be taken.

'This is Ethiopia's identity'

The artefact is currently being stored at a high-security facility in the Netherlands, where it was seen by an AFP correspondent.

Jacopo Gnisci, a research associate at Oxford University who also examined the artefact and confirmed its authenticity, said there were less than two dozen of these crowns, called "zewd", in existence.

"These crowns are of great cultural and symbolic significance in Ethiopia, as they are usually donated by high-ranking officials to churches in a practice that reaches as far back as the Late Antiquity," he told AFP.

This crown has an inscription dating to 1633-34, but Gnisci said it was more likely to have been made a century later and was commissioned by one of Ethiopia's most powerful warlords, "ras" Welde Sellase.

Gnisci, who is currently writing a book about medieval Ethiopian manuscripts, said Welde Sellase likely donated the crown to a church in a village called Cheleqot near the modern-day city of Mekelle in northern Ethiopia.

The last time the crown was seen in public, it was worn by a priest in a photograph taken in 1993 before it disappeared, said Gnisci. An investigation was launched at the time but the culprits were never found.

"These crowns are of priceless symbolic value and it is important that they be retuned to Ethiopia," said Gnisci.

"This is Ethiopian cultural heritage, this is Ethiopia's identity and finally it feels good to give it back," said Sirak.

Netherlands farmers stage tractor protest, cause huge jams

Farmers drove their tractors to The Hague to send the message to the government about the importance of their trade. They hoped to counter stereotypes that paint them as "animal abusers and environment polluters.", 1 October 2019

A caravan of tractors headed to The Hague

Thousands of farmers in the Netherlands staged a national protest on Tuesday, in support of their industry.

At least two thousand farmers took to Dutch highways and roads on their tractors, in a slow procession toward the country's capital, The Hague. Some drove their tractors along the North Sea beaches that lead to the city.

It was a visible demonstration of their trade, but it also caused major traffic chaos.

The Dutch motorists association ANWB said the tractors, along with bad weather and accidents, made Tuesday the busiest ever morning on the nation's roads, resulting in more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of traffic jams.

The Hague police said two farmers were detained, one who drove over a fence with his tractor and another who tried to stop police from detaining the first offender.

"The police respect that farmers are standing up for their interest and we're trying to facilitate this demonstration with hundreds of tractors as well as possible," authorities said in a statement.

Some of the tractors wound their way through The Hague

‘Our way of life'

Protesters say their industry is being unfairly singled out for nitrogen emissions that pollute the environment.

They also sought to counter the "negative image" farming and farmers have in the Netherlands.

"We are not animal abusers and environment polluters. We have a heart for our businesses," organizers wrote on one of the protests' websites.

The role of farming and sustainability has recently become a hot topic in Dutch politics.

"This is about our families, our future, the future of our children. It's about our way of life," sheep farmer and one of the protest's organizers Bart Kemp told the crowd gathered in The Hague.

On arrival, the farmers attended an event in the capital

To date, the government has not taken steps against farmers, but at least one political party has suggested that the Netherlands move to reduce the number of live animals its farmers keep.

Another plan would grant financial aid to farmers who cease their operations or adopt more sustainable agriculture practices.

Kemp said lawmakers lacked "the common sense — farmer's sense — that nature and animals teach us" and called for a "new era in which the food producers of the Netherlands are listened to" by politicians.

Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten said she supported farmers and pledged to listen to their concerns.

"We are working for a strong agricultural sector with an eye on a healthy environment," Schouten told the farmers.

According to LTO, the Dutch farmers' organization, the Netherlands has nearly 54,000 farms. Agriculture exports were worth some 90.3 billion euros ($98.3 billion) last year.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Police raid council offices in The Hague in corruption probe

DutchNews, October 1, 2019

The Hague’s city hall. Photo: Ellywa via Wikimedia Commons

Detectives have searched the city hall offices of two aldermen in The Hague, as well as several civil servants, as part of an investigation into corruption. 

Deputy mayor and economic affairs alderman Richard de Mos, and Rachid Guernaoui, who is in charge of the city finances, are suspected of accepting payments in return for bar and cafe licences, broadcaster NOS said. 

Both represent the Groep de Mos/Hart voor Den Haag faction on the city council which emerged as the biggest group in the March local elections. Their homes and those of three local businessmen have also been searched as part of the investigation. 

One source told broadcaster NOS that the probe includes the night opening licence provided to the Zalencentrum Opera complex. Owner Atilla Akyol was on the party’s local election campaign list in the ceremonial position of last place. 

The source suggest Akyol may have supported the party financially in return for confidential information from city hall. A public prosecution department spokesman has confirmed that hospitality industry licences are at the heart of the investigation. 

The Hague mayor Pauline Krikke is holding a meeting for councillors on Tuesday afternoon and said in a statement she is ‘shocked’ by the allegations.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Marianne Thieme steps down after 17 years as animal rights party leader

DutchNews, September 30, 2019

Thieme at an animal rights party meeting in Portugal in 2014. Photo: Partido
Animalista via Flickr 

Marianne Thieme, founder of the Dutch animal rights party PvdD, is stepping down as leader after 17 years. 

Thieme’s announcement on Sunday came as a surprise to most of the political world, in keeping with a career that has constantly defied expectations. 

‘Party leaders usually step down as MPs after losing an election,’ she told a gathering of Partij voor de Dieren members. ‘Looking at our growing movement, that would mean I wouldn’t be able to stop until I was 300 years old. But I’m not waiting until then: I’m doing it today.’ 

The 47-year-old said she had made up her mind following the European Parliament elections in May, where the PvdD retained the seat it won in 2014. 

Thieme founded the party on October 28 2002 to promote animal rights in the context of a wider programme of activism on a range of issues spanning vegetarianism, women’s rights and the TTIP transatlantic trade treaty. 

Despite being mocked at first, Thieme won a seat in Parliament in 2006, at the second attempt, and held it for the next 13 years, making her one of the longest serving MPs. The PvdD won five seats at the last general election in 2017 and holds 33 seats in local councils. However, it has never taken part in a coalition administration at any level, preferring to promote itself as a party of conscience. 

As the first party for animal rights to win seats in a national election, the PvdD became a standard bearer for the movement across Europe, helping to set up a network of similar parties in countries such as Finland, Austria, Germany and the UK. 

Prinsjesdag outfits 

Thieme also gained a reputation for eye-catching stunts such as the outfits she wore to the ceremonial opening of parliament on Prinsjesdag, including a sailor’s hat with the logo Save Our Seas, a sash to mark 100 years of votes for women and a combat outfit with carrots for bullets. Her dress in 2019 highlighted the importance of insects to the ecosystem. 

However, there has also been criticism from within her party from members who felt the PvdD should pay more attention to ‘human issues’. In July, MP Femke Merel van Kooten resigned from the parliamentary group in a row that centred on whether it should focus primarily on the environment rather than animal rights. 

Thieme spent four months on sick leave at the end of 2018, but did not disclose the reason. ‘I want to show that medical records are thankfully still private,’ she told AD, touching on another campaign point. 

Co-founder and senate group leader Niko Koffeman said: ‘She has spent 17 years in the spotlight in The Hague. There are other things to do in our social movement. It’s time for her to make way for other people.’ 

Thieme will formally step down as an MP next Tuesday, October 8. She is expected to elaborate on her reasons for resigning in an interview to be published in De Groene Amsterdammer, where her partner, Ewald Engele works, on Wednesday.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

ABN Amro under investigation for not acting on potential money laundering

DutchNews, September 26, 2019 

The Dutch public prosecution department has launched a criminal investigation into possible money laundering at ABN Amro, the bank said in a short statement on Thursday. 

The bank said it had been told about the investigation on Wednesday and that it would cooperate fully. The investigation is being carried under Dutch laws on money laundering and the financing of terrorism known as Wwft. 

According to news agency Bloomberg, the probe follows a report made by the Dutch central bank and ABN Amro is suspected of falling to report suspicious transactions over a longer period. 

Earlier this year ING was fined €775m for failing to comply properly with the act. ABN Amro said in August at the presentation of its half-yearly figures that it had been ordered by the central bank to look again at all its retail clients. 

The Dutch state owns 56% of ABN Amro and finance minister Wopke Hoekstra has asked the bank to explain why he had not been informed earlier about the investigation, the Financieele Dagblad reported.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Dutch king tells UN assembly Russia must cooperate with MH17 investigation

DutchNews, September 25, 2019

The king addresses the UN. Photo: UN Photo/Cia Pak

King Willem-Alexander told his audience at the United Nations general assembly on Tuesday evening that everyone – including Russia – must cooperate with efforts to find out the truth about the downing of flight MH17. 

It is ‘unacceptable for individuals responsible for international crimes to escape their just punishment’, the king said in his speech. 

‘In this forum I wish to repeat that, under Security Council resolution 2166, all countries – including Russia – must cooperate fully with efforts to establish the truth about the downing of flight MH17 on 17 July 2014.’ 

‘The families of the 298 victims,’ the king said, ‘expect justice, and we will not rest until justice is done.’ 

Russia has repeatedly denied any responsibility for the downing of the aircraft over eastern Ukraine. And earlier this month, it emerged that a potential key witness had been returned to Russia by Ukraine in a prisoner exchange. 

The Netherlands will also continue its efforts to strengthen the International Criminal Court, an indispensable component of the international legal order, the king said. 

Sustainable development 

The bulk of the king’s speech centred on the UN’s sustainable development goals which, he said, will bring the ‘fair, clean and sustainable world’ demanded by young people closer. 

‘In many places around the world people are not free to be themselves,’ the king said. ‘In many places, there is no room for diversity. No respect for the rights and opportunities of minorities. No equality between men and women.’ 

This, the king said, is a breeding ground for instability because every human being strives for recognition. 

Watch the speech 

‘We must hold firmly to the freedom of religion or belief, including for minorities in places where the great majority profess a different faith,’ the king said. ‘Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and people without religious convictions should be able everywhere to follow their own conscience in peace.’ 

At the same time, he said, the Netherlands welcomes the fact that the rights of lesbian, gay and transgender people, and of other minority communities, are being laid down in law in more and more places around the world. 

Read the speech (English)

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

VVD expels controversial MP from parliamentary party, eradicating coalition majority

DutchNews, September 24, 2019 

The ruling VVD has expelled one of its 33 MPs from the parliamentary party because he has broken agreements on putting his property rental company at arms length. 

Wybren van Haga came under fire on Monday when it emerged his property firm had been carried out illegal renovations on a listed building in Haarlem and that he had ‘aggressively’ approached tenants to find out who had complained. 

Last year Haga was also in trouble when it emerged his company, Sjopperdepop, had broken Amsterdam’s tough rules on renting homes to more than two adults who are not related. 

After an internal inquiry the party said then he could remain an MP, on the condition he was no longer involved in the running of the company. 

However, parliamentary party leader Klaas Dijkhoff said on Tuesday, ‘I have concluded that there has been interference and the strict separation has not been adhered to.’ 

Van Haga has not yet said if he will leave parliament or claim his seat and stay on as an independent. 

The decision to expel him has eradicated the four-party coalition’s majority in the lower house of parliament.

Dutch Moroccans call for end to compulsory dual nationality

DutchNews, September 24, 2019


A group of Dutch Moroccans have called on the Dutch government to support them in their campaign to end the legal requirement that makes them automatically Moroccan nationals. 

The group say in an online manifesto that they are being forced into accepting Moroccan nationality against their will.

‘After 50 years, we yearn for full-blown Dutch citizenship, in the Netherlands and abroad,’ the manifesto states. ‘We want to be free to decide whether or not we want dual nationality, not to be required to be subjects… of a state we do not wish to be connected to.’ 

Morocco and the Netherlands signed an agreement facilitating Moroccan workers to come to the Netherlands in 1969, sparking the first wage of emigration. 

According to the Volkskrant, it is up to the Moroccan authorities to decide on dual nationality issues. 

The 12 signatories range in age from 18 to 65 and cover a range of professions. Other Dutch Moroccan organisations have also asked the Dutch government to campaign on their behalf for less interference from overseas, the Volkskrant said.

Dutch keeper Sari van Veenendaal is best female goalie in the world

DutchNews, September 24, 2019

Sari van Veenendaal at the ceremeony. Photo: AP Photo/Antonio Calanni via HH

Sari van Veendendaal has been named Fifa’s best female football keeper in the world at a glittering ceremony in Milan on Monday night. 

Van Veenendaal, who was also named best keeper of this year’s World Cup, said in her acceptance speech that the trophy belonged to the entire team. The Netherlands lost the final to the US. 

After the World Cup Van Veenendaal, who was without a club after leaving Arsenal, moved to Atletico Madrid. 

The men’s prize went to Lionel Messi. Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk was among the nominees.

‘The people who vote made a decision and you have to accept it. As players you can’t compare me and Messi because it’s totally different. I’m very proud to be here,’ Van Dijk said after the ceremony.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Big Dutch banks sign up to UN charter for sustainable banking

DutchNews, September 23, 2019

Amsterdam’s Zuidas business district. Photo:

All the big Dutch banks have signed up to a United Nations charter for sustainable banking which was launched in New York at the weekend. 

In total, banks with more than $47tn in assets, or a third of the global industry, signed up to the charter which, the UN says, provides a ‘massive boost for climate action and the shift from “brown to green” models of economic growth’. 

ING’s Ralph Hamers, Kees van Dijkhuizen of ABN Amro and Peter Blom from Triodos were at the ceremony which took place on Sunday. Rabobank and Volkskbank (SNS. ASN and RegioBank) are also signatories. 

Dijkhuizen told broadcaster NOS that ABN Amro will phase out its loans to oil and gas companies and plans to invest only in sustainable energy. ‘It is too early to say when that will be, but it will be well before 2050,’ Dijkhuizen said.

Tobacco industry tries to recruit anti-smoking MP, says other MPs are positive

DutchNews, September 23, 2019

Photo: Paul Smeulders via Twitter 

An MP from the left-wing green party GroenLinks has gone public with a video in which a recruiter tries to win him over to become a lobbyist for the tobacco industry. 

Paul Smeulders was approached by a recruitment consultant on behalf of Imperial Tobacco about taking a job as public relations manager for Imperial Tobacco in the Netherlands. 

He returned the call and had the conversation recorded. When Smeulders told the recruiter that GroenLinks is strongly opposed to the tobacco industry, they replied saying ‘that makes it more interesting. You could see it as a challenge to change your vision and the vision of the party.’ 

When Smeulders asked the recruiter if they had approached other MPs he was told: ‘Yes certainly, and I have had positive reactions.’ 

In the Netherlands, contact between the tobacco industry and politicians is frowned on, and the industry has been banned from participating in talks on reducing smoking.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

British nationals in NL dropped from D66 Brexit dual nationality plan

DutchNews, September 22, 2019 - By Robin Pascoe

British nationals living in the Netherlands have been dropped from draft legislation which would allow dual nationality for people affected by the Brexit chaos.

The Liberal democratic party D66 said earlier this year it was drawing up a new law to allow Dutch nationals in Britain and British nationals in the Netherlands to have dual nationality because of Brexit. 

But D66 has now decided to drop British nationals from the plan because their they have more certainty about their rights to stay in the Netherlands, according to Dutch media reports. has asked D66 MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, who drew up the proposals to explain the change of heart. 

The revised measure, which would affect the 100,000 Dutch nationals living in the UK, can now count on majority support in parliament, Sjoerdsma said on Twitter. The ruling VVD, which had been opposed, now backs the proposal, as does the Labour party, 50Plus and GroenLinks. 

Dutch politicians must now work together because ‘they are making complete chaos on the other side of the channel,’ Sjoerdsma said on Twitter. ‘Dutch nationals in the UK should not become hostages to Brexit,’ he said. 

The Dutch currently only allow dual nationality in a few, specific circumstances, although an overhaul was promised in the coalition agreement. This means that currently most Dutch people in the UK would lose their Dutch passports if they become British, and the same for British nationals in the Netherlands. 

The 3 Million group, which lobbies for the rights of European citizens affected by Brexit, says it ‘warmly welcomes’ the D66 proposal but points out that British nationals in the Netherlands still face the ‘catastrophic loss of their EU freedom of movement’. The organisation says it will continue to campaign for wider dual nationality rights. 

Both British and Dutch expat groups lobbied MPs to support the bill when the original plan was launched in January.

‘I hope they will continue to do so, as their personal stories are of great value and might just convince parliamentarians to support our efforts,’ Sjoerdsma told at the time. 

The coalition government, of which D66 is a part, had been due to publish its plans to reform the dual nationality laws in the spring but has not yet done so. 

Going Dutch 

The number of British nationals taking Dutch nationality has soared since the Brexit referendum in 2016 with over 1,300 taking the plunge last year. 

And in the first six months of this year alone, 180 people opted to renounce their British nationality to become Dutch, compared to 280 in 2018 as a whole, figures from the IND immigration service show. 

Some 86,000 people with British nationality currently live in the Netherlands, of whom 47,000 are first generation migrants, according to figures from the national statistics office CBS. 

British children who were born in the Netherlands have the right to become dual nationals when they reach the age of 18. 


Earlier this year, the government’s most senior advisory group, the Council of State, said the original legislation to give dual nationality rights to British nationals in the Netherlands and Dutch nationals in the UK should not be adopted by parliament

The measures proposed by the government and Brussels already deal with an ‘important part’ of the impact of Brexit and there is insufficient reason to make an exception for British nationals in the Netherlands and the Dutch in the UK, the council said in April.

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