Busy News Day in Netherlands

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Busy News Day in Netherlands

  1. Marco Pastors succeeded Pim Fortuyn as leader of the political party Livable Rotterdam and until yesterday was responsible for the Physical Infrastructure Department in Rotterdam. He was relieved of that post when the Christian Democratic Party, a member of the governing conservative coalition of which Livable Rotterdam is also a member, joined the left-wing opposition in a vote of no confidence against him. His sin, according to the Christian Democrats, was breaking a deal they had made with him under which he would not say anything about Muslims unless it had to do with the Physical Infrastructure portfolio. Pastors, who is a devout Catholic, apparently said in a publication of the Rijnmond Diocese that many Muslims use their religion as a reason for their behavior and as a way of turning their backs on society.
  2. Aruba wants the Dutch ambassador to the U.S. to ask whether President Bush supports the boycott of Aruba called for by Alabama Governor Bob Riley. Riley thinks Aruba, which summoned fighter planes from the Dutch military to aid in the search for Natalee Holloway, hasn't taken the matter seriously enough. Aruban P.M. Nelson Oduber was quoted as saying: "Aruba is not Cuba, North Korea or Iraq." If he's counting on President Bush's knowledge of geography, I think Oduber is bound to be disappointed.
  3. A memorial service was held yesterday for the victims of a fire last month at a detention center at Schiphol Airport. The victims were rejected asylum-seekers awaiting deportation. Eleven were killed and many more were injured. The tragedy is increasing the pressure on Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk, whose job was already among the most difficult and sensitive in the Dutch government.
  4. Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

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