Reviewed Dutch dailies
Posthumous baptism for Dutch royals; how economically successful is the austerity deal; a Dutch boy’s kidnappers have been arrested; Joran van der Sloot is fighting extradition to the US and Dutch school kids can keep their culture card… for now.
Mormons baptise Dutch royals
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, better known as the Mormon Church, has posthumously baptised Queen Beatrix’s late husband Prince Claus and her parents Prince Bernhard and Queen Juliana. Trouw writes that the Dutch protestant daily has got hold of data from the Mormons genealogical database.
Members of the church are allowed to baptise their forefathers by proxy, so that they can go to heaven. The church carries out genealogical research to identify dead relatives. However, the controversial practice is sometimes carried out to baptise people who are not relatives of members of the church. The baptism of holocaust victim Anne Frank led to indignation in Jewish circles.
Trouw adds that the church has offered to scan documents for provincial archives in the Netherlands for free, but many provinces are reluctant to take up the offer because the Mormons have an ulterior motive, i.e. they want to use the information for their genealogical research.
The baptism of Prince Claus apparently took place in August 2004, two years after his death, in the Brazilian city of Campinas. A spokesperson for the Mormon church in the Netherlands says they were being “over-enthusiastic”, but he couldn’t imagine there being any objections as it is “an act of love”
Corridor agreement not an economic success
The ‘corridor agreement’ which was put together by the caretaker coalition government and three opposition parties in just a couple of days, in a last ditch attempt to rescue the Dutch economy, may have been a political success but de Volkskrant quotes two economists who say it “is not an economic one.”
Some of the proposals were not thought through properly and may even be economically damaging. These findings were originally published in the economy journal ESB.
The two economists say the negotiators from the VVD, Christian Democrats, Green Left, D66 and Christian Union should have taken a closer look at the structural weaknesses of the economy and the budget, rather than focussing on the budget deficit.
However, writes the paper, there is a positive side. At least the deal means that budget year 2013 won’t be written off. Nevertheless, with 8.3 billion in extra taxes compared to just 3.6 billion in cuts, there will be a negative effect on economic growth, employment, buying power and reduction of the budget deficit itself. The economic costs of the whole operation will be higher than the “coalition of five” anticipated and will not bring the budget deficit below the 3 percent of GNP demanded by the European Union - which kind of defeats the whole object of the exercise.
Kidnappers of Dutch boy arrested in Malaysia
Malaysian police have arrested three men and a woman in connection with last month’s kidnapping of 12-year-old Dutch boy Nayati Moodliar. AD reports that 25,000 euros in ransom money has also been confiscated. It’s believed the family paid 75,000 euros to free their son. According to Malaysian media, the police are still looking for more kidnappers.
The boy was dragged into a car outside his international school in Kuala Lumpur before the eyes of his classmates. He was released unhurt one week later. De Telegraaf writes that a Facebook page was set up to help trace the whereabouts of the boy. His friends in Malaysia made appeals on YouTube for help to find their friend.
The mayor of the southern Dutch town Son en Breugel where the family were based says the whole town had followed the case and he hoped a period of rest could begin. The Moodliar family is living in Malaysia temporarily because of the father’s job.
Joran van der Sloot fights extradition
Various newspapers report that Dutchman Joran van der Sloot is fighting extradition to the United States. Van der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence in Lima for the murder of Peruvian student Stephany Flores. The US Attorney General’s office wants to try him for extortion.
He is still the prime suspect in the case of missing US teenager Natalee Holloway, who disappeared in Aruba in 2005. The US authorities want to try him for allegedly attempting to extort money from the girl’s mother in exchange for information on the whereabouts of her body. Natalee was declared dead last January.
De Telegraaf reports that a Peruvian judge has visited Van der Sloot in prison. The paper says the Dutchman has no faith in the US justice system. According to de Volkskrant, the extradition request could take some months to process. The judge will make his recommendation to the Supreme Court. In the final analysis it will be the Justice Ministry in Lima which decides his fate.
Culture card for school kids rescued
Secondary school students will be relieved to hear that their culture card, which gives them a discount to cultural events, has been saved. The card was due to be scrapped as part of government cuts.
According to nrc.next, a fund has been set up to partly finance the card at least for the next year; now the government has to come up with the rest. Each card carries 15 euros for children to spend on cultural activities, like visiting museums or theatres. Effectively it means schools can organise a visit to cultural venues. Almost all schools and 1510 cultural organisations use it.