Dutch king calls for special attention for Brits living in NL

British nationals in the Netherlands and Dutch nationals who live in the UK, deserve special attention now the UK is leaving the EU, king Willem-Alexander said in a speech at the British parliament on Tuesday afternoon. Brexit, the king said, 'does not mean farewell. Our close, historic relationship will continue, albeit on a different footing.' He referred to the trade, creative and investment ties between the two countries before going on to state: 'One group deserves special attention: the 50,000 British nationals who live in the Netherlands, and the 150,000 Dutch nationals who live in the UK.' 'Many of them have lived and worked there for many years. They feel at home in their local community and their contribution to society is valued, whether as employees, colleagues, neighbours or volunteers. 'Yet all these individuals now live under the shadow of uncertainty about their future status. I understand how difficult this is for them and I trust that this uncertainty will be resolved,' Willem-Alexander said. Earlier on Tuesday the king and queen Maxima met members of the Dutch community in London, partly to discuss their concerns about Brexit. No agreement has yet been made about the rights of British nationals in the Netherlands and the Dutch in Britain after March 29 and many people are extremely worried about their future. The two-day visit is the first official state visit by a Dutch monarch to Britain since 1982. Read the full speech Last Friday Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok, who has accompanied the royals to London, said the Netherlands will ensure a 'decent solution' for British citizens in the Netherlands if there is a no-deal Brexit. 'We will not abandon these people,' Blok said. 'Even in a no-deal scenario we will make sure there is a decent solution so that British nationals can say in our country after March 30, 2019.' A solution is already being worked on, Blok is quoted as saying by the AD.  More >

Anti Pinochet art work rediscovered

A large mural painted by refugee Chilean artists in the 1980s has been rediscovered in the Amsterdam district of Osdorp. The painting came to light during demolition activities in the district. The fact that it was hidden from view for a long time ensured it survived intact. ‘This is a very well-timed surprise,’ artist Jorge Kata Núñuz (65) told the Parool newspaper. Núñez, who happened to be in the Netherlands when the mural was found, was part of the collective Brigada Ramona Parra which painted some 60 murals in the capital, most of which were eventually painted over. Project developer Annemieke Witteveen, who discovered the mural, said she immediately went about looking for more information and was told the images were typically Chilean. Witteveen contacted the Rotterdam Centre of Art and was told that, by happy coincidence, one of the artists in question was in Rotterdam to restore another work of art. The images in the painting refer to the dictatorship of general Augusto Pinochet who came to power in 1973 by killing president Salvador Allende and torturing and killing thousands of his supporters. ‘All my works are filled with emotion and passion but the murals even more so,’ the artist told the paper. ‘The horse’s head, for instance, symbolises the power of the people. The man and woman who are lifting a star together represent hope.’ The project developer has said she wants to change the current building plans for a new city council office to include the mural.   More >

PVV will not join Steve Bannon's movement

The Dutch anti-Islam party PVV will not join the far right European political movement launched by US president Trump's former advisor Steve Bannon. Marcel de Graaff, who leads the PVV in the European parliament, told broadcaster NOS in an interview that the project involves people whom 'we absolutely do not want to work with'. 'That is why we are explicitly distancing ourselves from The Movement,' he said. In particular, Belgian politician Mischael Modrikamen 'is making all sorts of political statements which we do not support,' De Graaff said. The launch of The Movement has twice been postponed and is now scheduled to take place in January.  According to broadcaster NOS, other right-wing populist parties, including the Front Nationale and Sweden Democrats, have also said they do not support the plan.   More >

Most freelance builders have no insurance

Over two-thirds of freelance builders have no insurance to cover them if they are unable to work, partly because insurance companies refuse to take them on, Trouw reports on Tuesday. In particular, the over-45s find it almost impossible to get disability insurance because insurers consider the risk of them becoming injured is too high, the paper said. Those who can get insurance find the cost - some €500 to €600 a month - to be prohibitive. And many policies include a clause stating that the over 60s are excluded anyway, the paper points out. A poll of members of the self-employed building sector lobby group Zelfstandigen Bouw found just 31% now have disability insurance, compared with 72% in 2010, before the huge surge in freelancing. There is pressure on the government from unions and some political parties who back the introduction of compulsory disability insurance for all freelancers. They argue that un-insured workers put too great a strain on the benefit system if they become unable to work through injury. A spokesman for the insurance association VvV told Trouw there is no point in offering building workers insurance if they can't afford the premiums.  More >

Eindhoven Ryanair crew strike over closure

Ryanair cabin crew based at Eindhoven airport are going on strike on Tuesday in protest at the Irish budget airline's plans to close its southern Dutch base, However, passengers are unlikely to notice much impact because Ryanair usually brings in crews from outside to make sure all the flights go ahead, news agency ANP reported. The airport's website says there may be some cancellations or delays. Ryanair said at the beginning of October it is closing its Eindhoven base, which currently operates four planes, but said ‘most routes to and from Eindhoven will continue on overseas based aircraft’. Some 50 or so pilots and 150 cabin crew are based in Eindhoven and the airline offers 155 flights from the airport per week. The announcement was made as Ryanair issued a profit warning, cutting the forecast from €1.25bn – €1.35bn, to a new range of €1.10bn – €1.20bn. The new figure is due to the summer strikes as well as higher oil prices, the airline said in a statement. Update: Ryanair told DutchNews.nl in a statement on Tuesday afternoon that 'all of our Eindhoven flights are operating as normal, all of our crews reported for duty and we look forward to carrying all of our Eindhoven customers today.'  More >

Eurostar to boost direct London service

Train company Eurostar is to add one service a day to its direct route from London to Amsterdam and plans to more than double services in the future, the AD reported on Tuesday. Eurostar introduced the new service to Rotterdam and the Dutch capital in April and says the extra train will operate from June 2019. Currently passengers using the return service to London have to go through passport and security checks in Brussels, but officials hope this can be done at the Dutch stations by the end of next year. So far an extra 130,000 people have made use of the twice-daily direct service, Eurostar told the paper.   More >