Netherlands

Jan 20 '17 11:00

In December home prices in the Netherlands were 6.7 percent higher than in December 2015, the biggest increase since May 2002, Statistics Netherlands and the Land Registry announced on Friday.

Throughout 2016 the prices of homes increased about 5 percent, continuing the upward trend of the past years. Compared to the low point in the housing market in June 2013, house prices in the Netherlands increased nearly 14 percent. The average price for an existing home is now back at the level of November 2005, but still 11 percent below the peak level of August 2008.

Jan 20 '17 10:20

Dutch beer giant Heineken confirmed rumors that it is working on acquiring Brazilian brewery Kirin Brasil in a short press release on Friday. Should Heineken take over the Brazilian brewery, the Dutch brewer's market share in the country would double, BNR reports.

"In response to speculation in the media over Kirin, Heineken can confirm that it is in talks with Kirin about the Brazilian branch. These discussions are ongoing and it can not be said that there will actually be an agreement", the Dutch beer giant said in a press statement.

Holding hands
Jan 20 '17 08:08

Nearly 659 thousand of the 4.2 million couples in the Netherlands are mixed race couples, according to Statistics Netherlands. That means that about one in six couples in the Netherlands consist of a Dutch partner and a partner from a different background.

Jan 17 '17 16:55

The Netherlands came in 7th place on the Inclusive Development Index (IDI), which was presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Monday. The IDI was developed as an alternative to measuring a country's growth by only looking at its gross domestic product.

Jan 13 '17 17:05

The Netherlands is one of the most economically stable countries in the world, according to a report published by consulting and accounting firm KPMG on Friday. KPMG ranks Netherlands in second place, after Switzerland in first place and before Luxembourg in third. Hong Kong and Norway make up the top five, ANP reports.

According to KPMG those are the five countries that are macro-economically the most stable - they have a good infrastructure and a highly educated population. They are above average on involvement in the world economy and have very strong public institutions.

Jan 13 '17 13:35

The Dutch government made approximately 450 million euros by selling 20.4 million shares in former Fortis insurer ASR. The shares were sold for 22.15 euros each, NLFI announced on Friday, ANP reports.

The NLFI is the foundation that manages the Dutch government's shares in financial institutions.

With the sale of 20.4 million shares on Thursday, the government's share of ASR reduced from 63.7 percent to 50.1 percent. the government plans to further reduce its share in ASR, but has to wait at least 90 days before another transaction can happen.

Jan 13 '17 11:45

Daan and Anna were the most popular baby names in the Netherlands in 2016, social insurance bank SVB announced on Friday. A total of 681 boys were named Daan last year, and 665 girls were named Tess.

The most popular , Emma, dropped to a very close second place last year. Tess tied for second place with Emma, both names given to 664 girls. 2015's third place Julia dropped to fifth place in 2016.

Vacation
Jan 10 '17 14:55

Dutch residents went on vacation more often in 2016, though more of them stuck to vacationing in the Netherlands rather than going abroad, according to figures from NBTC NIPO Research. Dutch also paid closer attention to safety last year, avoiding places with terrorism threat or political unrest. Turkey in particular was a place to avoid for the Dutch last year, with visits there decreasing by 30 percent, NOS reports.

Socks
Jan 10 '17 14:20

Startup company Siren Care won the TechCrunch Hardware Battlefield prize in Las Vegas with its high-tech "smart socks". The company, which has a Dutch man as co-founder and oen of its directors, received $50 thousand in prize money, or about 47,500 euros, the Telegraaf reports.

The smart socks are aimed at diebetics. Small electronic sensors measure temperature at different points of the foot, thereby predicting ulcers before they emerge. Ulcers are caused by inflammation, which gives off heat. Due to nerve damage, diabetics can't always feel this. Hence the smart socks.

Jan 10 '17 08:35

No train traffic is possible to and from Roosendaal on Tuesday morning. A short circuit caused by an electrical fire in a substation means that there is no electricity on the overhead, according to ProRail.

Jan 9 '17 08:58

With terrorist threats, a centennial celebration, strikes and a 9.1 percent increase in passengers, Schiphol airport has a very busy year behind it. And 2017 will be even busier, CEO Jos Nijhuis expects. But the number of Koninklijke Marechaussee officers responsible for safety at the airport did not grow with the busyness of Schiphol. According to Nijhuis, the airport needs between 400 and 500 extra Marechaussee officers, he said to the Financieele Dagblad on Monday.

MH17
Jan 9 '17 08:23

The Dutch police seized a number of MH17 related items, including possible human remains, from freelance reporter Michel Spekkers at Schiphol airport on Saturday night. The reporter was returning from a trip to the Ukraine, where he visited the MH17 crash site, news wire AFP reports.

In a statement on Sunday, the Public Prosecutor said that "various bags with metal parts and an object which my be human remains" will be examined as soon as possible. The Prosecutor also said that Spekkers "refused to hand over photographic and film material from the crash site".

Jan 6 '17 10:12

At least 2 thousand Dutch people tried to report their boss, family member, friend or neighbor to the Tax Authorities last year, according to figures BNR got from the Tax Office. The Department Individuals received over 2 thousand tips from people about someone they know's income tax, for example, the broadcaster reports.

This specifically does not involve tax evasion by companies.

Jan 5 '17 08:01

Anis Amri, the Tunisian man suspected of driving a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19th, spent several hours in Amsterdam two days later, Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice confirmed in a letter to parliament on Wednesday. Amri was caught on surveillance cameras in the Dutch capital, the Dutch Public Prosecutor confirmed, the Telegraaf reports.

Crime scene (Photo: Politie)
Jan 4 '17 15:35

The number of murders and manslaughters in the Netherlands dropped to 109 in 2016, according to Elsevier's annual murder list. That is the lowest number of killings since the list was started in 1992.

The record low number of murders does not match the public's idea of violent crimes in the Netherlands, according to Elsevier. "Assassinations get excessive attention in the media an the public therefore has the impression that everything is going wrong", the magazine writes.

Jan 4 '17 08:48

The Dutch government is having discussions with Belgium, Germany and France about implementing a registry for people traveling on international buses, trains and boats, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Security and Justice said to the Volkskrant. This follows terror Anis Amri suspect after he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19th.

Hospital room
Jan 3 '17 12:10

The average waiting time at hospitals in the Netherlands again increased in 2016, according to figures NRC got from research and consulting firm MediQuest. In 2014 the average waiting time was 2.95 weeks. In 2015 it increased to 3.10 weeks and last year it was up to 3.52 weeks.

Waiting times are increasing across a broad range of specialities, especially for patients with allertigies, eye problams and stomach, intestinal and liver problems. These specialities had waiting times of over six weeks by the end of 2016.

Crowded train station in the Netherlands
Jan 3 '17 09:53

Immigration and an increase in the number of babies born in 2016 pushed the Dutch population over the 17.1 million mark. The four big cities in the Netherlands saw most of the growth, while about 1 in 5 municipalities actually saw their populations shrink, Statistics Netherlands announced on Tuesday.

Amsterdam saw the biggest growth in 2016 with an increase of over 15 thousand residents to a total of almost 850 thousand inhabitants on December 1st, 2016. Rotterdam's population grew with 8 thousand and The Hague and Utrecht with 4 thousand each. 

Some 10 thousand brave Dutch dove into freezing water in Scheveningen, The Hague for the New Year's plunge; 1 Jan 2017
Jan 2 '17 10:00

With outside temperatures of -4 degrees and seawater temperatures of around 7 degrees, some 50 thousand Dutch people took the traditional New Year's plunge at 142 locations in the Netherlands around noon on Sunday, RTL Nieuws reports.

The plunge at Scheveningen, The Hague was most popular with over 10 thousand people diving into freezing cold water.A spokesperson for the organizers called the plunge "nice and crisp",.

Despite the low temperatures, no one became hypothermic or was injured in any other way. 

Hundreds of starfish wash up on Dutch shores, 27 Dec 2016
Dec 29 '16 12:30

Hundreds of starfish washed up on Dutch beaches on Tuesday. Conservationists from Ecomare believe a storm was behind the animals being washed ashore, NU.nl reports.

Starfish were found on beaches in Callantsoog, Groote Keten, Egmond aan Zee and Wijk aan Zee. 

According to Ecomare, a combination of strong winds and low temperatures at sea resulted in the starfish not having enough strength to cling to the ground. They were therefore taken by the tide and washed ashore. 

"Once on land, they have no chance to survive. It's very tragic", a spokesperson said. 

A bus departing from Sloterdijk station in Amsterdam
Dec 28 '16 10:29

Anis Amri, the man responsible for an attack on a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19th, traveled through the Netherlands after the attack, according o Italian and French media Italian newspapers La Republica and Corriere della Sera report that a SIM card was found in his bag that was only distributed in the Netherlands, NOS reports.

Dec 27 '16 08:48

Dutch people over the age of 75 are increasingly using the internet, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Tuesday. Currently 60 percent of Dutch elderly have internet access at home, compared to slightly more than 40 percent four years ago.

This age group is also making increasing use of smartphones and tablets, in addition to PC's and laptops. In 2012 about 10 percent of over-75 year olds had a tablet and 5 percent had a smartphone, now 30 percent have these devices.

Dec 23 '16 13:20

For the first time in history there are an equal number of religious and non-religious people in the Netherlands, according to a report by Statistics Netherlands. Last year 50 percent of the 18-years and older population were atheists, and 50 percent followed some form of religion, NOS reports.

The largest group of believers are Roman Catholics, with 24 percent of the population. Protestants follow with 15 percent. Around 5 percent of the Dutch population are Muslim and 6 percent adhere to other faiths like Buddhism, Judaism and Hinduism. 

Dec 23 '16 08:13

Dutch motorists spent more time in traffic more frequently in 2016, with a 12 percent increase in traffic severity, NOS reports based on figures from the ANWB. Traffic is expected to increase further in the coming years.

According to the broadcaster, the increase in traffic severity - the length of the traffic jam times its duration - has to do with the improving economy. The increase started in 2014, when the economy started picking up after the financial crisis. In 2015 traffic severity increased by 20 percent. 

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