Week in review: December 21-27

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The round-up of some of this week's most noteworthy events and news stories features Sint Maarten battling mosquitos that spread the Chikungunya virus, the Dutch economy making a sharp fall, King Willem-Alexander's first Christmas speech, the sale of 100 Leopard tanks to Finland, the new record by "Serious Request" after being locked up in the Glass House, and a major storm that misses most of the Netherlands.The French and the Dutch part of Sint Maarten joined forces to prevent mosquitos from spreading the Chikungunya virus. So far ten residents of the French part have been infected, but over eighty people are possibly infected.

King Willem-Alexander at Villa Eikenhorst in Wassenaar before his first Christmas address at Wassenaar (Photo: Frank van Beek/RVD)

The Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) predicts the Dutch economy will fall sharply and that the Netherlands will be surpassed by Egypt and Iraq, among others. Measured against the second quarter of the year, the economy grew 0.2 percent in the third quarter, which is an improvement compared to the reduction in the same quarter last year.

King Willem-Alexander made his first Christmas speech in a homely atmosphere, and talked about the importance of relationships. The speech was the best viewed program of the evening with 2.3m viewers.

Dutch media reported the sale of 100 Leopard tanks to Finland. The reports were confirmed by the Dutch Minister of Defense, Hennis-Plasschaert on the TV show, Pauw & Witteman.

A code "yellow" storm missed most of the country, but still caused significant damage. The code was first in effect for the coast line, but was later extended to all of Limburg as well. Earlier this month two Filipino sailors went overboard during a storm. This storm too, cost the life of a sailor's life, making it the third Wagenborg sailor to go overboard during a storm. On shore the musical "Soldaat van Oranje" was canceled after the roof of the Theater Hangar was partly blown off. After the damage was assessed repairs were made, the show could continue the day after Christmas.

Three DJ's were locked up in a Glass House in Leeuwarden and engaged in the "Serious Request" campaign, broadcasting around the clock and living on just liquids. Their attempt to raise funds for combating child mortality by diarrhea, resulted in a record-breaking 12,302,747 euros. The concert "Serious Request," the longest concert ever, lasted over 15 days and the proceeds also went to the 3FM campaign.

Check out NL Times for the rest of the news and stories this week.