Business

Hands-free kit
Jan 13 '20 11:00

Motorists who text with their phone in a hands-free holder are just as dangerous in traffic as drivers who text with their phones in their hands, according to a new study conducted in a driving simulator by the foundation for road safety research SWOV, an important advisor for the government, AD reports.

Coffee
Jan 13 '20 10:10

People in the Netherlands are drinking less coffee, but are more willing to spend more for a quality cup of the caffeinated beverage. In liters, the amount of coffee consumed in the Netherlands decreased by roughly 8 percent since 2005. But the amount of money spent on coffee increased by 20 percent, NOS reports based on figures from the Euromonitor. 

NS Logo in grey against a silver backdrop
Jan 12 '20 10:10

Eight railcars belonging to national rail operator NS were thoroughly covered in silver spray paint as they sat idle at the station in Wormerveer, Noord-Holland. Vandals painted all windows and doorways along the platform side of a pair of four-car trains, which were coupled in the middle.

"We find this incredibly antisocial," a spokesperson for the NS told RTL Nieuws. The affected train was removed from service and replaced with another vehicle. The NS said it has to remove the paint and clean the train.

Sold sign
Jan 10 '20 16:50

The price increases on the housing market in the Netherlands will level off this year, but prices will still rise, according to analysts at ABN Amro. They predict that home prices will increase by 4 percent in 2020, compared to last year's 7 percent increase, NU.nl reports.

Couple arriving at a hotel
Jan 10 '20 13:30

The number of hotels in and around Amsterdam continues to grow. Over the past five years, 7,700 hotel rooms were added within the city, an increase of 25 percent. In the region around the Dutch capital, the number of hotel rooms grew by 40 percent, the Volkskrant reports based on its own analysis of figures from Statistics Netherlands and Amsterdam's stats department IOS. 

The Volkskrant's figures exclude rooms rented through platforms like Airbnb. 

Schipol_airport
Jan 9 '20 14:20

Dutch airline KLM transported a record number of 35.1 million passengers in 2019, an increase of almost 3 percent compared to the year before, according to figures the airline published on Thursday.

The fact that KLM was able to grow despite the fact that Schiphol has been at the limit of its allowed takeoffs and landings for some time, has to do with a higher occupancy rate, among other things. More seats were sold per plane, leading to KLM's planes being nearly 90 percent filled last year, NU.nl reports.

Small home for sale
Jan 9 '20 13:30

The end of the housing shortage in the Netherlands is far from over, realtors' association NVM said based on sales figures for 2019. The number of people who cannot find the home they are looking for will only increase in the coming period, the NVM expects, NOS and NU.nl report.

The average home seeker currently has a choice of 2.8 homes within their budget. People with a budget between 160 thousand and 260 thousand are worst off. In large parts of the country, the can chose between less than two homes. 

Shopping
Jan 9 '20 11:00

Consumer prices were on average 2.6 percent higher in 2019 than in 2018, the biggest price increase since 2002. The increase was driven by increases in the low VAT rate and energy tax in January last year, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Thursday.

Sunny Amsterdam
Jan 8 '20 11:10

An employee of Amsterdam housing corporation Stadgenoot stole millions of euros from the company, insiders told the Telegraaf. For years the senior financial worker regularly transferred between 10 thousand and 20 thousand euros into the account of her minor daughter, the newspaper writes.

The woman was caught when ING became suspicious of the transactions and notified the authorities. She used the money for gambling and luxury vacations, according to the newspaper.

KLM
Jan 8 '20 10:18

KLM is no longer flying over Iraq and Iran as a precaution after Iran's retaliation attack on American targets in Iraq, a KLM spokesperson said to NU.nl on Wednesday. Depending on their destination, flights will detour to the north or the south. 

News agency AFP reports that Air France stopped flying over the two countries.

PostNL
Jan 8 '20 09:03

On February 1st, Sandd will merge with PostNL and no longer exist. This acquisition will lead to a great deal of lost jobs - it is already clear that less than half of the around 16 thousand Sandd employees are guaranteed a job at PostNL, NOS reports based on information from the Bond van Post Personeel and conversations with Sandd employees. At the same time, there are plenty of open vacancies at PostNL, according to the broadcaster.

NS train at the Eindhoven Station
Jan 8 '20 08:19

If substantial investment is not made into climate-proofing the Dutch rail network, the consequences will be felt in the form of more rail traffic disruptions in the near future, according to ProRail. Especially extreme heat and heavy rain can cause problems, Onno Hazelaar and Stefan Jak of ProRail said to Trouw.

Eliot Higgins
Jan 7 '20 10:10

The Machiavelli prize for 2019 has been awarded to journalism collective Bellingcat, the Machiavelli Foundation announced on Tuesday. The Machiavelli prize is annually awarded to a person or organization that achieved something remarkable in the field of public communication, NU.nl reports.

Construction site
Jan 7 '20 08:41

On January 1st there were 2,000,404 businesses in the Netherlands - the first time ever this counter topped 2 million, according to figures from the Dutch chamber of commerce KvK. The number of companies in the Netherlands increased by almost 100 thousand last year, an increase of 5 percent, NOS reports.

ASML headquarters in Veldhoven
Jan 6 '20 14:20

The United States pressured the Dutch government, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte himself, to block the sale of ASML chip manufacturing technology to China, Reuters reports based on anonymous sources. According to the news agency, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lobbied the Dutch government, and White House officials shared classified intelligence with Rutte to convince him not to allow the sale. 

Wopke Hoekstra in Brussels
Jan 6 '20 08:25

Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance believes that too many people in the Netherlands buy things on credit, and as a result an "unacceptably high" number of Dutch are in arrears on their payments. He is therefore giving online stores a year to improve this situation, or he will take measures himself, he wrote in a letter to parliament, the Telegraaf reports.

A mail bomb sent in a string of attempted attacks in 2019 & 2020
Jan 6 '20 07:59

A mail bomb was intercepted at a post sorting center in Rotterdam on Sunday. The bomb was originally sent to a gas station in the city and the staff returned it to its sender, without knowing the letter contained a bomb, the police said to NU.nl.

Eindhoven Airport
Jan 2 '20 08:45

Dozens of airline passengers spent the first night of the New Year sleeping at Eindhoven Airport after low visibility prevented aircraft from taking off or landing. The country's second largest airport had struggled with fog since Tuesday.

Eindhoven Airport
Jan 1 '20 14:52

A ground stop was put in place Wednesday afternoon at Eindhoven Airport preventing all aircraft from taking off and landing at the second largest airport in the Netherlands. The problem, due to freezing fog, could continue through midnight, according to a bulletin released by Eurocontrol, the European organization for air traffic safety.

The weather was also causing problems at Schiphol Airport, and to a far lesser extent at Rotterdam The Hague Airport.

Fireworks in Amsterdam Oost, 31 Dec 2017
Jan 1 '20 11:40

A massive 77 million euros worth of fireworks were sold in the Netherlands for New Year's Eve 2019, according to interest association Pyrotechnics Netherlands. That is 10 percent more than in 2010, and a new record, NU.nl reports.

The previous record of 74 million euros dated from 2008 and 2009.

Euros in an envelope
Jan 1 '20 10:50

The main prize of the New Year's Eve draw of the State Lottery went to two lottery tickets purchased in Krommenie in Noord-Holland and in Enschede in Overijssel. Both lucky winners will soon have 15 million euros, tax free, in their bank accounts, NU.nl reports.

The identities of the winners were not disclosed. The winning ticket number is GI 59458.

A total of 6.3 million New Year's lottery tickets were sold, including a massive 1 million in the last minute of 2019. 

Man on an electric bike
Dec 31 '19 12:10

The bicycle industry in the Netherlands is preparing for skyrocketing sales of electric bicycles in 2020. Thousands of companies are eager to make use of the new tax-friendly lease scheme with which employers can provide employees with a "company bike". Industry association Bovag and RAI expect that up to 150 thousand more e-bikes will be sold next year, AD reports.

Working from home
Dec 31 '19 11:20

Employers want to solve the staff shortages in many sectors in the Netherlands by making part-time workers work more hours, according to a memorandum from employers' associations AWVN, MKB-Nederland, and VNO-NCW, the Telegraaf reports.

Belastingdienst Amsterdam
Dec 31 '19 09:40

People who called the Tax Authority with a query this year, often found it impossible to speak to a tax employee. The Allowances department in particular is very hard to reach, with less than two in ten callers being answered at the lowest point this year, according to an analysis by Nd.nl. 

If there are insufficient employees available to take calls, callers are notified that the Tax Authority is "closed". The office wants to avoid long waiting times in this way.

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