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Dear readers,
I’ve decided to suspend updates to News from Amsterdam. The reason is that I’ve started a blog ( and I like writing for my blog more. If you would like to follow my blog, you can use RSS or Twitter:
Thank you for your interest in News from Amsterdam,
Dirk Kloosterboer

28 October 2012 |

‘Districs to be stripped of power, elections remain’

In 2014, there will still be elections for the district councils, but the districts will have fewer powers, AT5 reported last week. In the Parool, spokesman Paul Slettenhaar of the districts declined to comment on the plans, but he did confirm that districts will have limited policy-making powers in the future.

According to AT5, it is being planned to reduce the number of council members from 29 to 19 and to abolish dualism, that is, the district governors will be voting members of the council.

30 September 2012 |

Protest against tax avoidance

If companies would pay proper taxes, there would be no need bo cut health care, education and other public services, the International Socialists argue. On Friday 5 October, they organise a protest at the Amstelgebouw.

In 2009, President Obama called the Netherlands a tax haven, but that ‘misunderstanding’ was quickly ironed out. Nevertheless, Amsterdam frequently makes headlines because of its thousands of mailbox companies.

25 September 2012 |

Alderman: ‘retail sector trivializes waste problem’

Shoe stores in Amsterdam will launch a pilot where customers will be asked if they want a plastic bag, rather than giving one automatically. Alderman Maarten van Poelgeest is not satisfied with the efforts of the retail sector to reduce the number of plastic bags.

The Party for the Animals has proposed to introduce a plastic bag tax, but according to the municipality this is not legally possible. Instead, the alderman has had talks with industry organisations RND and CBL on how to reduce the number of plastic bags. The result so far is the shoe branche pilot.

15 September 2012 |

The Cohen effect

Nationally, the social-democrat PvdA did much better last Wednesday than in 2010, but in Amsterdam growth was small. A plausible explanation is the Cohen effect: in 2010, many Amsterdammers voted Job Cohen; as a result, there was little room for improvement for the PvdA this year. An analysis confirms that the PvdA did indeed perform relatively well in Amsterdam in 2010, at the expense of smaller parties GL, D66, PvdD and SP.

14 September 2012 |


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