The University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Ste in Amsterdam writes:
It’s getting interesting here. the students have occupied another of the University of Amsterdam’s buildings after being evicted after 13 days from The Bungehuis (Department of Philosophy/Geesteswetenschap).They are now occupying the Maagdenhuis (Office of the board of management) a symbolically significant move as it was first occupied in the student protests of the 1970s. The mayor turned up last night at about midnight to talk to them. A fairly “keep calm” move with not promising or saying much of anything. If you’re into a bit of google translate this is their website. Their demands include 1. Democratic election of the university administration. 2. Investment should deliver not financial profit but quality in education. 3. Fixed contracts rather flexible appointments for staff. 4. An open debate on housing costs compared to cuts in education and research.
THE NETHERLANDS is on the verge of a general election this morning after the collapse of austerity talks aimed at bringing its budget deficit within EU limits by 2013 – giving rise to new concerns that it could also now lose its coveted triple-A international credit rating.
The package being finalised is believed to have proposed increasing the state pension age to 66 in 2015 rather than 2020, a cut of €750 million in development aid, a new €9 charge for every medical prescription, the abolition of tax relief on interest-only mortgages, cuts in subsidies to public broadcasters, an increase in VAT, and an across-the-board freeze in public sector salaries and benefits.
As voters in France also delivered their initial verdict on who should lead them for the next five years, and whether they would favor more austerity or stimulating growth, the Czech government was rattled this weekend by popular protests against budget cuts and increased hardship.
Sisters of missing Achill man James Grealis, from left, Caroline O’Connell, Helen Grealis and Bernadette Spinalley. James disappeared after leaving a guesthouse in the Dutch town of Breda to look for work on October 23, 2008. The Grealis sisters handed in a letter to Ambassador Robert Engels at the Netherlands embassy, Merrion Road, Dublin, telling him that they are not satisfied with the progress of the investigation thus far.