Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Dutch Teens & Dutch Centenarians ....

Interesting short news/statistics from this week's DutchNews newsletters:

Dutch teens again the happiest in the west
Dutch children are the happiest in the western world, according to a new World Health Organisation survey of 41 European and North American countries, quoted in Wednesday’s Volkskrant. Last year, a Unicef report also found that Dutch teenagers were the happiest in the developed world. The WHO report found that Dutch teens were the most pleased with life. They get on well with their parents and have a large social network. Dutch children are also particularly happy with their schools, the Volkskrant said.

The Netherlands had 1,486 people aged 100+ at the beginning of this year, up 91 on 2007. Only 193 of the centenarians are men, the national statistics office CBS reports.

sidelines- bus off
Today it emerged that bus users will have to pay a fuel surcharge from January 2009, like air travellers have done for years. This bizarre plan is apparently the government’s way of funding the 3.5% pay rise for bus drivers.
(my note: The regional buses, which operate between cities, were on strike for about 3 weeks. Finally, last week, they were given the salary increase they demanded.)

Inflation set to soar says central bank
The annual inflation rate will reach 3.4% next year before falling back to 2.2% in 2010, says the Dutch central bank in its latest quarterly bulletin on the economy. Higher oil, food and raw material prices will drive up inflation, the bank says. In addition, the shortage of skilled labour will boost wages. Higher taxes will also have an inflationary effect, according to the bank’s economists.

Paternal leave
Two out of five fathers do not claim their statutory right to parental leave because they think it will hurt their career, according to new research from the national statistics office CBS. Parents with children under the age of eight are entitled to 13 weeks of unpaid leave, spread over at least 26 weeks.

English lessons
The independent educational council (Onderwijsraad) is recommending that primary school children begin learning English as soon as they start school at the age of four. Most primary school children currently get some English lessons from the seventh grade, two years before they go to secondary school.

Second Dutch FARC guerilla found
A second young Dutch woman has been discovered fighting with anti-government FARC guerillas in Colombia, reports the Colombian paper El Tiempo.

Albert Heijn experiments with finger scans
Customers using the Albert Heijin supermarket in Breukelen are taking part in an experiment to pay by fingerprint. Once they have registered and their finger has been scanned, customers can pay for their shopping without cash or cards. The experiment will run for six months.


tunahan said...

I saw this news on today's DutchNews.

Fingerprint pay
Equipment used to let customers at an Albert Heijn supermarket in Breukelen pay by fingerprint has already been fooled, news agency ANP reports. A man went through the till system with a rubber copy of someone else’s fingerprint on his own finger.

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