The European Train Station Index compiled by the Consumer Choice Center (CCC) examined the 50 largest train stations in the European continent. In this evaluation, it was aimed to select the most passenger-friendly train stations.
Each station included in the study is ranked according to passenger experience. The stations were scored based on the annual number of passengers per platform, the number of domestic and international connections, wheelchair accessibility, access to taxis and the internet, access to lounges, shops and restaurants.
Only one train station from the Netherlands made it to the top 10. Amsterdam Centraal took the second place in this list, but it shares the second place with 4 different stations. These stations are as follows: Frankfurt Main Hbf, Munich Hbf, Berlin Hbf and Milano Centrale.
While these second-placed stations received 91 points out of 108, Zurich Train Station was selected as the most passenger-friendly train station of 2022 by holding the first place alone.
The Consumer Choice Center emphasized the importance of Amsterdam Centraal, which provides transportation for 72.8 million people every year, in public and international transportation. A total of 129 national and international destinations are one ticket away with Amsterdam Centraal.
To buy a house in the Netherlands, it is necessary to earn at least 71 thousand euros per year
According to Rabobank’s calculations, as a young person intending to buy a house, it is necessary to earn “almost twice the normal salary” in order to buy a house to buy.
Rising home prices, rising mortgage interest rates and tighter credit conditions have made the situation even more difficult for first-time home buyers.
Between 2003 and 2015, first-time home buyers were required to have a gross income of approximately 40,000 euros. Since then, that amount has jumped to 71,000 euros.
According to Rabobank economist Stefan Groot, the price of an average home rose 90% between 2003 and May of this year, to 380,000 euros.
Amsterdam and The Hague are among the 50 most expensive cities in the world
Amsterdam is among the 25 most expensive cities in the world.
Amsterdam was ranked 44th in 2021, but this year it has moved up to 25th place in Mercer’s “Cost of Living Rankings 2022”, 21 places higher than last year. The Hague, surprisingly, was ranked 47th in the ranking of the 50 most expensive cities in the world. The Hague is in the top 50 for the first time.
Mercer’s report, published for the 28th time this year, ranked 227 cities from five continents according to the results of the biannual “Mercer Cost of Living Survey”, which examines the prices of more than 200 products and services in 10 categories. The following criteria were decisive in the ranking:
– Domestic materials
– home services
– Personal care
– Clothing and shoes
– Recreation and entertainment
– Alcohol and tobacco
Accordingly, the cities determined as the top 10 most expensive cities in the world in the “world’s most expensive cities” ranking are as follows:
1. Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
2. Zurich, Switzerland
3. Geneva, Switzerland
4. Basel, Switzerland
5. Bern, Switzerland
6. Tel Aviv, Israel
7. New York City, NY United States
8. Singapore, Singapore
9. Tokyo, Japan
10. Beijing, China
218. Algiers, Algeria
219. Almaty, Kazakhstan
220. Tunis , Tunis
221. Tashkent, Uzbekistan
222. Istanbul, Turkey
223. Karachi, Pakistan
224. Islamabad, Pakistan
225. Dushanbe, Tajikistan
226. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
227. Ankara, Turkey
Pinpas can now be used in public transport
With the new regulation, a blue or yellow Chipkaart will no longer be needed to check-in on public transport in Amsterdam.
The use of OV-Chipkaart is expected to decline significantly by the end of the year as the Dutch transport system switches to a new payment method, OV-Pay.
According to the news of Het Parool, debit cards can now be used to check-in.
Traveling in Amsterdam will become easier
So how does the system work? Actually the system is very similar to how Chipkaart works.
You can point your phone, smartwatch or contactless card towards the device to check-in using your debit card. The fee will then be deducted from your account under the name NLOV (Nederlands Openbaar Vervoer).
Just like Chipkaart, there will be no charge when entering and exiting the gates at the stations without traveling.
For business trips, NS Business Cards will continue to be used. In this way, travel expenses can be billed to employers.
A plus of OV-Pay is that it does not require a minimum balance. Thus, the obligation to load Chipkaart before the train will be eliminated.
Discount will not be available on OV-Pay
However, the only possible downside to OV-Pay will be the inability to take advantage of any subscriptions or discounts for public transport.
Those who want to take advantage of discounts and subscriptions will have to use OV-Chipkaarts for a while.
Flavored e-cigarettes will be permanently withdrawn from the market from October 1, 2023
According to the law change published in the Official Gazette, all flavored e-cigarettes in the Netherlands will be permanently withdrawn from the market on October 1, 2023.
From this date, the liquids used for e-cigarettes will only be able to taste tobacco. The ban covers pre-filled e-cigarettes and disposable e-cigarettes, as well as refill liquids.
Banning flavors for e-cigarettes has long been on the agenda. Blokhuis, then Minister of State, said in 2020 that e-cigarettes are a stepping stone for young people to smoke regularly, and that flavors lower the threshold for e-cigarettes to be used.
The banning of images and words is also on the agenda.
Starting January 1, stores will still have nine months to sell their current stock.
In addition to the aroma ban, it is also thought to prevent references to anything other than tobacco on the packaging.
In addition, the naming conventions are also getting stricter. For example, e-cigarette liquids are still sold with terms like ‘bad boy fuel’, ‘chillin’ or puns like ‘OMGin’, which refers to a liquid that tastes like gin. As of October, these statements will not be included in the packaging.
Attractive for young people
Trimbos expert Esther Croes describes the ban as “a step in the right direction”. “Sweet flavors make e-cigarette and vape use particularly attractive to young people,” Croes says. says.
Stating that sellers also claim that e-cigarettes are a boon for people who want to quit tobacco smoking, Cross said, “But research shows that only a few people benefit from it.” said.
Croes also sees that most smokers who start using e-cigarettes are referred to as dual users. In other words, these individuals smoke both tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
‘Forbidden misses its target’
The aroma ban for sellers has been on the agenda for a while. That’s why some online stores have an announcement on their website calling on customers to “order on time”.
According to Emil ‘t Hart of trade association Esigbond, the taste ban is exceeding its goal: “We know that flavors play an important role in smokers’ recovery from tobacco addiction,” he says.
RIVM has compiled a list of sixteen ingredients that manufacturers can use to make tobacco flavors. RIVM states that with these ingredients, about a quarter of existing tobacco flavors can survive.
According to Emil ‘t Hart, this is not possible. “We were able to taste the first variants. “This is a very poor copy of what a tobacco flavor should be,” he says. “The essential parts are missing to get the right flavor. The Secretary of State goes much further with this than just a flavor ban, because tobacco cannot be made with these ingredients.”
Man suspected of possession of dangerous goods arrested at Schiphol Airport
A man claiming to have dangerous goods with him was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Schiphol.
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar) said the 55-year-old man was suspected of making threats.
It is not yet clear whether the man actually had dangerous items with him.
A KMar outpost in Schiphol Plaza was tipped off. Later, part of the hall was cordoned off as a precaution. The man remained in Marechaussee’s office until a Defense team arrived.
A decontamination street was set up next to Schiphol Plaza, Schiphol’s central hall, through which the man passed.
The footage showed that emergency services such as firefighters and people in special protective suits were there. They also accompanied the Marechaussees, who arrested the man and took him away.
Those Marechaussees didn’t have protective gear. A spokesperson said they had to go through the decontamination street because of this. The suspect’s luggage is also being investigated for any dangerous goods.
In the afternoon, the hall was emptied again. The cord had no effect on air traffic or passengers. Train traffic was disrupted: fewer tracks were available due to the deployment of emergency services. The first trains started running again around 2 pm.
People who receive social assistance in the Netherlands will be able to receive assistance for 1200 euros
Those who receive social allowances in the Netherlands will be able to receive assistance for 1,200 euros without deductions.
Rules are being relaxed for those receiving social assistance. Those who receive allowances will be able to work in additional jobs without deductions from their salaries and receive 1200 euro monthly assistance.
Carola Schouten, Minister of Poverty Policy, Participation and Pensions, took a step for a change that would please those who receive social allowances (Bijstand). The allowances of those who do additional work other than the allowance and those who receive assistance in kind (aid in the form of goods or services) from their immediate surroundings will not be deducted. The amendment, drafted by Minister Schouten, must be approved by the House of Representatives.
In a statement on the subject on Monday, Minister Schouten noted that if the draft law, which is under preparation, is accepted, it will enter into force in July 2024. The minister emphasized that he wanted to ensure that “people rather than rules” are put at the centre.
Income from additional work and change in job description
The new amendment will allow those who receive social allowances to earn income from additional work up to a certain wage. According to the current law, different regulations are applied for different groups. But with the minister’s change, they will all be tied to one rule.
The person receiving the social allowance will be able to earn up to 15 percent of the allowance amount through additional work. This additional income will not be deducted from the allowance.
In addition, another important point in the amendment, which is thought to come into effect, was brought to the sale of goods over the internet, which is seen as additional income.
Minister Schouten stated that income from the sale of goods, for example, through the Marktplaats, will soon no longer be considered additional income. The Minister noted that no deductions will be made from the social allowances “provided that the money they earn in this way does not add a structural and commercial character”.
Helping family or acquaintances (Mantelzorger)
With the new law, people who receive allowances will be able to take care of their relatives, relatives or acquaintances without officially notifying them. He will also be able to stay with the person he cares for when necessary.
In the current law, the rule that people who receive social assistance can work for six months and keep 25 percent of their income, with a maximum of 226 euros per month, is valid. In the new amendment, this period may be extended for people (Mantelzorgers) who have a medical disability or have to look after their relatives.
Right to help for 1200 euro per year
In the Minister’s statement; He noted that the in-kind aids provided by those receiving social allowances and their surroundings (for example, regularly buying food packages) to support their living will not be deducted from their allowance. These people receive food, etc., for 1200 euros per year. such as assistance.
In one case in 2020, a woman residing in Wijdemeren and receiving social benefits had to repay around 7000 euros. The woman, who was brought to court by the Social Services, told the judge that her elderly mother helped her because the allowance she received was not enough and she was doing grocery shopping for her.
In the first case, the court ordered the woman to repay 7000 euros to social services for the help she received from her mother between 2015 and 2018. The final decision in the case, which went to a higher court, was given that the woman had to pay 2800 euros back.
In the Netherlands, 2 people who burned a barbecue to warm at home were hospitalized
In Hoorn, the Netherlands, they had a barbecue at home to keep warm and ended up in the hospital. They lit a barbecue for Energy Saving at home, they were hospitalized due to the smoke. You heard right, this event took place in the Dutch city of Hoorn.
According to the information received, two people residing in a house in the Plutohof district of the city of Hoorn lit a barbecue at home to warm up on the night of Monday to Tuesday. Two people, who were later understood to have lit a barbecue due to energy savings, were hospitalized due to smoke. It was stated that they were not life-threatening and were only exposed to heavy smoke.
They heated their homes with barbecues to save on energy costs, but ended up in the hospital because of the hazardous materials they inhaled.
An ambulance was called after one of the citizens had difficulty breathing. It soon became clear that the cause was a burning barbecue. Citizens were evacuated from the house in a short time and taken to the hospital. He put on oxygen masks for those affected by the smoke during the trip.
Firefighters then arrived at the scene to ventilate the house and take measurements.
The number of homeless people in the Netherlands increased by 23 percent in one year
According to the data of the aid organization Het Leger des Heils (Liberation Army) in the Netherlands, the number of homeless people in the country is 6016, and according to the Bureau of Statistics, at least 32 thousand people.
In a study by the Dutch Bureau of Statistics (CBS), it was reported that the number of homeless people aged 18 to 65 in the country increased to 32,000 in 2021. After this statement, the charity organization Het Leger des Heils in the Netherlands made a statement and announced that this number was 6016 according to its own data.
It has been recorded that 37 percent of the homeless live in big cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. In the study, it was stated that half of the homeless people have a migrant background.
The number of homeless people has risen sharply in a year, with the biggest increase among youth, the Salvation Army reported on Monday. The number of homeless people in the Netherlands has increased significantly in one year. In total, the Salvation Army counted 6,016 homeless last summer. In the summer of 2021, this involved 4,876 people. This means an increase of 23 percent. The number of homeless between the ages of 18-22 increased by 50 percent compared to the summer of last year and increased by 108 people.
It was stated that the homeless people who live illegally in the country and do not apply to the aid organization are not included in these figures.
People on welfare can now receive up to 1,200 euros in donations
The rules for people on welfare are being relaxed. From now on they may receive donations up to an amount of 1,200 euros per year, without their benefit being reduced.
The relaxed rule is part of a package of measures with which the cabinet wants to take the sharp edges off the so-called Participation Act. These measures must take effect on 1 July 2024.
In addition to the greater exemption for donations, it will become easier to go to work from social assistance and there will be more opportunities for providing informal care. Responsible Minister Carola Schouten (Poverty Reduction) wants these adjustments to focus on “not rules, but people”.
“It is important that everyone can participate,” says the minister. “Preferably through work. For those who are unable to do so, there must be a good safety net.”
Schouten said earlier that the Participation Act does indeed provide such a safety net, but that the strict rules do not always work out as intended in practice.
Slavery apology splits Netherlands in two
About half of Dutch people oppose an official apology for the country’s history of slavery.
According to a survey by public broadcaster NOS, 55 percent did not want the Dutch government to apologize for their history of slavery last year, compared to 49 percent this year.
Although the rate of those who want an apology has increased from 31 percent last year to 38 percent this year, it is noteworthy that nearly half of the Dutch do not support the government’s apology.
According to the research, most of those who support an apology are from immigrant backgrounds, two-thirds of Surinamese support an apology.
Armand Zunder, Chairman of the Suriname National Recovery Commission (NRCS), commented on the government’s apology attempt, “This is a one-sided Dutch policy that risks failing.”
Zunder stated that the risk in question was “not accepting the apology”. Emphasizing that the scope of the apology and why it was made should be clearer, Zunder said, “We do not understand and do not approve of this hasty attitude of the Dutch.”
THE NETHERLANDS WILL MAKE OFFICIAL APPOINTMENT ON DECEMBER 19
The Dutch government will issue a formal apology in 8 locations worldwide on December 19 for the country’s history of slavery.
According to the news in the public broadcaster NOS, the government announced that 7 ministers will attend the ceremonies to be held on December 19 on Suriname and the Dutch three islands in the Caribbean and the islands in the former colonial region for the official apology ceremony for the country’s history of slavery.
It was stated that in the regions where the ministers went, Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s apology speeches in The Hague will express the sadness and regret over the country’s history of slavery.
Accordingly, Minister of Law Protection Frank Weerwind’s capital city of Suriname is Parambino, Minister of State for Immigration Van der Burg is Aruba, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Karien van Gennip is Bonaire, Minister of State for Royal Relations Alexandra van Huffelen is Kuraçao. It was noted that Minister of Finance Marnix van Rij will speak at the ceremonies to be held on Sint Eustatius, Minister of State for Welfare and Sports Maarten van Oooijen will speak at the ceremonies in Saba, and Minister of Health Ernst Kuipers on Sint Marteen Island.
In the news, it was pointed out that the official apology at the state level would not give the right to direct compensation to the victims of slavery and their relatives, while it was emphasized that the government would provide 200 million Euros of funding to raise awareness about the history of slavery.
The news also stated that a budget of 27 million euros would be allocated for the establishment of a slavery museum.
In recent years, major cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, as well as institutions such as the Dutch Central Bank and ABN Amro, have also announced that they have apologized for their role in the history of slavery.
In the Netherlands, 2023 is expected to be declared a “slavery commemoration year” as it marks the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery.
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