Banks in the Netherlands have closed 93 percent of their branches since 2001
In the early 2000s, there were still 6,100 bank branches in the Netherlands. According to the news of RTL Nieuws, there are now around 320 bank branches.
Rabobank still had 335 branches at the beginning of 2020, now it operates with 136 branches. ING decreased 170 bank branches to 57. ABN Amro has only 27 bank branches in the country. You can find ABN Amro branches in only 6 of 12 different Dutch cities.
ING spokesman Albert Opoku told the broadcaster that the number of ING branch visits has decreased by almost 80 percent in the last four years. ING stated that they foresee a further decrease in the number of branches in the coming years.
ABN Amro spokesperson Hans-Sjouke Koopal said the number of customers visiting a branch dropped by almost 50 percent between January 2021 and October 2022. He added that some branches receive only five or six visitors a day.
SNS, which is considerably smaller than ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank, is by far the bank with the largest number of bank branches with over 200 branches.
Counterfeit currency circulation increased in the Netherlands
More counterfeit euro notes were seized in the Netherlands in 2022 than in the previous year. DNB states that two-thirds of these notes are bad imitations.
Although 50 euro banknotes have been the most frequently counterfeited internationally in recent years, the majority of counterfeit money seized in the Netherlands consists of 100 and 200 euro banknotes. The number of counterfeit coins seized in 2022 increased compared to the previous year. According to De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the vast majority of counterfeit money consists of badly forged banknotes.
According to the information obtained, 38,200 counterfeit euro banknotes were seized last year, increasing by 47 percent compared to the previous year.
According to the DNB, there are currently 29 billion euro banknotes in circulation, and the chances of finding counterfeit ones in such high amounts are very low. However, the institution, which recently stated that most of the counterfeit money is of bad quality, states that they are noticed more quickly in this way.
In 2020 and 2021, when the corona pandemic was experienced in the Netherlands, the number of counterfeit banknotes was much lower than in previous years. The main reason for this is that citizens prefer the contactless payment option to go out less and prevent the risk of contamination. The number of counterfeit money seized in 2019 was around 39 thousand.
Badly forged banknotes
The DNB states that the counterfeit notes seized last year are of very poor quality and only forge some of the security features of an original note. The bank states that this makes it easier to spot counterfeit money. According to the DNB, nearly two-thirds of the counterfeit notes seized last year were of very poor quality.
Detecting counterfeit money
Some parts of the coin must be carefully examined to determine if a banknote is counterfeit, albeit low in quality.
Counterfeit coins often lack security features such as watermarks and holograms. Apart from the manual touch examination, it is also possible to check whether the DNB is fake through an application used on smartphones.
Warning not to use Emtea, the slimming tea sold on social media in the Netherlands
NVWA; He warned that the slimming tea Emtea, which contains dangerous substances for human health, should not be used.
Dutch Food and Consumer Safety Authority NVWA warned that Emtea tea, which is used for weight loss, contains substances dangerous for health and should definitely not be used.
Speaking to NPO Radio 1 about the teas in question, NVWA official Martin Kooijman said, “It is stated on the label that it contains very natural and harmless substances, but we are receiving reports that people who use these products have problems with anxiety, high pulse and high blood pressure.” said.
Emtea slimming tea looks like an ordinary tea bag and although it appears to be natural and green plants on the outside, it actually contains harmful substances. Kooijman stated that those who use this tea are playing with their own health, and that it actually contains a substance called “sibutramine”, which was removed from the European market in 2010.
The sale of sibutramine, which was previously used as a drug, was stopped by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2010. Studies have shown that 10-30 percent of ‘healthy’ people who use sibutramine (10-30 mg/day) develop complaints of dizziness, insomnia and dry mouth. In addition, excessive use is suspected to have strong cardiac effects.
It is stated that teas are usually sold through social media platforms Facebook or SnapChat. Kooijman, who stated that it was understood that it was also sold through Markplaats, added: “Another thing that surprises us is that it is spreading by word of mouth.” said. The NVWA official stated that an investigation has been initiated on this issue.
One person died
In a warning made in 2016, it was stated that the use of Emtea slimming teas is popular among Turks. In the same year, a young woman died of a heart attack due to the slimming tea she used. Side Effects Center Lareb and NVIC (poisoning information center) institutions, on the other hand, announced that the complaints of people who experienced serious side effects such as “fear, high heartbeat, high blood pressure, nausea and dizziness” increased.
In the same period, NVWA, which published a statement in Turkish about the teas that were stated to be used especially among Turks, drew attention to the fact that this product was sold by vendors going door to door outside of social media.
In 2017, two people who were selling these teas on social media platforms were detained.
Netherlands seeks solutions to staff shortage at Schipol airport
Schiphol Airport is expecting more than 1,300 visitors to the job fair it will hold at the airport today to recruit much-needed additional personnel.
Around 50 employers, including large handling companies such as Swissport and Aviapartner, will attend the event and provide information about open positions. Those wishing to attend the job fair can register in advance.
During the busy May holidays and summer season Schiphol may have to limit the number of daily departures. Because the airport still lacks hundreds of employees.
Last month, Schiphol hinted that the restrictions would no longer be necessary after March if the targeted number of staff were recruited. The passenger limit has been in effect since July last year. This practice was initiated due to the shortage of security personnel in Schiphol. From the May holiday this resulted in long queues, sometimes extending beyond the departure hall.
Applications that those who will give birth in the Netherlands should know
It is recommended that you make an appointment with a midwife or obstetrician as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.
In general, pregnant women in the Netherlands are able to visit their midwife / obstetrician every four weeks during the first half of their pregnancy. Usually, the number of appointments increases towards the end of pregnancy.
Dutch health insurance companies usually only reimburse two of the ultrasounds. You can have your first ultrasound exam around week 10 (termijnecho) of your pregnancy, and the second around week 20 (20-wekenecho).
For a long time, home birth was a popular option for pregnant women in the Netherlands, but the number of home births is decreasing. Besides giving birth at home, you can also deliver your baby in a birth center or hospital. You can make the decision that suits you best in consultation with your doctor.
The Netherlands takes great pride in its postnatal care system. In the Netherlands, postpartum care is called “kraamzorg” and is country-specific. A kraamzorg nurse checks on you and your baby every day and also takes care of basic household chores. Legally, you are entitled to kraamzorg for a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 80 hours.
After giving birth, you must register your child with the municipal civil affairs department in the local municipality. You must do this within three days of your child’s birth. A birth certificate will then be issued for your child.
If you have a job in the Netherlands and are pregnant, you are legally entitled to at least 16 weeks of paid maternity leave (6 weeks zwangerschapsverlof, 10 weeks)
bevallingsverlof). Partners of mothers who have just given birth are legally entitled to one working week of paid leave (geboorteverlof). From 1 July 2020, mothers’ spouses can receive an additional 5 weeks of aanvullend geboorteverlof. It is free.
Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) selected the Netherlands’ favorite train stations in a survey of train passengers in 2022
NS surveyed 85,000 NS passengers in the favorite train stations survey.
NS noted that general appreciation and satisfaction with stations in the Netherlands has increased each year for the past seven years.
Limburg topped the list of Dutch train stations. While Dutch train stations in general got a pretty respectable score, the survey also revealed the country’s favorite stations. While everyone expected one of the flashy stations in cities like Rotterdam or Utrecht to take the top spot, the three top-rated stations were found to be in much more rural areas.
Klimmen-Ransdaal, which is number one as the most popular station in the Netherlands, scored 8.3 out of 10. The station has only two platforms and is quite small; but travelers appreciate its hilly surroundings, historic building dating back to 1913 with a restaurant and outdoor terrace overlooking the bays.
Among the largest train stations in the Netherlands, Rotterdam Centraal took the sixth place with 8 points out of 10. It was the only city station in the top 10. According to NS, passengers complimented the station for being “nice, clean and well laid out”.
Delft and Utrecht Centraal also performed well, scoring 7.8 points above average. Amsterdam Centraal scored 7.5 out of 10, Amsterdam Lelylaan got the lowest score (6.3).
Amsterdam Lelylaan is definitely not the lowest rated station in the Netherlands. That title went to Lage Zwaluwe, which NS said had an “inadequate” rating of just 5.2.
Here are the top 10 train stations according to travelers:
1. Klimmen-Ransdaal (8.3)
2. Schuin op Geul (8,2)
3. Valkenburg (8.1)
4. Mantfum (8.1)
5. Oosterbeek (8.0)
6. Rotterdam Central (8.0)
7. Gramsbergen (8.0)
8. Santpoortzuid (8.0)
9. Feanwalden (8.0)
10. Houthel-St.Gerlach (8.0)
Buy 1 ticket and get 1 free ticket for cultural activities in Amsterdam
Authorities in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, launched the ‘buy 1 ticket get 1 free’ program throughout February to attract people to the local cultural scene.
According to the application, when you buy a ticket to a cinema, theater, concert or 60 other cultural venues, you will also be given a gift. This campaign even includes museums like the Moco Museum, De Duif church building, Cinema de Vlugt, DeLaMar and more.
It has been announced that this process has been launched to help strengthen the art sector during the post-Covid recovery period and the cost of living crisis, and to encourage more people to go out and experience the culture.
Art lovers need to get the free 1+1 gift coupon booklet in order to benefit from this unique campaign.
The booklet will be available at cultural venues, cafes and the I amsterdam shop in the city. The booklet will also be available in a downloadable format. In the booklet, art lovers will be able to find a coupon or code to get their free tickets.
– Get the booklet in the city or download it from the I amsterdam website,
– Choose your favorite show or event from over 60 offers
– Bring the coupon to your destination and get the 2nd ticket for free or buy your tickets online in advance.
Enjoy the month of February!
Weight loss pill, banned in the Netherlands, caused brain hemorrhage
It has been confirmed that a woman in her 40s, who used weight loss pills, which is prohibited for sale in the Netherlands, had a brain hemorrhage.
A woman who used a weight loss pill called Iomax, which was banned in October 2022, was hospitalized as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage. According to the latest statement from the Dutch Food and Consumer Safety Authority NVWA, a total of 4 people in Den Haag and Rotterdam were detained for selling banned lomax pills.
The product called Iomax, which is illegally sold on online platforms in the Netherlands, is used by people who want to lose weight or gain extra energy.
A study by Lareb found high amounts of amphetamine and caffeine in the pills. High amounts of amphetamine and caffeine increase blood pressure in the space between the brain and skull and can cause bleeding. Authorities; He warned that even with just one tablet, side effects such as palpitations, chest pain, nausea, headache and hyperactivity can occur.
The Dutch produce about six million souvenir clogs each year
According to the records of historians, wooden shoes, which date back to the 1200s, appear as a very important part of Dutch culture.
These clogs, called Clog or Klompen, are made of willow wood and are kept in water for days to keep them waterproof.
These special clogs, which contain pictures, motifs and social symbols, attract a lot of attention from tourists from all over the world.
Some city buses are banned from entering the city in Amsterdam
Tour buses weighing 7.5 tons or more are prohibited from entering the city center in Amsterdam.
These tour buses will not be able to enter the S100 ring road around the city center from 1 January 2024. It has been announced that these buses can park on the edges of the city and tourists can continue their journeys by public transport from here.
City councilor Melanie van der Horst said: “Tour buses are useful for transporting school classrooms or the elderly to cultural sites in the city. However, 300 to 450 buses a day is too much for the centre, where there is very little space. We will put an end to that starting next year.” she said.
According to the municipality, the large tour buses cause problems for the locals. It clogs narrow streets and makes traffic less safe for cyclists and pedestrians. They are too heavy for bridges and docks and emit a lot of noxious gas while waiting for passengers with their engines running.
In order not to carry these problems to other parts of the city, Amsterdam is working on extra pickup and drop-off points and improving existing ones. “We are also working on good parking spaces at stations where visitors can go to the city center by public transport,” the city said in a statement.
There will be some exceptions to the ban. The municipality will continue to allow tour buses on Weesperstraat, Valkenburgerstraaat and Kattenburgerstraat, where many cultural institutions are located. Large buses that transport schoolchildren, the elderly, the disabled or artists to areas of art, education or culture can also apply for exemption.
The Netherlands ranks 9th among the world’s most powerful democracies
The Netherlands is once again among the most powerful democracies in the world, ranking ninth in the 2022 edition of the Democracy Index.
The Netherlands has moved up two places in the list prepared by The Economist almost every year since 2006. The Netherlands has never fallen below 12th place. Its highest rank so far was third place, the first year the Democracy Index was published.
Norway retained its first place for the 13th time in a row. New Zealand, which has always been in the top three, retained its second place. Iceland moved up from fifth to third, while Sweden retained its fourth place, and Finland dropped two places to fifth.
Thailand showed the biggest improvement, moving up from 74th to 57th. The sharpest drop was Russia, which fell from 132nd to 154th, achieving its worst ranking ever.
The country with the worst ranking among 167 countries on the list was Afghanistan, which was in the same position last year. Myanmar and North Korea followed again.
Each country on the list is evaluated on multiple indicators, followed by a score out of 10 in the electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties categories.