Dutch foreign minister to testify on discrimination
Dutch Data Protection Authority; He invited Foreign Minister Hoekstra to discuss the racist algorithm used in Schengen visa applications.
The Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) invited Foreign Minister Hoekstra to meet with him to explain the algorithm used in the evaluation of Schengen visa applications, which encourages discrimination.
According to the news of NRC Dagblad newspaper; Foreign Minister Woepke Hoekstra was summoned to personally make a statement to the Dutch Data Protection Authority regarding the application.
“Official consultation will take place”
Making a statement to the newspaper, the EP spokesperson stated that several meetings were held with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the past year, and then they requested documents from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Now we have invited the Minister,” the spokesperson said. He said and shared the information that it was “obligatory” for the Minister to come to this meeting.
A spokesperson from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to the newspaper that the AP had requested additional information “on the necessity and proportionality of data processing” in visa procedures. The spokesperson said there would be “official consultation”.
Research result: Algorithm still in use
The research, conducted by Lighthouse Reports in partnership with the NRC newspaper, noted that the Netherlands has been evaluating Schengen visa applications since 2015 using a racist algorithm, secretly and possibly illegally.
In the research; It was stated that the applicants for the Schengen visa are subjected to different evaluations according to the “risk profile”, which algorithms are created based on their gender, age and nationality. According to March 2023 data, it was revealed that 33 percent of visa applications considered as “high risk profile” were rejected, and the visa evaluation period for those in the said category took months, although the visa evaluation period was normally 90 days.
In the research, it was stated that although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs promised to make changes in the existing visa evaluation system based on discriminatory algorithms last year, no changes were made, and it was pointed out that the said system is still used by the Ministry.
Foreign Minister said they would eradicate racism
An independent investigation, the results of which were announced in December 2022, revealed that racism was widespread in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The report of the independent investigation conducted at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the “Black Lives Matter” protests, at the request of ministry officials, said that racism in the ministry “ranging from being aggressive, direct, overt, conscious to being subtle, indirect, covert, unintentional or unconscious; bicultural workers and white It was stated that non-local workers were exposed to forms of racism.
In his statement on the report, Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra noted that the incidents of racism were “extra painful because all forms of discrimination are prohibited and they advocate international justice,” adding, “We will do everything we can to eliminate racism within our institution.” had evaluated.
Inflation continues to rise in the Netherlands
CBS leading data show that inflation values, which entered a downward trend at the beginning of this year, started to rise again in April and May.
The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) announced the leading inflation data for May. Accordingly, inflation increased compared to April, especially since there was no expected decrease in energy prices. According to CBS data, tobacco and tobacco products and food and beverage prices increased the most in May. Industrial products have also been raised.
Inflation reached 6.1 percent last month, according to CBS leading data. Annual inflation, which was 4.4 percent in March, unexpectedly rose to 5.2 percent in April. The highest inflation rate in the last year was 14.5 percent in September last year.
The average price increase of products in supermarkets was 13.2 percent in April and 12.8 percent in May. The prices of industrial goods, which increased by 8.3 percent in April, increased by 8.9 percent in May.
Energy, including fuel, experienced a price decrease of over 22 percent in April, while a decrease of 18.5 percent was experienced in May. Prices in the services sector, on the other hand, became 6.1 percent more expensive after a 6 percent price increase a month ago.
Complaints related to memory and concentration increased in the Netherlands after the pandemic
A study conducted with adults in the Netherlands revealed that those with memory and concentration problems increased after corona.
More adults with memory and concentration problems have had to see their family doctor this year, according to a large-scale study by the RIVM and the Netherlands Institute for Health Research (Nivel) on the effects of the corona pandemic.
In the first quarter of 2023, there was an increase in the number of applicants to family physicians due to cognitive problems, especially between the ages of 45-74. That number is 40 percent more than adults seeking help with similar problems at the beginning of 2019.
In the statement made about the research, it was stated that under normal conditions, people in this age group applied to their family physicians much less because of this disease, but the situation changed after the pandemic.
Michel Duckers, professor of crisis, safety and health in Groningen and head of the research group for the RIVM and Nivel, said the developments were alarming.
“We still don’t know much about the long-term effects, but the impression is starting to form that the pandemic could lead to significant ‘accelerated aging’,” Dückers said. said.
According to the results of the research, only people over the age of 45 do not experience cognitive decline. 31 percent of people aged 25 to 44 refer more to their family doctor because of memory problems. This rate is 18 percent for people aged 75 and over. On the other hand, the number of people who apply to a doctor is lower in young people (under 25 years old).
Although the increase in cognitive problems has not been officially proven to be due to corona, researchers think that more information is available about the consequences of the corona pandemic, and this result is in line with the picture. How the Corona virus causes all these problems is still not completely understood.
Post-pandemic cases are higher than flu
One possible explanation for this situation is that the measures taken against Covid-19 may have led to a rapid regression of people who initially had memory and concentration problems.
According to research leader Dückers, this may also be due to some people experiencing “long-term Covid” following a Covid-19 infection. The professor pointed out several studies that showed that memory and concentration problems are very common in the case of “long Covid”, and noted that other infectious diseases such as flu can also cause such symptoms.
In addition, experts draw attention to multiple scientific studies that indicate that long-term memory and concentration problems after Covid-19 infection are more common than after flu.
New regulation coming to withdraw cash and access to ATMs in the Netherlands
The Minister of Finance is preparing a new draft law in the Netherlands to ease access to ATMs and to remove the surcharge when withdrawing or depositing cash.
Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag announced that he is working on a bill that will make cash withdrawals and deposits free. The new legislation concerns individual persons. The law will also include the article on the protection of the number of ATMs in the Netherlands.
The law, which Minister Kaag is working on, will replace existing non-binding agreements with Dutch banks. The Minister states that existing agreements are implemented on a voluntary basis, but this must be determined by law.
Withdrawing or depositing cash should be free
According to the Finance Minister, recent research shows that 1 in 13 people depend on cash for their life. Minister Kaag stated that the additional fees charged by banks every time money is withdrawn negatively affect this vulnerable group and said, “Access to money is very important. Not everyone can find their way around digital payments. Cash must remain accessible, available and affordable to them.’ made a statement.
Stating that no additional fees should be paid not only when withdrawing money, but also when depositing money, the Minister stated that the new legislation will apply to personal accounts, and that business account holders will continue to pay additional fees, provided that they are not more than what they have already paid.
ATMs must be accessible
Thanks to the new law, not only will cash withdrawals and deposits be free, but also the number of ATMs will increase.
As it is known, in the Netherlands, large banks such as ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank have closed their ATMs in many points on the grounds that their transaction volume has decreased. Instead, yellow ATMs called Geldmaat took their place in the streets.
Minister Kaag wants to prevent more ATMs from disappearing from the streets by law. In this way, everyone will be able to reach an ATM within 5 kilometers.
Cash support from Tilburg Municipality to 150 families receiving social allowance
Tilburg municipality will provide a certain amount of cash each month to 150 families who have received social assistance for two years from next year.
Replicating the pilot project carried out by the municipality of Zaanstad, the municipality of Tilburg decided to provide 150 euros in cash each month to 150 families receiving social allowances next year. The aid will be in the form of a grant and families will be able to spend this aid as they wish.
Tilburg Mayor Esmah Lahlah told Omroep Brabant, “We want to support our citizens in the best way possible so that they can minimize their stress.” made a statement.
Stating that they started this project for trial purposes, the Mayor said that they will examine what effect the additional income will have on families and children.
By law, municipalities cannot directly regulate a person’s income policy. That’s why the Tilburg municipality will deliver the aid to families through an independent foundation fighting poverty called Kansfonds.
Within the scope of the project, researcher Mirre Stallen from Amsterdam Hogeschool will follow both the families concerned and the families who receive social assistance but do not benefit from this assistance, and compare the results.
In the project, which will be carried out for two years, families will be able to spend their 150 euros as they wish. At the end of two years, the monthly grant amount will be gradually reduced until it is reset.
A quarter of children and young people in the Netherlands are overweight, 7 percent are obese
The number of overweight youth among young people in the Netherlands has increased alarmingly in recent years. 7 percent of teenagers are obese.
The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) announced that the weight problem is increasing among young people. According to CBS, 15 percent of children aged 2-25 were overweight in 2014, while that rate has increased to 17 percent by 2022. Among young adults aged 18-25, the proportion of overweight people increased from 21 percent in 2014 to 25 percent in 2022. The proportion of obese youth has remained stable since 2014.
CBS notes that weight problems in children and teens are linked to parental origin and educational level. According to the data; The obesity rate in children under the age of 12 is 3 times higher in families with vocationally trained parents than in families with parents with university or HBO education. On the other hand, overweight problem is more common in children with at least one obese parent.
24 percent of young people aged 2-25 years of origin from non-European countries are overweight, compared to 15 percent of young people of Dutch descent. The rate of overweight among boys and girls is almost the same.
According to CBS, a large proportion of overweight teens don’t get enough exercise. Only 29 percent of young people aged 12-18 who are overweight act according to the guidelines recommended by the Health Board. The Board recommends at least one hour of “moderate-intensity activity” each day, such as cycling and walking, for children up to 12 years old.
The south of the Netherlands steps into summer today: the temperature will rise to 25 degrees
Today, especially in the south, temperatures will rise to 25 degrees. At the weekend, temperatures will hover between 22 and 25 degrees across the country.
According to meteorologists, the southern parts of the country will experience summer heat today. At the weekend, temperatures across the country will hover between 22 and 25 degrees.
In the statement made by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), it was stated that the temperatures will reach 25 degrees in some places, especially in the south of the country on Wednesday.
Today, in the morning hours, a slightly cloudy weather will prevail in the eastern parts and the islands. By noon, temperatures from north to southeast will be between 18 and 25 degrees. The temperature in the Wadden Islands region will be around 15 degrees.
In the evening, light clouding will be seen in the northern parts, but it will be clear weather in general.
Although there will be cloudiness in the morning hours on Thursday, the sun will show itself more towards noon and the temperatures will be around 22 degrees in places.
Sunny days await us on the weekend. Temperatures are expected to hover between 22 and 25 degrees on Saturday.
The far-right politician called out to those who voted for Erdogan in the Netherlands: Goodbye
The far-right leader of the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, shared on his social media account after Erdogan declared his victory in the second round.
Geert Wilders, one of the famous politicians of the Netherlands, shared on his personal Twitter account after the second round elections.
Wilders, who is the leader of the Freedom Party and is on the agenda with his frequent racist statements, criticized the fact that expatriates living in the Netherlands voted for Erdoğan.
Wilders said, “I hope that all Turks who voted for the Islamofascist Erdogan in the Netherlands will now pack their bags and move to Turkey. Bye!” used the phrase.
Wilders, who had a great reaction in the past with his anti-Turkey and anti-Islam statements, had previously criticized Erdogan harshly.
Ik hoop dat alle Turken in Nederland die op de islamofascist #Erdogan hebben gestemd nu hun koffers pakken en naar Turkije verhuizen. Doeiii!
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) May 28, 2023
Warning from ABN Amro in the Netherlands: Set limits on your bank account against scammers!
The number of people defrauded by internet hackers is increasing day by day. ABN Amro warned citizens to take action against these scammers.
Despite daily news about online fraud and warnings from banks, almost a quarter of citizens (23 percent) have not set a card or daily limit on their bank accounts. Experts point out that taking such a security measure can complicate the job of hackers and scammers.
According to a study by Ipsos on behalf of ABN Amro, online crime and fraud are still a major problem facing many citizens.
In the Netherlands, the tendency to protect a computer or mobile phone with extra security software is quite common, although the proportion of those who make some minor changes to protect their bank accounts is low.
Almost 87 percent of computer and smartphone users use a security software on these devices. However, 65 percent use two-step verification for online services such as email, WhatsApp and social media accounts, and 58 percent use the ‘Find My Phone’ feature.
When we look at banking transactions, it is seen that the rates are low. The rate of those who set a limit on their debit card is 65 percent, and the rate of those who set a one-day limit on their bank account is 67 percent.
“Set limit for daily usage and card”
ABN Amro fraud and secure banking project leader Neiske Ritsma told the Telegraaf newspaper that it is a wise method for a person to first set a card and limit for daily use so that bank accounts and cards can be secured.
“Setting a card and daily transaction limit or getting a payment alert can make it harder for internet criminals to get as much money as possible in a short amount of time,” Ritsma said.
Ritsma stated that 72 percent of the citizens are more or less worried about being a victim of online fraud, and that 53 percent of them set both daily usage and card limits, and 80 percent of these people feel more secure.
Ritsma noted that setting a card and daily limit does not restrict the person, on the contrary, it increases their security and that this regulation can always be withdrawn, for example, when a large expenditure is planned.
Climate protest in the Netherlands: 1579 activists in custody for blocking roads
In Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, 1579 people were detained during a protest organized by environmental activists.
In Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, during a protest organized by environmental activists, police detained 1579 climate activists who called for the cessation of fossil fuel use.
Activists blocked traffic in The Hague, the administrative capital of the Netherlands, by blocking the last section of the A12 main road leading to parliament.
The environmental group called “Extinction Rebellion” organized this action to protest the government’s fossil fuel policy. Demonstrators held a sit-in on the street with banners that read “Stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry”, “Be nice to the world” and “Don’t be a fossil, stupid”.
After the venue was declared a no-show zone, the police intervened with water cannons and detained those who did not leave the road. Some activists, who were tied to each other, were separated with iron cutting shears.
Den Haag police, in a statement on Twitter, reported that 1,579 people were detained. In addition, information was shared that a police officer was bitten during the detention of an activist and the injured policeman is being treated.
The Extinction Rebellion group, which had closed the last part of the same road six times before, carried out this action last March 12 and hundreds of people were detained at that time.
Smoking marijuana banned in the center of Amsterdam: 100 euros fine
The use of cannabis is banned on the streets of Amsterdam city center.
For those who do not comply with the ban, the Municipality of Amsterdam, which wants to reduce as much as possible the discomfort caused by tourists who use drugs, especially in public places, has banned cannabis smoking in the city center.
The ban, which took effect on Thursday, is valid in the Red Light District, Dam Square, Damrak and Nieuwmarkt, which are popular tourist destinations.
Persons found to be using cannabis in public in these areas will be warned once by the police and Civil Control Officers (boa), and those who do not comply will be fined 100 euros.
The ban is for both tourists and citizens residing in this region, but those sitting on the terraces of cafes selling cannabis in the city center (Coffeeshop) will be exempted from this ban.
Dutch and English warning signs were posted in the areas where the ban was applied.
The ban on the use of cannabis in public is actually a “Stay away!” part of the campaign. In this region, where alcohol consumption has been prohibited for a long time, restrictions are applied to the sale of alcohol in shops or cafeterias. a penalty will be given.