Local elections 2018: latest news on the last day of campaigning

It’s World Happiness Day and nine in 10 Dutch adults say they are

One in seven councillors quits early According to BNR radio, one in seven of the 1,300 local councillors elected in 2014 quit before their term in office was up. Most left because being a councillor took too much time, others were offered a job which made it impossible to do both, had a political difference of opinion with their fellow party members or had health issues. Fewer women on the right Research by the Volkskrant suggests that the more right wing a political party actually is, the fewer women it has on its election list. And the pro-animal PvdD is the only party to have more women than men as candidates. Bottom of the list is the fundamentalist Protestant SGP, which considers women should not vote anyway.    More >

Dutch Marine Corps staff quit elite unit

It’s World Happiness Day and nine in 10 Dutch adults say they are Dutch Marine Corps staff are quitting in droves, leaving the elite unit's existence in doubt, the Volkskrant reported on Tuesday. According to figures which will be presented to parliament later this week, some 73 marines, petty officers and officers decided to leave due to other reasons than retirement in the first quarter of this year alone. This is three times as many as in previous years, the paper writes. The staff’s main gripe is a projected move from the centrally located Doorn to Vlissingen in Zeeland in 2022. Marine Corps advisory board chairman Bert de Wakker says many partners of the staff members fear they won’t find work in Vlissingen and that they won’t be able to sell their homes there. The new base also lacks facilities such as adequate shooting ranges and fly paths and that will mean the marines who are already away from home for six months of the year will have to travel to other sites. Capacity ‘This will seriously affect the fighting capacity of this country,’ Van Wakker told the paper. The elite navy troops are part of the Dutch special forces which operate in Afghanistan and Mali and train military personnel on the ground. ‘They will also come into action if there is a terrorist attack in this country and it is really vital we keep this force intact,’ chairman Jean Debie of the military union VBM is quoted as saying. A navy spokesman told the paper  ‘Vlissingen’ can be the final push towards finding another job ‘but the navy is now investigating whether this is the main reason for leaving.'  More >

Nine in ten Dutch adults are happy

It’s World Happiness Day and nine in 10 Dutch adults say they are Almost nine in ten Dutch adults qualify themselves as ‘happy’, according to figures from national statistics office CBS. The results, published on the International Day of Happiness, are based on a poll conducted in 2017 in which over 7,000 respondents rated their happiness on a scale of 1 to 10. Happiness started with a score of 7 or higher while 5 or 6 indicated neither happy nor unhappy. Despondent respondents gave their lives a score of between 1 to 4. The latter category accounted for 3%. According to the CBS findings, people in work and with good qualifications are happier than people who are unemployed and unskilled. The CBS said it is not possible on the basis of this poll to say if happy people are oftener in work or that having a job makes people happy, or that both are the result of other factors. 'Perhaps all three are true,’ the CBS writes. The most important causes for happiness are good health and a social network, the statistics office said. The Netherlands recently came sixth in the UN World Happiness Report which rates caring, freedom, generosity, health, income and good governance. According to the survey Finland has the happiest citizens. Burundi came last.  More >

'NL 4th most attractive high-tech centre'

It’s World Happiness Day and nine in 10 Dutch adults say they are Commercial property services group Cushman & Wakefield said on Tuesday the Netherlands is the fourth most attractive centre for high-tech companies in its annual Manufacturing Risk Index, which looks at 42 countries worldwide. ‘The fact that the Netherlands is so high in the list is largely due to the development of several knowledge centres and campuses where R&D goes hand-in-hand with concrete high-tech production industry,’ said Jan Verhhaegh, head of Cushman & Wakefield Industrial. ‘A prime example of this is the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven combined with the new Brainport Industries Campus. In Leiden there is the similar Bio Science park and Delft has its High Tech Campus and Betafactory,’ he said. The Netherlands scored only 34th in C&W’s list of traditional production countries, which is dominated by Eastern Europe and Asia.   More >

NIBC bosses get bonus for staying 4 years

It’s World Happiness Day and nine in 10 Dutch adults say they are The IPO of NIBC last Friday is proving to be very lucrative for the merchant bank’s top executives, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Tuesday. The three members of NIBC’s management board are to be awarded stock bonuses each worth more than €1m for staying with the bank for four years. The bonus amounts to 180% of their fixed gross salaries. In addition, three members of the bank’s executive committee – one layer lower than the top – are to receive bonuses for remaining with NIBC amounting to 165% of their pay package. Given the furore stoked earlier this month by the proposal of ING to raise its CEO Ralph Hamers’s remuneration by 50% to €3m, this is a bold move, the FD said. High remuneration in the banking sector is a ‘hyper-touchy’ subject, the paper added. An NIBC spokesman said the move was made to ensure the long-term stability of the bank. Yet the contracts of all three of the top executives have some time to run, the paper points out.  More >