Man critically injured after 'gang warfare' shoot-out in Amsterdam

One man is critically injured and another two are wounded after a gunman opened fire on a group drinking in a café in Amsterdam late on Thursday night. The Parool named the seriously wounded man as ‘Saqib’, a man of Pakistani origin thought to be active in the criminal world. It claims that the shooting was apparently an assassination attempt. The attack happened in the Today café, formerly a coffeeshop, in De Pijp and the gunman escaped without being identified, in a Volkswagen Caddy. A second injured man in his twenties was reportedly shot in the upper leg and a third victim – apparently in his fifties – in his arm. Criminality Gerald Roethof, a lawyer whose office is yards away, told the Parool that he heard seven gunshots. ‘It sounded like shots from a semi-automatic pistol…The seriously injured man in his late thirties was shot in the chest and maybe also in the stomach.’ The lawyer claimed that he called an ambulance three times but it took 10 minutes for help to arrive. The suspected get-away vehicle was discovered burnt out on Thursday night. According to The Parool, the violence is thought to be connected to gang warfare. Femke Halsema, who started her tenure of mayor of Amsterdam by pledging to tackle criminality, told NOS Journaal that the incident showed that there is a major problem. ‘I have been informed by the police and prosecutors that an investigation is underway,’ she said. ‘But it illustrates in an awful way that serious criminality is too dominant in our city, and this is unacceptable.’ Strafpleiter Gerald Roethof houdt kantoor om de hoek bij poging liquidatie in de Pijp. Interview is in meerdere delen. Batterij op straks meer — Jens Olde Kalter (@JensOldeKalter) July 12, 2018   More >

€100m to combat drugs and organised crime

The Dutch government is investing €100m in operations to crack down on illegal drugs trade and organised crime. Justice minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus announced more details on the coalition government measure in a parliamentary briefing on Thursday. Most of the money – €85m – will be distributed to regional organisations, and the rest will be spent on national action. Criminals are thought to reap the most cash from producing synthetic drugs, cannabis and transporting heroine and cocaine. ‘Organised criminality undermines society,’ the report acknowledges. Cash not chat Mayors told the Volkskrant on Friday that they supported the new drive. Jan Boelhouwer, mayor of Gilze and Rijen, said: ‘Making this budget available is above all an acknowledgement of the problem. We have been working on this for some time and believe that Brabant will come up with a good plan.’ The mayor of Almelo, Arjen Gerritsen, reportedly pointed out that they don’t need any more workshops, information points or symposiums. ‘The point is to get money to individual municipalities now so that they can invest in their legal and administrative capabilities,’ he told the Volkskrant.  More >

Boskalis wins $65m order

Dredging and marine services group Boskalis has won a $65m logistical management transport order, the company said on Friday. The contract is to transport a large number of modules from a fabrication yard in Asia to a plant being developed in North America. It will tie up two high-end, open-stern heavy transport vessels for approximately 475 vessel days in late 2019. In addition, the Papendrecht-based company has had a letter of intent from Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering for the transport and float-over installation of a topside for the Bokor Central Processing Platform Phase 3 redevelopment project in Malaysia. The topside will be constructed by its yard in Malaysia and will be skidded onto an open-stern heavy transport vessel. For the purpose of this project, an existing vessel will be modified and become dynamic positioning compliant, allowing it to work in close proximity to offshore structures. The project is due to be carried out in 2020.  More >

Don’t keep on truckin’: break warning

The Dutch transport inspectorate has fined 103 lorry drivers this year for failing to take proper breaks. Since the beginning of this year, there has been a European requirement that they do not take their prescribed weekly rest in their vehicles. They need a daily rest period of 11 hours and weekly rest period of 45 hours, but this may only be taken in the lorry if it has a suitable bed and is stationary. But on Friday, the ILT authority revealed that some drivers were not doing this, with potential implications for their own health and road safety. Work conditions It started informing drivers of the ruling in January, it says, with materials in different languages, checks began in February and then the rule was enforced. ‘The inspectorate is also in talks with the transport sector, transport authority Rijkswaterstaat and the association of Dutch municipalities to implement the ban on vehicle rest,’ it explained in a press release. ‘By pulling together, [it] wants to focus attention on the working conditions of mainly eastern European drivers. They are often away from home for a long time and spend their weekends in their vehicles in Dutch parking areas.’  More >

Air France and KLM staff: no govt meddling

Staffers and unions of Air France KLM have told the French government they want no interference in the alliance's problems. Otherwise, they said, the Franco-Dutch carrier will suffer the same fate as Alitalia, Sabena, Malev and other European airlines which were toppled by government intervention. In an open letter to French president Emmanuel Macron they said the French state, which has a 14% stake in Air France KLM, should not get involved in the search for a new CEO, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday. The letter was published in French business journal La Tribune. Among those signing it were Steven Verhagen, former president of the Dutch pilots union VNV, and Rob Swankhuizen of Dutch airline technicians union NVLT. The airline is seeking a replacement for Jean-Marc Janaillac who stepped down in May after losing support of Air France personnel. The CEO serves as head of both Air France KLM and Air France itself. Strikes It has been a turbulent period for the dominant French partner, which has lost at least €400m due to strikes which have afflicted the airline the beginning of the year. KLM has had a good year, outpacing Air France in revenues. The next CEO of Air France will be the allied airlines' fourth in five years. So far, the French have yet to come up with a suitable candidate for the post. Critics say that in itself is one of the chief reasons for the downturn at Air France. The open letter said the future CEO must possess both charisma and experience in the airline industry. French business magazine challenges  said earlier this week that KLM president Pieter Elbers is eminently suitable for the job. The journal added that Elbers would have the support of Air France management.  More >

Amsterdam's new mayor Halsema sworn in

Femke Halsema was sworn in as the new mayor of Amsterdam on Thursday, acknowledging the legacy of late mayor Eberhard van der Laan and pledging to deal with the growing city's challenges but keep its sense of freedom. After thanking the crowd for the trust placed in her, she added Van der Laan's pledge of eight years ago: 'Trust is a gift, never an entitlement, and you should always be grateful for it. I am indeed grateful, and I know I must prove myself worthy of this trust every day for the next six years.' By 2025, she said, the 750-year-old city's population will have grown by 70,000, plus an expected 29 million tourists and day-trippers - a third more than this year. She added that the 'international village' is becoming a metropolis, and with that come growing pains. Pressure 'This growth spurt may produce growing pains, put our relationships under pressure, and affect the essence of our city. By the essence of the city, I don’t mean the self-assurance, the humour, or the typical Amsterdam torrents of abuse… like when you’re cycling on the pavement and – totally by accident, of course – you knock someone flying. 'And neither do I mean the constant roadworks, the traffic jams...the irritations about parking... or the endless discussions we have about such momentous issues as the cycle tunnel under the Rijksmuseum...The essence of Amsterdam is the promise of freedom.' She pledged to defend this freedom, while combating crime, listening to sometimes-ignored Amsterdammers in less prosperous areas, and protecting minorities. Van der Laan, the last permanent mayor, died from lung cancer last October, aged 62.  More >