Amsterdam news summary | October 2018

Written by on 03/11/2018

There’s a big stir caused by Groenlinks’ submission to remove the iconic Iamsterdam letters from Museumplein. The largest party on the city council believe that the marketing slogan sits incongruously against the city backdrop, but also that ‘Iamsterdam stands for individualism while we want a city which stands for solidarity and diversity.’ The letters have been used in marketing Amsterdam since 2014. Since this became public, there has been an minor outcry at the potential loss of the letters, with a small demonstration taking place on Museumplein.

The trustees who are settling the bankruptcy of the MC Slotervaart hospital, in Amsterdam’s Nieuwe West, are in discussion with at least three possible acquisition candidates. Spokesman Marcel Paapst warned, though, that it’s “a complex organization … we’re in an old building that needs a lot to be done,” and that “a takeover candidate must be able to invest a lot of money”. Unlike most of the other hospitals in Amsterdam, MC Slotervaart was owned by a private healthcare company. MPs and the general public have been critical of the way the hospital group collapsed.

Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema will announce a new prostitution policy in early 2019, after considering suggestions from GroenLinks, D66 and SP, the political parties in the current coalition. It is expected that new prostitution neighbourhoods (outside the historic centre of the city) will relieve the crowded Red Light District.

The University of Amsterdam have condemned the sending of death threats to university professors who wrote a letter to protest the talk by Jordan Peterson on 31 October. Students and professors had requested that the university’s Room for Discussion platform include another speaker to counter Peterson’s arguments, as it is feared he encourages extreme right-wing groups. Despite their condemnation of the death threats, the university defended the event as demonstrating free speech and enabling a diversity of views. The talk went ahead as planned. [See the thread below for reactions. ]

Amsterdam’s electric tram museum is extending its service till the end of November following completion of building works in Amsterdam. However its future is still in doubt due to city plans to build housing in places along the old tram lines used by the musuem. They have a link to a petition on their website, museumtramlijn.org.

NB Loads more happened in Amsterdam this month, obvs, but we’ve been a bit busy so we haven’t shared so many news stories this month. Want to help us share the news? We’re looking for volunteer news correspondents for online and radio. Get in touch with us at info@broadcastamsterdam.nl.

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Sources: Het Parool / AT5 / NLtimes.nl / Dutchnews.nl.

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