0691-Nijmegen – heat wave

terrassen in de natuur bij nijmegen


Pinksteren in Nijmegen


0690-Corona virus & KLM pilots

KLM pilots consider it unjustified that it is stipulated without any participation that they must return a minimum of 20 percent salary. They want the ailing aviation company to renegotiate with Minister Wopke Hoekstra.

Foto ter illustratie.

The politic world in The Hague is not impressed, however. It was the most striking condition that the cabinet attached in June to the EUR 3.4 billion emergency package for KLM: in order to keep its head above water and remain competitive in the future, KLM must cut costs by 15 percent. Part of this cutback is a “substantial contribution” from the staff, whereby the “strongest shoulders bear the heaviest burdens”, Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra wrote to the House of Representatives. And then came those two crucial sentences about which the storm has not yet died down: ,, This means that the employees who earn at least three times an average income must sacrifice at least 20 percent on their working conditions. Wages from modal are subject to lower percentages, rising linearly to 20 percent.”

A “dictation”, the unions snarled, who believe that the government overrides labor law by forcing wage cuts. Because of the hard lower limit of 20 percent, Hoekstra believes that this would undermine their legally enshrined position as a negotiating partner at the collective labor agreement tables. It is not even controversial that the personnel make a contribution in the form of a wage sacrifice. But that Hoekstra and KLM have already agreed exactly how much must be returned. And they shouldn’t, they think. Hoekstra has so far not been a juggler. After all, the European Commission has approved the aid package for KLM, including the conditions that have been imposed. In short, according to him there is no dirt in the air.

Another bow
KLM pilots united in the Air France-KLM Pilots Share Foundation (SPAAK) are now taking a different approach. They have a 2.51 percent interest in the parent company and have now asked the board of directors of Air France-KLM as a shareholder. In a letter, they state that KLM will not be able to comply with the “precisely prescribed reduction of working conditions”, because that condition is contrary to “international labor law”. SPAAK therefore wants the group to renegotiate the conditions. That appeal does not seem very promising. “It is up to KLM and the unions to agree on the exact details,” the Ministry of Finance says. In the House of Representatives, the pilots can count on little understanding. CDA MP Jaco Geurts, a party member of Hoekstra, does not want to know about renegotiations. “For the future of KLM, Schiphol and the Netherlands, a support package has been made with clear agreements. In this way, many jobs can be saved. Serious that KLM pilots are risking such a thing, ”he says.

Tax money
It is also clear for PvdA MP Henk Nijboer that the pilots hand in. ,, It cannot be the case that thousands of employees, such as ground and cabin crew, are fired and pilots do not contribute. It is very reasonable that bonuses should be turned in and salaries at the top limited. This applies to everyone, including pilots. It is about tax money.”

Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental Cockpit | Boeing 747 cockpit, Boeing ...

KLM pilots are the highest paid pilots in the world.
Within the aviation world, a distinction is often made between two types of aircraft. There are the often somewhat smaller narrow-body airplanes, which have one aisle with two or three seats on either side, or four to six seats per row. In addition, there are the larger “wide-body” devices, with at least two aisles. In the economy class, a row in such an airplane usually consists of seven to ten seats. A pilot’s salary largely depends on the type of aircraft he or she flies. KLM uses one type of narrow-body passenger aircraft: the Boeing 737. The Dutch airline also has five types of wide-body passenger aircraft in its fleet: the Airbus-A330, the Airbus-A350, the Boeing 747, the Boeing 777 and the Boeing. 787.

_ _ _ _ _ narrow body  _ h/year _ €/hour   _  KLM  _ Other _ Low c.
KLM            € 226,044 _ _ _ 599h _ € 377 _ _ 100% |  120%   |  195%
Other reg  € 193,283 _ _ _  617h _  € 313 _ _     83% |  100%  |  163%
Low cost    € 133,444 _ _ _ 690h _  € 193 _ _    51% |     62%  |  100%

 _ _ _ _ _ wide body   _  h/year /hour   _  KLM  _ Other  _ Low c.
KLM            € 291,238 _ _ _ 646h _ € 451 _ _  100% |  125%  |  209%
Other reg  € 235,443 _ _ _ 652h _ € 361 _ _    80% |  100%  |  166%
Low cost    € 159,741 _ _ _733h   _  € 218 _ _   48% |    60%  |  100%

A new analysis shows that these KLM pilots are among the top global earners within their profession. For example, a KLM pilot earns on average about 70% more than a pilot working for a low-budget airline. In addition, a captain of KLM has fewer flying hours, which means that the flight hourly rate of a pilot employed by the royal airline is more than 95% higher than that of a price fighter. The terms of employment of KLM pilots are also generally very good compared to European companies that have a comparable price level.

0689-Corona virus & Politicians

Confidence in Prime Minister Rutte and his corona approach is declining.

Fewer people have confidence in Prime Minister Rutte and his approach to fighting the corona virus. His party, the VVD, has also steadily lost seats in the past two months. These are the first cracks in Rutte’s cast-iron reputation for months. This is evident from research by EenVandaag and the new seat survey by Ipsos and EenVandaag. Since the corona crisis, Rutte’s confidence has risen to rare heights. In the midst of the first wave of the corona crisis, 75 percent stood behind him as prime minister, where previously up to 40 percent supported him.

Lowest confidence in months
But the moment the number of corona infections has grown again for a long time, doubts about him also grow. Last month, at the end of June, 71 percent still thought he was doing well as Prime Minister of the Netherlands. That has now dropped to 64 percent. While a majority still supports him, that figure hasn’t been that low in months. This is partly due to the dissatisfaction with the EU agreement concluded last week, where hard-hit countries are being helped financially by the EU. Despite praise for Rutte’s critical attitude during the negotiations, most are not satisfied with the outcome. But the most frequently cited reason for the decline in confidence is the invisibility of the prime minister now that the corona virus has recovered in recent weeks. Many people are waiting for reassurance or new measures from the Prime Minister. Someone who has lost confidence says in the study: “As a manager of the corona crisis, he did well, but at this stage he leaves it at that.”

Coming back from vacation?
Both Prime Minister Rutte and Minister De Jonge, of Health, have a few weeks of vacation. Although many people (66 percent) believe that this should be possible after the intensive first half of the year, there is still discomfort with a large group. 43 percent believe that with the rising number of corona infections, at least one of them should return. “Of course I want to give them their holidays, but if the situation changes quickly, I still think they should give another press conference themselves. I think that they can properly indicate the severity of the crisis,” said one respondent. And another: “I think Grapperhaus is not doing as well as a straggler. De Jonge and Rutte should have coordinated their holidays better.” Half (51 percent) believe that Rutte and De Jonge should continue their holiday for the time being.

Support De Jonge is also declining
With declining confidence in Rutte, support for the government’s approach to the corona virus has also declined considerably, from 69 percent at the end of June to 59 percent now. This brings the share of people who support government action to the level of mid-March. Then the number of corona infections in the Netherlands also rose rapidly. Not only Prime Minister Rutte loses credit with the citizen. According to fewer people, De Jonge, Minister of Health, is also doing well. Last month was 66 percent behind his performance; now 55 percent of that remains. He is also accused of being little visible at the moment. In addition, some are increasingly under the impression that he lacks knowledge and plays a role in compensating for that lack of knowledge.

Steady loss to the VVD
The waning confidence in the prime minister is also not good for his party, the VVD. In two months, the party loses five seats and now comes to 39 seats, according to the new seat poll of Ipsos and EenVandaag. Rutte’s party thus seems to have passed the peak that it had built up since the corona crisis. The VVD rose no less than 17 seats in three months, with 44 seats in May as the high point. In recent months, the VVD has won voters from all kinds of different parties and it is now losing those seats again. However, the VVD remains by far the largest party. The distance to the second party, the CDA, is currently 22 seats. There is no question of a ‘De Jonge effect’ at that party this month. With 17 seats, the CDA remains the same size as a month ago.

0688-Solar energy (update)

As per 31 July 2020 (UTC+2):


Sunrise: 05:58am; sunset: 09:26pm; daylight: 15h 28m.


Started: 06:15am; ended: 09:00pm; time span: 14h 45m.

Monthly report: July 2020:

  • 346.600 KW produced; present total: 5.033Mw.
  • € 65.87 earned; present total € 946.12 / £ 852 / CA$ 1,495.
  • 153.21 Kg CO2 emission saved; present total 1,969.24Kg.
  • 4.05 trees planted; present total 58.78 trees.

0687-Corona virus & introduction at universities

The introduction for new students from Radboud University, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN) and Wageningen University this year is just a shadow of the normally so vibrant and grand introduction. Forced by the corona crisis, HAN goes furthest in this. In the last week of August, this was completely limited to an introduction from behind the screen with, for example, meet and greets and online games for students.

Studentenverenigingen | Nijmegen Studentenstad

Sports day with app
Although the physical meeting at the Radboud intro, from 23 to 26 August, continues on a limited scale, a digital program is also the main focus here. For this, a special app is launched that makes it possible to exercise behind the laptop. This replaces the central sports day with usually 5,000 freshmen. The first-year students of Wageningen University must also count on sparse meeting days. For safety, the choice was made to split the introduction into two terms: from 13 to 16 August and from 18 to 21 August. Well-known activities such as the cantus, street theater, city commissions, open-air film screening and closing party have been canceled.

Studenten van de Radboud Universiteit gingen elkaar vorig jaar te lijf tijdens het watergevecht in het Valkhofpark.

“Parties are over”
Radboud University is abandoning the traditional three-day introduction weekend just across the border in Germany. “All parties are a bit off,” says introduction coordinator Dionne Aldus. “But you can still book a table with a mentor group at a restaurant in Nijmegen or have a picnic in the park or play football.” “A while ago, a working group started preparing for this special intro, and it was decided at an early stage to stick to online activities,” explains a HAN spokeswoman. The cabinet has now relaxed the rules somewhat. “But there are also exams to be passed. And we still think the risk is too great. That is why we stayed with the leaner interpretation.”

Surprise box
As a plaster on the wound (Dutch saying), HAB PAB students can count on a surprise box that will be delivered at home. Via social media channels, students can also get to know study, student and student sports associations and what Arnhem and Nijmegen have to offer as (student) cities. The physical meetings of Radboud University will be less massive and will be more spread across the city. Normally they are organized on campus and in the city center only. There will be a collective closure on 26 August in the form of an intro market in the Goffertpark with between 120 and 180 information stalls. ,,But this will be a flow-through event where a time slot is used. Without the usual catering and stages.”

Enhanced supervision
In order to prevent the introduction weeks from developing into corona fires, the municipalities of Arnhem, Ede, Rheden and Wageningen have meanwhile contacted their educational institutions and student associations. That says Carol van Eert, acting chairman of the Gelderland-Midden Safety Region. “The specific target group that peaks somewhat with the current increasing number of infections is mainly that of the younger generation. That is why this is one of the activities that we monitor more closely.”

0686-Graafseweg 219

Back at home, from the lunch party in Horst, we had drinks in the backyard.


0685-Happy Birthday!!!

Pierre Bormans: 30-07-1943 – 30-07-2020: 77 years

With Walter ten Brink (left) Pierre (right) and I (photographer) had a festive outside luncheon at the Gastendonk in Horst. Chief Joep Verstappen was also chief at the Michelin star restaurant “Valuas” in Venlo. The restaurant uses most vegetables and spices from their own plantations.

0684-Corona virus

Mayors are puzzled about how to prevent people from becoming infected with the corona virus at home. 342 cases were identified today, nearly 100 more than yesterday. Many infections take place behind the front door: exactly the place where mayors cannot maintain. “That the corona law does not give us that possibility is a mistake.”
A somewhat mysterious sentence was that Nijmegen mayor Hubert Bruls dropped out during the press conference of the Security Council on Wednesday. It was about private infections. “We cannot intervene at home. We will continue to investigate whether there is something we can do about it.”
Bruls stood there as chairman of the deliberation, in which the 25 Dutch security regions are gathered, and thus actually spoke on behalf of the law enforcement officers of our country. Did he advocate surveillance and enforcement behind the front door here? In an explanation, Bruls also stated that new rules can “infringe on people’s freedom.”
A day later, he says – via WhatsApp – not exactly what he means. In his view, should parties in people’s homes be banned or ended? Bruls repeats that things have to be “sorted out”. In conversation with Radio 1, he reports that fundamental rights in the Netherlands are “very rightly” protected, and that they should not be experimented with. “But my greatest concern is with infections in the private sphere. There is a risk that because things go wrong more often, you will have to take stricter measures again in public.”

Shared care
With this last observation, Bruls expresses a very widely shared concern among the mayors present at the Security Council, according to a tour of this newspaper. On the one hand, they are required to control the distribution of corona within their regions. On the other hand, they also know the figures from RIVM. This shows that by far the most infections (54.5 percent) occur at home, followed by the further family circle (19 percent). And exactly there they cannot do much. For comparison: in the catering industry, a place where enforcers can play a role, according to the source and contact research, only 4.8 percent of recent infections take place. This is a matter of concern, especially now that the number of infections is increasing. On Thursday, a higher number of infections was announced again: 342. That was almost 100 more than Wednesday. Liesbeth Spies, Mayor of Alphen aan den Rijn: ,,We now see that the biggest fires arise in the home situation, but we also know that you do not have any perseverance there (intervening or making decisions in the event of deadlocks or stagnation in decision-making or work processes, red. .). Then it is not so strange that you think whether you can achieve more behind that front door, without immediately entering the constitutionally guaranteed autonomy of privacy.”

Corona law
The question is what you can do. This spring, the proposal for the corona law of Minister De Jonge was already considerably amended, after much criticism was raised about the possibilities that the police would have to check in people’s homes. “The safe distance standard and other (behavioral) rules do not apply to situations in which house law is at stake,” the legal text now states. As a result, mayors must continue to enforce with their hands behind their backs, especially in the places where things most often go wrong. That is “a mistake”, says Mark Boumans, Mayor of Doetinchem. ,, I regularly walk through the city, and then you just see and hear that more and more parties are being held. And I’m pretty sure that at 90 percent, the corona rules are not followed. But there is nothing we can do. Yes, we can ring the doorbell. But if we are not let in, we are powerless.”
According to Boumans, there should be more administrative options. “For example, the right to look inside people or to be able to end a party. Normally I’m hesitant about things like that, but now you just see it go wrong. The alternative is that we all have to enter an intelligent lockdown again. I don’t think anyone wants that. Then take specific action.”
An important condition for Boumans is that there will first be a public campaign, in which people are once again made aware of the dangers of meetings at home. Theo Weterings, Mayor of Tilburg, is also on that line. He believes that alternatives to enforcement should be sought. “I don’t see it happening anytime soon that we, as mayors, are going to tamper with people’s fundamental rights. So we have to think about how we can influence the situation in people’s homes. ”

0683-Islamic festival of sacrifice

In de EL Fath-moskee in Dordrecht zijn markeringen aangebracht om te zorgen dat de bezoekers op 1,5 meter afstand van elkaar kunnen bidden.

Do not go to the mosque and celebrate the Sacrifice Feast at home in small circles for the next few days, is the urgent advice of the mayor of Rotterdam, Aboutaleb. The Contact Body for Muslims and Government CMO does not share that advice: “Mosques are well prepared, sometimes even stricter than the applicable corona rules.”
Aboutaleb made his appeal because he is concerned about the rising number of corona infections in his city. The Sacrifice Feast begins on Friday, which lasts all weekend. When tens of thousands of believers come together in mosques and in a family context, this can further enhance the revival of the corona virus. RIVM reported on Tuesday that “more and more infections take place during family visits and at parties.” Celebrate the party in a small, domestic circle. Do not pray in the mosque or a park, ”said Aboutaleb this week in a video message. A platform of Islamic associations in Rotterdam joined the call. The chief editor of the Muslim newspaper wondered why prayer meetings were not banned anyway. But the Contact Body for Muslims and Government (CMO), which claims to represent about 380 mosques in the Netherlands, believes that Aboutaleb is too strict in its appeal. “We do not advise avoiding the mosque,” said chairman Muhsin Köktas. “The mosques are well prepared. They are disinfected and adhere to the 1.5 meter rule. ” According to Köktas, it is mandatory in Turkish mosques affiliated with the Diyanet organization to wear a mask. This is not necessary under the rules of the national government. “We have the impression that people really take corona seriously. We also saw that during the celebration of the Sugar Festival in May. ” At that time, most mosques were still closed.
In the Turkish Kocatepe mosque in Rotterdam, face masks are indeed mandatory, even at the first prayer of the Festival of Sacrifice, Friday morning at 6.46 a.m. But the mosque also writes on Facebook: “Unfortunately, last week we saw a large increase in the number of people who came without a mask and did not follow the distance rules.” The mosque’s board keeps the building open “to prevent it from getting too crowded at other mosques.” With the Feast of Sacrifice, one of the most important feasts in Islam, Muslims commemorate the prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for his god. In the end that was not necessary and a ram was sufficient. To reflect on this, believers slaughter a sheep and share that food with family, friends and the poor.

Een vrachtwagen met lamsvlees voor het Offerfeest komt aan in op het plein aan de Stationsweg in Den Haag. Archieffoto.

Only 100 people are allowed without registration.
It is usually busy in the mosques during the Feast of Sacrifice, just as the Christian churches protrude at Christmas. According to the corona measures, religious meetings may be held, with no maximum number of participants. However, people have to keep a distance of 1.5 meters, they have to register who is coming and a health check has to be done. If there is no registration or control, a maximum of 100 (inside) or 250 (outside) people may come together. Several mosques have already indicated that believers (also) will pray outside the mosque: in a park or on the forecourt. Earlier this year, two mosques in The Hague were forced to close after a corona outbreak. This week, three Syrian Orthodox churches in Enschede closed their doors after members of a card club that gathered in one of the churches were found to be infected. In other years, many Moroccan Dutch people celebrate the Sacrifice Feast on holiday with family in Morocco. However, that country has still closed its borders to tourism, so that this year extra people will celebrate the party in the Netherlands.

Lamsvlees bij supermarkt Tanger Markt, waar klanten vlees voor het offerfeest afhalen. Archieffoto.

Crowds at slaughterhouses.
It is very busy at Islamic butchers and slaughterhouses; the demand for ritual slaughtered lamb is high. The NVWA imposed a ban on slaughtering two slaughterhouses because, partly due to the pressure, they could not comply with the corona rules in the workplace. The parties came together on Tuesday evening. The meat must be delivered pre-packed this year. Also, many butchers have given their customers a specific time period in which they have to pick up the meat to avoid a massive influx.

0682-Corona virus & Planning your holiday

Where to go in France – the safest regions and places to avoid now you can travel quarantine-free


Since the June 2 reopening of bars, restaurants and hotels, France has been galloping back to normal. The pandemic is said to be under control. Almost everything you want is open again. Okay, a few restrictions remain. No gatherings of more than 10 people. Masks should be worn in shops and on public transport, tables must be well-spaced and there’s enough hydroalcoholic gel strategically placed in the public domain to flood the country three feet deep. That said, city centres and seaside resorts truly are getting their mojo back. France has been included the long-awaited list of countries that English residents can visit this summer. Here are five regions where the incidences of the virus are, as we speak, among the very lowest in France – perhaps because they’re mainly off-centre – and where I guarantee you a good time.

St Jean-Pied-de-Port

1. French Basque Country
No surprise that coronavirus didn’t make much headway in Basque country; not much has since the stone age. The Romans found it hard going in these Pyrenean parts, as did follow-up barbarians and Charlemagne. And, these days, the Basque identity still lies strong upon the land. Picture powerful character rooted in sky-busting mountains and a muscular coast rocking with Atlantic rollers. The whole is punctuated by substantial villages of white houses trimmed with oxblood-red woodwork, the bases for everything Basques have ever done, farming and contraband through fishing and sending sons off to America. My choice for the seaside would be Guéthary (once Madonna’s choice, too) or St Jean-de-Luz, with its storybook bay. Inland? St Jean-Pied-de-Port where mountain folk gather for the Monday market and you’d better not bet on the pelota games or you’ll be wiped out.


2. Roussillon
Perpignan is best known internationally for Salvador Dali’s claim that the town’s railway station is the centre of the universe. Art aside, Dali was a chump. The station is not the centre of the universe. It’s not even the centre of Perpignan. It’s in a desolate zone to the north of centre. Enough of that. We go to Perpignan for fierce sun, temperament and festivity, for both codes of rugby and all sorts of wine. In the lee of the great 13th-century palace of the Kings of Mallorca (long story), the city is a permanently simmering sunshine event, easing us into French Catalonia (aka Roussillon) with a lot more panache now than it had 15 years ago. Further south, the flat coast sprouts rocks and coves as it meets the final plunges of the Pyrenees. Seaside resorts – Collioure, Banyuls – charm all but the charmless. Behind, vertical vineyards herald real mountains for climbing, riding, rafting, canyoning or trekking up to the St Martin-de-Canigou monastery. Back in Collioure, we eat anchovies. They are the local speciality. Best anchovy recipe ever, from anchovy-filleter Ghislaine: toast a slice of country bread, grate on garlic, add a few rounds of tomato and olive oil, lay anchovies on top. Fabulous.


3. Lot
I’ve called Figeac (population: 10,000) “the finest small town in France” so often that the phrase writes itself. It’s about time someone noticed. The medieval and Renaissance structure is so well-preserved that it would be readily recognised by the wandering monks and merchants who, for centuries, have been dropping down from the surrounding limestone plateaux to the banks of the Célé. I generally walk mesmerised through the structures of France’s past, spotting the birth-place of Hollywood’s Latin lover Chares Boyer and paying respects at the museum of Jean-François Champollion. He was the local lad who cracked Egyptian hieroglyphics in 1822. Then I romp out of time down the Célé valley to the Pech-Merle cave. Its 29,000-year-old paintings surge from the walls as if seeking release. Back up the Lot valley St Cirq-Lapopie drapes over rocks to impose a sense of occasion. Post-war, writer and founder of surrealism, André Breton showed up. “I ceased to wish myself elsewhere,” he said, with the pomposity you’d expect from an anarcho-surrealist. And we haven’t even mentioned Conques with its weird, stolen monastic treasure (another long story) or Rocamadour, where the abbey, seven chapels and an entire village are clamped to the cliff face. You’ll be awestruck. Everyone is.


4. Finistère
From clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches surrounded by pine trees, to dramatic rocky cliffs swept by the sea or charming pink granite coves, the Brittany coast is a place of wonders. If that’s not incentive enough, then let me tell you that Roscoff is a grand, granite little port once prosperous with freebooting wealth, now base to more crèperies than anyone can count. Go for Ty Saozon on Rue Gambetta. Then curve round the rugged, ragged coast, via the Pays-des-Abers to Le Conquet and a ferry to the island of Ouessant. The wind-lashed, treeless isle was the domain of women, the men being away at sea, often for years. Whence the local saying: “Take any husband you can get; there’ll not be enough to go round.” Inland, the desolate Monts-d’Arrée swirl with Breton myths. And all that’s just north Finistère. There’s still the slightly softer south to go at.


5. Vienne
This inland, western county is for the mature of outlook. People like me. We avoid spas, anywhere with purple lighting and anything termed “to die for”. We prefer gentle landscapes, châteaux, long lunches, cave paintings and quite a lot of wine – favouring, as it does, the calm of continuity rather than the clamour of the contemporary. So we’re very happy in Poitiers whose stint as home base to Eleanor of Aquitaine was sufficient to supply a framework of outstanding buildings. These include the cathedral, whose astonishingly worked façade is alive with statuary and reliefs including – a first for me – Jesus being given a bath by midwives with their sleeves rolled up. Now we head east, through a spectral gauze filtering out noise and vulgarity, to the Anglin and Gartempe valleys. Angles-sur-Anglin, as steep as it is comely, wriggles below a château crumbled to perfection. The abbey church at St Savin has 50 of the world’s greatest OT Romanesque frescos. Interestingly, Eve sports a beard, following misguided 19th-century restoration. Bucolic tranquillity persists, as if this were 1957 and you were driving a Morris Minor. It leads through villages and small towns – Montmorillon, Chauvigny – before we swing back to Poitiers, for the 21st-century blast of Futuroscope theme park, which leaves even mature folk laughing.