Three employees of the University of Groningen (RUG) are suspected of embezzling 1.2 million euros in public money from the university and funneling
Groningen university workers suspected of embezzling €1.2 million

Groningen university workers suspected of embezzling €1.2 million

Groningen university workers suspected of embezzling €1.2 million

Groningen university workers suspected of embezzling €1.2 million

Groningen university workers suspected of embezzling €1.2 million

Groningen university workers suspected of embezzling €1.2 million
Groningen university workers suspected of embezzling €1.2 million
  • 2020-01-14 12:55:13 1 months ago
  • Views 6
2
Shared

Three employees of the University of Groningen (RUG) are suspected of embezzling 1.2 million euros in public money from the university and funneling it into their own foundation, the board of the Faculty of Arts announced in a letter that NOS has in its possession. All three employees were affiliated with the Faculty of Arts.

The University suspended the three employees in March lat year after a tip from a European partner about uncertainties regarding the financing of the Network on Humanitarian Action foundation. The foundation is not affiliated with RUG, but was registered at the address of the Faculty of Arts, according to the broadcaster. The foundation was established, without the knowledge of the university, to develop scientific activities for a European university program for students who want to offer assistance in crisis areas. 

RUG hired a private firm to investigate the foundation. That investigation showed that 1.2 million euros in subsidies and tuition never ended up at the university, but disappeared into the foundation, according to the broadcaster. 

The board of the Faculty of Arts said that the three employees put confidence in the university at stake and stressed that they "will do everything in their power" to regain that trust. The letter states that "employment law measures" were taken against the three employees. One of them was dismissed. Charges of subsidy fraud and forgery were also filed with the police. 

What you think about this story?
Groningen university workers suspected of embezzling €1.2 million

Ruling party wants European authority, not airlines to decide on flying over conflict zones

Ruling party wants European authority, not airlines to decide on flying over conflict zones

Government party D66 no longer wants airlines to decide for themselves whether to fly over conflict areas. Instead, the European aviation authority EASA should be in charge of that decision, according to D66 parliamentarians Jan Paternotte and Sjoerd Sjoerdsma. They will submit a motion to this effect during a debate on aviation and conflict zones on January 29th.

"In America, the aviation authority determines when an airspace is unsafe. In Europe, it is up tot he companies themselves. We should not want to leave this to companies that have to make an impossible trade-off between safety and costs," Paternotte said on Twitter. "You must be safe. Whether you board KLM, United Airlines, or Alitalia."

This is a lesson that should have been learned after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, killing all 298 people on board, Paternotte said. The fact that it has not yet been learned, can be seen by Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 shot down in Iran on January 8th, killing 176 people, he said to NRC. Only hours before that disaster, Iran fired rockets at an American base in Iraq. 

KLM decided to stop flying over Iran and Iraq due to the tensions, but other airlines did not. 

"One of the most important lessons from MH17 was that flying above conflict areas was not properly regulated," parliamentarian Sjoerdsma said to NRC. "That is still not the case. This is the time to change it."

The D66 MPs will raise this matter in parliament on Tuesday, and submit a motion to take the decision of flying over conflict zones out of airlines' hands later this month. 

Amsterdam to help young people with their debts in new project

Amsterdam to help young people with their debts in new project

The municipality of Amsterdam is launching a new project with the aim of helping young people with their debts. In the project, called 'Young people debt-free start', the municipality will take over participating young people's debt. They will have to pay back the debts according to their means, with some amounts being scrapped if they make an effort to find work or start studying. 

According to figures from Amsterdam's stats office OIS, 34 percent of Amsterdam resident between the ages of 18 and 34 have debts. The amounts vary from one month's arrears on their cellphone bill to tens of thousands of euros.

"Debts cause a lot of stress. And in the case of young people, debts often determine their future," alderman Marjolein Moorman said. "The majority of these young people started out with a disadvantage and, due to bad luck or ignorance, found themselves in a situation that they can not get out of without help. That is why we are now going to help them so that they can make a new start."

The young people who participate in this project will be appointed a coach, with whom they will prepare a plan for the future, including setting goals. If they meet these goals, such as finding a job or starting a course, the municipality will write off part of their debts. 

The municipal credit bank will negotiate with the young people's creditors and buy over their debts. The credit bank will then issue the young people a loan with the residual debt amount, which they will have to repay according to their means. 

Amsterdam believes that every young person deserves a chance for a good future, the municipality said in a press release. "Debts should not stand in the way of work and education. Unfortunately, that is often the case now." The aim of this project is to help more young people pay off their debt "and at the same time, offer them the opportunity to build their future."