Prince Willem-Alexander will accept a ceremonial role as a king if the House decides that. He said that in an interview with RTL Nieuws and NOS. “I’ll accept anything, as long as the processes are democratic and laws are followed”.
The CDA wants Minister Ivo Opstelten (Security and Justice) to put a stop to the construction of a large sex palace in Hoofddorp (Noord Holland). According to CDA MP Peter Oskam, such a complex will attract all sorts of shady businesses, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking and illegal prostitution.
On Wednesday, Oskam asked Opstelten what could still be done to stop the construction of the mega brothel. Because most residents of Haarlemmermeer and Hoofddorp are against the sex palace, he thinks that the entertainment complex should not be built.
Thursday is going to be a tough day for Fred Teeven, State Secretary of Security and Justice. He must answer questions in the House about the mistakes which were made under his responsibility and which led to the death of the Russian activist Aleksander Dolmatov.
The offender, not by the taxpayer, should pay costs made to maintain public order. Dutch political party VVD asked the Minister of Justice, Opstelten, to change the law.
The current economic situation limits the government to act on the situation of people who live near high voltage cables. However, Minister Henk Kamp (Economic Affairs) announced onWednesday that no more than 400 residents, who lived directly under power lines, could get a buy-out offer.
There are people who live under high voltage cables of 220 and 380 kilovolt (which technically cannot be put underground) and people in rural areas, living under power lines of 110 and 150 kilovolt. The costs related to this buy-out scheme are estimated at 140 million euro.
According to a report by NOS, the Ministry of Defense has a severe shortage of young soldiers. The current organization resembles, according to Minister Hennis-Plasschaert (Defense), an inverted pyramid too much, that is, there are many older but few young people.
In an interview with NOS Radio 1 News, the Minister said that she is aiming for a small top and a wide bottom. Therefore, Defense is trying to recruit mainly young people. The inflow is not yet how it should be, but according to the Minister, there is a slight increase.
Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs has put the potential importance of shale gas for the Netherlands into perspective. The production is expected to be at most a few percent of the current conventional natural gas production. The House wants, as soon as possible, a debate with Kamp about the research he wants to conduct on shale gas.
The savings of 100 million euro on public broadcasting in the coalition agreement must be turned back, according to ChristenUnie MP Gert-Jan Segers. He also said on Monday that most other opposition parties agreed on this.
The Chamber will talk on Tuesday with State Secretary Sander Dekker (Media) about media policy. The position of the opposition is important, because the coalition has no majority in the Senate. Since the PVV is in favor of the cuts, they could support the government in these plans in the Senate.
On Thursday employers, employees and the government closed a social agreement. Part of the agreement is that the extra austerity package of 4.3 billion for 2014 is abandoned. In the fall it will be decided if next year additional cuts in the budget are necessary. Prime Minister Rutte Thursday disclosed this during a joint press conference.
Besides abandoning the austerity package, the agreement includes the WW, dismissal, the disabled, flexible employment, pensions and state pension deficiency.
Holding a nationwide referendum costs 30 million euro each time. Minister Ronald Plasterk of the Interior Affairs announced this to the members of the House on Wednesday while they were discussing the new plans of Plasterk for the introduction of a corrective referendum.
The introduction of a corrective referendum, a request of PvdA, D66 and GroenLinks, would enable citizens to have a direct vote on new bills.
In the House the three parties can count on PVV and the SP and so will have a majority for their corrective referendum.
A new parallel currency alongside the euro should be established for creditworthy countries like the Netherlands and Germany. The 80-year-old VVD celebrity Frits Bolkestein declared this in the TV program Pauw & Witteman on Wednesday night.
“France may not participate in the parallel currency,” according to the former leader of the VVD, “because the country is virtually bankrupt and not managed well.” The plans for the currency (e.g., the mark) for the creditworthy countries will have to come from the German Bundesbank.
Amsterdam’s city council greeted Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s arrival this week with rainbow flags on every building in the city. The flags was also purposely placed around the city center to raise awareness around the world.
Employees of all Dutch prisons and forensic psychiatric clinics will go on strike if the austerity plan of State Secretary Fred Teeven is not suspended before Thursday next week, as related by a spokesperson of the Action Committee of the prison in Hoogeveen to RTV Drenthe.
If the plans of Teeven pushes through, a lot of prisons will have to close. Unions, the Work Councils of the prisons and action committees have issued an ultimatum that expires on Thursday, April 18. The staff will go on strike on April 25 if Teeven does not respond.
Russian president Vladimir Poetin will pay the Netherlands a short visit on Monday to open the Netherlands-Russia year together with Queen Beatrix in the museum Hermitage in Amsterdam. Sensitive topics will also be discussed and more than 3,3 thousand people plan to protest against the Russian anti-gay law.
Some citizens of Meerssen (Limburg), united with the Restoration of Democracy Group, believe that acting mayor Hans Schmidt of the municipality in Limburg must resign. They published this in a manifest last Saturday and they have an internet signature campaign going on.
Meerssen, a peaceful village in the South of Limburg, is in turmoil. More than a month ago, 58-year old alderman Jo DeJong committed suicide after he resigned.
At a carnival a few weeks earlier, DeJong gave a french kiss to a female municipal officer in a pub against her will.
The Dutch Party for Animals Partij voor de dieren (PvdD) in the northern city Groningen wants to prohibit large urban Wi-Fi networks because they are afraid that the radiation is harmful for people and trees.
Activists protested in Enschede against the closure of prisons in the east of the Netherlands. The protestors are afraid of more unemployment in the region because Secretary of State Fred Teeven plans to save 340 million euro on prisons.
The Dutch economy shrank faster in the last quarter of 2012 than previously thought. This follows from the second estimate of the CBS, which was distributed on Thursday. According to the estimate, the economy shrank by 0.4 percent. The first estimate in mid-February, on the other hand, showed a shrinking of 0.2 percent.
The shrinkage was 1.2 percent compared to a year earlier. In the first estimate, this was still at 0.9 percent. Consumer expenditure was lower and authorities spent less money than expected.
The confidence of the Dutch people in their government has decreased. During the formation of this government in the fourth quarter last year, the number of people that had trust in the government was about 10% higher.
The Citizen Perspectives report of the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP), presented on Friday, shows that only 51 percent of the Dutch people have confidence in the government. Last quarter, when the cabinet formation took place, the political mood improved considerably. Then the confidence in the government increased from 41 percent to 57 percent.
The coalition parties VVD and PvdA understand that the price of stamps must increase, but, at the same time, they warn that this cannot always be the solution to the financial problems at PostNL.
"The rates should not rise indefinitely," said VVD MP Bart de Liefde. "I hope that this is not going to happen every year," said Labour (PvdA) MP Mei Li Vos.
Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs wrote to the House on Wednesday that he made an agreement with PostNL about increasing the price of stamps up to 6 cents beginning July 1st.
The “Blok mortgage” has to be the way to make the housing market moving again. But almost no bank wants to offer it and mortgage advisers refuse to sell it. RTL News concludes this after its own investigation.
Recently Volkskrant reported that the newly devised mortgage construction of Minister Stef Blok (Housing) to reduce monthly costs for starters proved to be very expensive. A calculation of the advice chain Hypotheker shows that an average starter with a block mortgage pays almost 60,000 euro more interest over the whole period than people with an annuity-type mortgage.
Although the 50Plus party is doing well in polls, the unions of the elderly claim to be critical of the party of Henk Krol.
The daily journal Trouw interviewed the unions of elderly people. Five of these organizations for senior citizens were not happy at all with the party.
“We don’t want to be associated with the image that 50Plus stands for the interests of the elderly only,” says Wim van Minnen, the chairman of CSO, the umbrella organization of the elderly unions. “Every discussion about the young and old undermines the solidarity that we stand for.”
The members of the parliament are very happy that State Secretary for Education, Sander Dekker, is going to take on teasing at schools. The coming new law of Dekker can count on the support of the coalition parties VVD and PvdA, but part of the opposition also promised support.
The rise of the 50Plus party has come to an end in the Politieke Barometer.
According to this poll, by investigation bureau Ipsos, the party of Henk Krol would get 16 seats in parliament if elections were held today. Though that is significantly more than the two seats the party has now, it is three less than the outcome of the same poll given two weeks ago.
The PVV benefits most from the decline in the results for the 50Plus, jumping from 18 seats two weeks ago, to 20 seats in the poll now.