Politics

Mar 10 '17 08:31

The Christian party leader debate in Ede on Thursday evening was guarded by heavily armed police officers due to a "threat". The debate in the CineMec finished without incident, AD reports.

Several police units responded to the CineMec on Thursday night. Heavily armed officers stood in front of the building, two riot police vans were on site and policemen with machine guns and bulletproof vests were on the building's roof, according to the newspaper. 

Mar 10 '17 08:04

Lower house of parliament president Khadija Arib refused to cooperate in the wish of two of King Willem-Alexander's influential advisors to give the King more influence in the formation of the new cabinet, the Volkskrant reports.

Up until 2012 the ruling Dutch monarch played an active role in the formation of a new cabinet. The King or Queen could, for example, assign a "scout" to examine coalition possibilities and appoint informers. After a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, changed the rules in 2012, the Kamer itself performs these tasks.

Mar 9 '17 13:28

The voting ballots of Dutch nationals living abroad must be in the Netherlands by the parliamentary election on March 15th, or their votes will not count, the court in The Hague ruled on Thursday. No exception will be made for Dutch whose vote is late due to, for example, problems with the mail, ANP reports.

Mark Rutte
Mar 9 '17 12:15

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has his doubts about expanding the euthanasia law to allow assisted suicide at the end of a "full life". He does not think that this will be arranged in the new cabinet period, he said in an interview with Nederlands Dagblad on Thursday.

Mar 8 '17 14:40

There needs to be more women in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch Parliament, according to Kamer leader Khadija Arib. As long as only a quarter of the Kamer consists of women, parliament will not be a true reflection of society, she said to BNR.

And it is not just women. The Kamer could definitely do with a better balance between young and old and different ethnic backgrounds. There is still a world to win when it comes to emancipation, Arib said.

Mar 8 '17 13:30

PVV leader Geert Wilders and a number of candidate PVV parliamentarians are demonstrating in front of the Turkish Embassy in The Hague on Wednesday. Wilders is carrying a banner reading "Stay away! This is our country", ANP reports.

A number of anti-Islam group Pegida supporters are also in front of the embassy.The police closed down the street and many officers are present. 

Mar 8 '17 12:50

With just a week before the parliamentary election, anti-Islam, populist party PVV continues to lose support in the polls. The PVV dropped to between 21 and 25 seats on Peilingwijzer, putting the party clearly behind the VVD, which is at between 24 and 28 seats.

Over the past weeks the VVD has remained relatively stable on the polls, climbing one seat compared to last week. Put the PVV has steadily been losing support on Peilingwijzer, which combines the data of six different poll for a more rounded view.

Geert Wilders
Mar 8 '17 09:42

An animal shelter in Zaandam canceled a work visit from PVV leader Geert Wilders on Thursday out of fear for the safety of their employees, a spokesperson for the PVV said. According to him, it has to do with an announced demonstration by anti-fascists, NOS reports.

Maxima of the Netherlands royal family
Mar 8 '17 09:24

Queen Maxima is in Amsterdam on Wednesday for International Woman's Day. This morning she kicked off self empowerment workouts by the foundation Single SuperMom, an organization for single mothers, AT5 reports.

These self empowerment workouts are just one of dozens of activities taking place throughout the Netherlands in the context of Internation Women's Day. Organizations in dozens of municipalities organized special activities for today.

Mar 8 '17 08:36

The Dutch embassy in Seoul may have been involved in helping bring the family of Kim Jong-nam to safety after he was assassinated, accoding to South Korean news agency Yonhap. Kim Jong-nam was the half brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.

Cheolima Civil Defense, an organization that helps North Koreans flee when they need to, also thanked Dutch Ambassador Lody Embrechts for his "resolute and strong action" on their website, according to newspaper AD. 

Mark Rutte
Mar 7 '17 14:05

Prime Minister Mark Rutte was barely able to get a word out on talk show Pauw en Jinek on Monday night because of a group of furious Groningen residents shouting and booing at him from the audience. They are furious about the VVD government's policy on gas production in their province, AD reports.

"Mr. Rutte drained us for six and a half years. And he is still doing it. He is depicted as a positive politician, an optimist. But you know what an optimist does? Laughs everying away, so he laughs away our problems", one angry audience member said.

Jesse Klaver
Mar 7 '17 09:45

The televised in Amsterdam on Sunday led to peaked interest in GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver. After the debate Klaver became the most Googled Dutch politician, taking the number one spot from PVV leader Geert Wilders, RTL Nieuws reports.

Wilders is now in second place, followed by VVD leader Mark Rutte and 50Plus leader Henk Krol. 

Mar 7 '17 09:16

PvdA leader and Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher is critical of the way in which VVD leader Mark Rutte led the Netherlands as Prime Minister over the past years. Rutte was not a Prime Minister for all Dutch, he said in an interview with NU.nl.

Sylvana Simons
Mar 7 '17 08:42

Bram Verhappen resigned as chairman of Sylvana Simons' political party Artikel 1 last month, NOS discovered in a document from the Chamber of Commerce. 

Verhappen was chairman of the party, which promises equal rights to voters, for a matter of months. The party was launched in December last year. It is unclear why he resigned. Artikel 1 would not comment on the news, according to newspaper AD.

Secretary and treasurer Reguillo Wijngaarde took over Verhappen's duties, according to the document. 

A child walks near members of the Muslim community attending midday prayers at Strasbourg Grand Mosque in Strasbourg, France
Mar 6 '17 13:15

About 300 Muslim and non-Muslim people gathered in the Al Kabir mosque in Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon to show support to the Muslim community in the city. The organizers wanted to to show a counterpoint to the "hateful stories" spreading about the Islamic community, NOS reports.

"We want to show Muslims that they are not alone", Abdou Menebhi of the Collective Against Islamophobia said to NOS. "Politicians, stop saying things like 'the Netherlands is threatened by Islam'. The Netherlands is threatened by extremists from all sides."

Camp Vught
Mar 6 '17 12:35

Jeroen van den Eijnde, director of Camp Vught where the National WWII Monument is located, is calling for a new examination of the camp using modern techniques. According to him, archeological excavations last week again showed that a new dig is necessary, Omroep Brabant reports. 

Recent excavations at the site uncovered numerous fragments and remains from World War II, including bullets and pieces of Bakelite radios, which were made in the camp.

Mar 6 '17 11:20

A majority of 56 percent of Dutch voters would like to directly elect the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, according to a recent poll by Maurice de Hond.

39 percent of voters are against directly voting for a Prime Minister, and five percent don't have an opinion on the matter.

MH17
Mar 6 '17 10:11

The Ukraine and Russia are facing off in a lawsuit filed by the Ukraine at the international Court of Justice in The Hague from today. Kiev wants the ICJ to condemn "Russian aggression" and order the country to pay compensation for all "fatal events", including the downing of flight MH17 in 2014, AD reports.

Election time in the Netherlands - directions to voting stations
Mar 6 '17 07:57

Left- and right wing parties clashed fiercely over the retirement age, healthcare deductibles and the Dutch identity in the televised debate between eight party leaders in the Carré in Amsterdam on Sunday. With only 9 days to go until the parliamentary election, party leaders are pressured to create some movement in the polls, which have been quiet over the past weeks.

Dutch soldiers
Mar 3 '17 11:10

The Swedish government reintroduced military conscription, which was abolished in the country in 2010. The Swedish decision again drew attention to the discussion of a Dutch military draft, Metro Nieuws reports.

According to the newspaper, Sweden and the Netherlands can't really be compared. Firstly, Sweden is not a member of NATO, and is therefore completely responsible for its own defense. Now that Russia is emphatically aimed at the Baltic region, Sweden decided it is time to strengthen the army, and there are too few voluntary recruits.

Mar 3 '17 09:20

Facebook is teaming up with NU.nl and Leiden University to fight "fake news" shared on the social media site in the Netherlands. NU.nl and Leiden University will work as fact checkers, NU.nl reports.

Editors of the two Dutch institutions will be given access to a special Facebook dashboard on which they can see articles that were marked as "fake news" by users. They will then check the facts in the articles, and if they indeed turn out to be factually incorrect, the article will henceforth be marked as such.

Alexander Pechtold
Mar 3 '17 08:43

If it is up to D66 leader Alexander Pechtold, his party's proposal for a "dignified end of life" will eventually be expanded to include people under the age of 75 years. He said this on Nieuwsuur after being confronted with a 57-year-old man who wishes to die, NOS reports.

The man wanted to know why Pechtold's party wants to implement a law that only gives people over the age of 75 the option of assisted suicide. "I have to wait 18 years. I don't want that. I want now", the man said to Pechtold.

Mar 3 '17 08:10

"You can't say that integration failed", Jeroen Dijsselbloem, current Finance Minister and number three on the PvdA candidate list, said on radio program Dit is de Dag on Thursday.

According to Dijsselbloem, "a lot of things went well" when it comes to integration. "Go look in the lecture halls in big cities. They are now filled with children from an immigration background", he said.

He agrees that the naturalization process could go smoother. He thinks it should be more mandatory and that all the responsibility can not be left to the immigrants. 

Mar 2 '17 16:50

PvdA Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem thinks that PVV leader Geert Wilders and his discriminatory statements poison the atmosphere in Dutch society, he said to broadcaster BNR on Thursday.

Dijsselbloem was responding to German President Jaochim Gauck expressing his concerns about the Netherlands in the Telegraaf. Gauck said that nationalism can now be seen in most of the founding countries of the European Union. He called the movement a "poison" and "infection". 

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