Politics

Feb 23 '17 16:31

The Dutch nationalist and anti-Islam political party PVV has suspended all election campaigning and public appearances in the midst of a corruption scandal. The scandal involves a member of the security details of both the PVV and the royal family who was arrested on Monday for leaking classified information to organized crime figures.

Police chief Erik Akerboom said at no point was anyone's safety compromised despite allegations that security officer Faris K. is accused of leaking information to a Dutch-Moroccan gang.

Feb 23 '17 15:55

Statements by DENK leader Tunahan Kuzu suggesting that elderly people with an immigration background are discriminated against in the Dutch healthcare system, led to disbelief and outrage among medical practitioners in the Netherlands. "This clearly fits into the election campaign", Rene Heman, chairman of Dutch doctors federation KNMG, said to newspaper AD.

Fort Oranje in Rijsbergen
Feb 23 '17 15:20

After watching a SBS6 television program about life in camp grounds Fort Oranje on Wednesday, Breda resident Gerrie Vermeulen was so shocked that he decided to spring into action. He set up a Facebook group in the hopes that some publicity will get the attention of politicians, Omroep Brabant reports.

Feb 23 '17 12:25

Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of the 12.9 million Dutch who are eligible to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections are 65 years old or older, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Thursday.

During the previous parliamentary elections 22 percent of voters were over the age of 65. According to the statistics office, the increase can be attributed to the post-war baby boom, that lasted until 1955. In the 2012 elections only the baby boomers born in 1946 and 1947 were 65 years or older. In this election everyone born up until 1952 is 65 years and older.

Feb 23 '17 11:50

Refugee and asylum children in the Netherlands do not have the same educational opportunities as children born in the Netherlands, the Education Council wrote in advice presented to parliament on Thursday. "Children's right to education should be leading int he asylum procedure", said Henriette Maassen van den Brink, chairwoman of the council, Trouw reports.

Tunahan Kuzu
Feb 23 '17 10:30

DENK leader Tunahan Kuzu accused Dutch doctors of discriminating against people with a non-Western background. In a live stream on Facebook Kuzu said on Wednesday that the Dutch healthcare system is quicker to pull the plug on elderly immigrants, AD reports.

According to Kuzu, he heard this from a number of medical specialists. "These doctors have seen that the plug is pulled more quickly in older people with an immigrant background than in people without this background", the Dutch-Turkish politician said. 

Feb 22 '17 15:20

The proportion of young Dutch between the ages of 15 and 25 years who see themselves as religious and belong to a church or religious group, decreased from 49 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2015, Statistics Netherlands said on Wednesday.

The decrease was the strongest among young adults, aged 18 to 25, decreasing from 48 percent in 2010 to 40 percent in 2015. But a decrease could also be seen among teenagers, aged 15 to 18 years. In this group the proportion of religious teens dropped from 51 percent to 45 percent in five years. 

Geert Wilders rally in Purmerend
Feb 22 '17 14:40

Geert Wilders and his PVV is continuing to steadily lose support in the polls. In the Peilingwijzer published on Wednesday the PVV and the VVD are about equally large The PVV stands between 24 and 28 parliamentary seats, the VVD between 23 and 27. 

the PVV stood at between 25 and 29 seats. Since December the party lost six seats in the polls. The VVD has been on basically the same position for weeks. 

Feb 22 '17 14:00

In its annual report Amnesty International is sounding the alarm about the rise of populism across the world and the implications it has for human rights. According to the human rights organization, the situation deteriorated significantly over 2016, and that can be attributed political forces rebelling against the established order. Also in the Netherlands populism is a rising problem, the organization said in a brief press conference about the report, NOS reports.

Feb 22 '17 12:45

PvdA leader and current Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher criticized the Amsterdam city management in an interview with AT5. According to him, the Dutch capital is turning into "a theme park for people with a big wallet".

Mark Rutte voting in the Ukraine referendum, April 2016
Feb 22 '17 10:50

Prime Minister Mark Rutte got support from a majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament for amendments he wants to add to the so that the Netherlands can ratify it. In the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday the VVD, PvdA, D66 and GroenLinks supported his solution, NOS reports.

Feb 22 '17 09:37

Even though Dutch people like to grumble when things do not go their way, the population is generally pretty satisfied about the country, according to a study I&O Research did on behalf of newspaper AD. The survey among more than 6 thousand Dutch found that while there are concerns about contradictions in society, most are positive about the Netherlands' future, AD reports.

Feb 22 '17 07:48

On Tuesday the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, that makes the cultivation and transportation of cannabis in hashish legal under strict conditions. Now it has to pass through the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, though it is uncertain whether the bill will make it.

Feb 21 '17 16:00

A narrow majority of Dutch parliament members voted to allow the cannabis cultivation, a move that further liberalizes a somewhat cumbersome drug policy where the selling of cannabis is tolerated but buying it abs growing it are illegal. Just 77 MPs out of 150 voted in favor of the proposal brought forward on Tuesday by centrist party D66.

The rule must still pass the Senate, or Eerste Kamer. It is not clear if a majority exists in favor of the law change in the Senate.

Feb 21 '17 11:30

On Tuesday the lower house of Dutch parliament is voting on a that will put an end to the Netherlands' policy that cannabis may be sold in the country, but not cultivated. The law for regulated cannabis cultivation is very controversial, but seems to be able to count on a narrow majority of 76 votes, according to the Telegraaf.

SGP leader Kees van der Staaij on the Kamergotchi app
Feb 21 '17 10:15

Christian parties SGP and ChristenUnie are unimpressed by a comment posted on Twitter by SP alderman in Arnhem Gerrie Elfrink. The tweet was directed at the Kees van der Staaij avatar Elfrink is caring for on the  app. "Keesie I am God! If I forget to feed you, that's my wish! First be vaccinated, pervert", Elfrink tweeted.

Feb 21 '17 09:35

While it is annoying for the media and the political and social debate, politicians like Geert Wilders have every right to withdraw from debates or refuse to be interviewed, Marcel Gelauff, chairman of the Dutch society of Chief Editors, said to the Telegraaf. This follows PVV leader Geert Wilders withdrawing from two election debates and refusing to meet with editors to discuss how he and journalists can get along.

Feb 21 '17 08:02

Two thirds of Defense personnel have no confidence in the top military leadership, according to a survey of nearly 8,500 Defense employees by military unions AFMP, ACOM, VBM and KVMO. More than 84 percent say that Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert does not give them more confidence in the organization, the Telegraaf reports.

Mark Rutte on the Kamergotchi app
Feb 20 '17 14:15

A day after the "Kamergotchi" app was launched on television program Zondag met Lubach, over 150 thousand people have downloaded it and are now taking care of their own parliamentarians, AD reports.

The app was launched by Arjen Lubach himself. Its name is a mixture of Kamer - as in lower house of Dutch parliament Tweede Kamer - and the toy Tamagotchi, which was very popular in the 90's. Players start with an egg, which they have to shake open. Then they get a politician - one of 17 party leaders - to care for. The politicians must be fed and give attention. 

Election time in the Netherlands - directions to voting stations
Feb 20 '17 13:40

The Amsterdam PvdA and the National Youth Council believe that there should be polling stations at more vocational high schools for the parliamentary elections on March 15th. As the plans stand so far, there will only be polling stations at ROC Amsterdam and ROC Top. Universities and academic high schools are somewhat better represented when it comes to polling stations in Amsterdam, AD reports.

Feb 20 '17 09:35

Education Minister Jet Bussemaker and State Secretary Sander Dekker plan to make it easier and quicker for kids to move from preparatory vocational school (VMBO) to vocational school (MBO) with a new law that contains a number of measures.These include allowing kids in VMBO to already take MBO classes and scrapping the intermediate exam before advancing, ANP reports.

The Education officials announced their new law for a so-called continuous learning routes in a letter to parliament on Monday. 

Feb 20 '17 08:25

If it is up to PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher, the Netherlands' new government will be a left-wing one. Asscher's first choice of government would be a coalition between the PvdA CDA, GroenLinks and SP, he said on television program WNL Op Zondag.

Geert Wilders
Feb 20 '17 08:02

PVV leader Geert Wilders withdrew from another election debate arranged by broadcaster RTL after RTL Nieuws had an interview with Wilders' brother Paul. Last week Wilders already withdrew from the Premier debate on February 26th, now he will also not be taking part in the Carré debate on March 5th. According to him, he is withdrawing because RTL "got his family involved with the campaign", he said on Twitter.

"What unbelievably vile scum RTL is to involve my family in the campaign. Disgusting", Wilders said on Twitter. 

Feb 17 '17 13:45

The Dutch government is implementing stricter rules for very high salaries that are paid with tax money, such as those of presenters for public broadcasters or managers in healthcare. From now on workers in the public and semi-public sector may no longer earn more money than Ministers, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs announced on Friday, ANP reports.

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