Politics

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.

Feb 17 '17 08:50

The Turkish consulate in Rotterdam confiscated the Turkish passports of a number of Dutch-Turkish people believed to be affiliated with the Gulen movement, Trouw reported on Friday. The people involved were told that they are now classified as a fugitive and were given a one-day passport to fly to Turkey and prove their innocence in front of a judge, according to the newspaper.

Four people made contact with asylum lawyers after the consulate took their passports. But the lawyers believe that much larger numbers are involved. 

Feb 17 '17 08:22

There is no evidence that there are still human remains on the site where flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine in 2014, Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice said on Thursday. His Ministry studies all photos and statements made by Dutch journalist Michel Spekkers, who b found at the crash site in January. The bone fragment belonged to one of the MH17 victims. 

Feb 16 '17 16:10

The PVV's legislative proposal to make municipalities only participate in Sinterklaas events in which , could count on almost no support from both the lower house of Dutch parliament and the Dutch government today. Most parties in parliament were against the law and Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs stated that the bill goes against the Dutch constitution.

Election time in the Netherlands - directions to voting stations
Feb 16 '17 13:35

Voters will have quite a selection to choose from in the parliamentary elections next month when it comes to picking a political party based on the financial and economic choices, according to calculations by Dutch central planning office CPB. A major difference between this and last election is that the parties are focused on spending money now that the economy is recovering, instead of the 2012 election's focus on cutbacks in the aftermath of the financial crisis, NU.nl reports.

Lady Justice
Feb 16 '17 10:54

Nearly a quarter of the Ministry of Security and Justice's employees are so unhappy that they want to resign, according to an internal satisfaction survey at the Ministry. A main complaint is a heavy workload caused by political turmoil surrounding the Ministry, ANP reports.

The survey was dome among 1,300 officials working at the Ministry. A Ministry spokesperson confirmed the figures to NU.nl on Thursday and called them "worrisome". 

Woman wearing a burqa
Feb 16 '17 09:54

The VVD wants more stringent integration requirements in the Netherlands including a total ban on face covering clothing, like burkas and balaclavas, in public. Wearing face covering clothing makes it more difficult for you to openly meet and greet each other, VVD parliamentarian Malik Azmani emphasizes in a broad integration agenda the ruling party is presenting on Thursday, Het Parool reports.

Chimney Piet
Feb 16 '17 08:34

The lower house of Dutch parliament is discussing a PVV legislative proposal today that wants to ensure that Zwarte Piet keeps his blackface makeup. According to initiator Martin Bosma, "for years there's been a war against Zwarte Piet" and that has to stop, the Telegraaf reports.

Feb 15 '17 16:55

PvdA parliamentarian Ahmed Marcouch wants to make sexual harassment on the street a punishable offense. If he has his way, anyone who cat calls, whistles, chases or in anyway sexually harasses another person on the street, will spend up to three months in jail or pay a hefty fine, ANP reports. 

Microphone
Feb 15 '17 12:50

Broadcaster RTL decided to go through with the "Premier debate" later this month despite the RTL initially decided to cancel the election debate after Geert Wilders and Mark Rutte said they wouldn't participate. But a massive outcry from viewers and other political parties made them change their mind.

Feb 15 '17 09:55

A total of 12.9 million Dutch can vote in the parliamentary elections on March 15th, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Wednesday. That's 300 thousand more than in the previous parliamentary elections in 2012.

Basically everyone with Dutch nationality aged 18 years and older is allowed to vote in the parliamentary elections. In 2016 only 56 persons were denied the ability to vote due to the severity of a crime they committed, according to the statistics office.

Geert Wilders
Feb 15 '17 09:42

In an interview with WNL over the weekend PVV leader Geert Wilders claimed that "we are losing the Netherlands". As examples he said that "schools often only serve halal food. Our holidays, Christmas and Easter, we're not allowed to celebrate anymore, according to some people". A group of Journalism students in Leiden decided to fact check these two statements and concluded that they are nonsense, RTL Nieuws reports.

Feb 15 '17 08:46

The newest information on Peilingwijzer - a platform that brings the information of various polls together - has the PVV only barely larger than the VVD. Geert Wilders' PVV currently stands at between 25 and 29 seats, only two seats more that Mark Rutte's VVD - between 23 and 27 seats. Political scientist Tom Louwerse, creator of Peilingwijzer, told NOS that this is not due to the VVD gaining support, but rather the PVV losing ground.

The PVV lost 5 seats since December. "You can now see that decline to a greater or lesser extent at all polling agencies", Louwerse said to NOS. 

Mark Rutte
Feb 14 '17 15:10

Before the receipt showing the amount involved in a , an email was sent to at least four officials working closely with Prime Minister Mark Rutte that showed the correct amount involved in the deal, Nieuwsuur reporter Bas Haan revealed on Monday, the Volkskrant reports.

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