Primary schools teachers across the Netherlands are striking this morning. Almost all primary schools in the country will open at 9:30 a.m., instead of 8:30 a.m. One positive side effect to this strike, is that traffic information service VID expects less traffic on the road during rush hour this morning.
The VVD and CDA again firmly stated that they will not work with anti-Islam party PVV and its leader Geert Wilders. Formation negotiator Herman Tjeenk Willink asked VVD leader Mark Rutte and CDA leader Sybrand Buma to put in writing why they will not form a government with Wilders. They dismissed Wilders as untrustworthy and "increasingly radical", the Volkskrant reports
Multiple attempts to get a second round of government formation talks going, failed to get off the ground. The forming of a new Dutch cabinet is now facing a looming stalemate, CDA leader Sybrand Buma warns. "The situation is now in danger of creating an impasse as parties say they don't want to participate, or won't participate in certain compositions", he said after his second meeting in as many days with negotiation mediator Edith Schippers, NU.nl reports.
Christian party CDA and democrats D66 called on socialist party SP to join them and liberal VVD in negotiations to form a new Dutch government together. During the election campaign SP leader Emile Roemer insisted that his party will not work with the VVD.
CDA leader Sybrand Buma called on Roemer to get off the sidelines, in the parliamentary debate about the failed formation attempt between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks on Wednesday. "Have the guts to start the negotiations", he said in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, NU.nl reports.
On Thursday evening Edith Schippers announced that government formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed. The parties could not agree on a migration policy, and there were problems agreeing to issues concerning climate change, sustainability and income equality.
Opposition parties PVV and SP want clarity from Edith Schippers on the status of the government formation. Schippers is leading negotiations between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks on the four parties forming a government together.
The first formal and substantive negotiations for forming a government with the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks start at 9:30 this morning. The parties will try to find common ground and make agreements on a number of major issues, including employment, income distribution, the tax system, the energy transition and the environment, security and defense, immigration and integration, education and healthcare, NOS reports.
Thirteen party leaders clashed on Tuesday night in the final election debate on NOS, the last chance for the party leaders to sway voters before the election. Topics ranged from income inequality to Dutch identity. And after an entire election campaign of being calm and being nice, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher went on the attack, NU.nl reports.
On Saturday party leaders Alexander Pechtold (D66), Sybrand Buma (CDA), Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA), Mark Rutte (VVD), Geert Wilders (PVV) and Emile Roemer (SP) debated policy, explained what topics they find important and played games on kids TV show NOS Jeugdjournaal.
The debate was done by means of a quartet. Each party leader could chose a theme and a topic, such as "healthcare" and "costs". And then they could briefly and simply explain what they find important on that topic.
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.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver and SP leader Emile Roemer could not agree on whether the VVD should or should not be excluded from forming a new government after the parliamentary elections on March 15th. During the first televised debate for the upcoming elections, Roemer called on Klaver to clearly state whether GroenLinks and the VVD would form a coalition. Klaver said he can not rule out that possibility, AD reports.
Broadcaster RTL decided to go through with the "Premier debate" later this month despite the VVD and PVV refusing their invitations. 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.
The VVD will not team up with the PVV after the elections coming up in March, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on television program Buitenhof on Saturday. And with that Geert Wilders and his anti-Islam populist party has no one to cooperate with after the elections - each political party has excluded working with the PVV, the Volkskrant reports.
Rutte said that the "probability is not 0.1, but zero that the VVD will govern with the PVV", on Buitenhof. "It's not going to happen." Previously the PvdA, CDA, D66, GroenLinks and SP already closed the door on working with the PVV.
PVV leader Geert Wilders thinks that Donald Trump's "historic victory" will change the way politics work forever. "Politics will never be the same, take it from me", he said to NOS.
PvdA leader Diederik Samsom wants his party to merge with GroenLinks after the upcoming elections. "Then you can be the biggest in one go", he said in response to a plea from GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver that the left-wing parties in the Netherlands work together, the Volkskrant reports.
SP members Lilian Marijnissen and Renske Leitjen think there is a link between the quality of nursing home care and elderly people's desire to make an end to their life, they said on Twitter in response to to government's plan to allow assisted suicide at the end of a "full life". Other parliamentary parties were outraged
The Dutch government wants to adjust the Euthanasia Act so that people who aren't sick, but feel that their life is completed, can end their lives with assisted suicide. This will only be allowed under "strict and rigorous criteria", the government wrote to parliament. The majority of parliamentarians support the plan.
The SP wants a structural rent reduction of 400 euros per year for residents of social housing. The party also wants more inexpensive rental housing built and more houses to be insulated
Dutch parliamentarians reacted shocked and horrified to the attack in Nice, France on Thursday that left at least 84 people dead and hundreds injured. The first of the victims have been identified. So far none of the victims are Dutch and no Dutch have been reported missing
Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice is again facing criticism from opposition parties in Parliament, this time over a never-realized cooperation task force between the Netherlands and Turkey aimed at addressing jihadists and foreign rebel fighters in the Syrian civil war
Almost all party leaders in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, released a joint statement against the violent escalation seen during refugee discussions in the Netherlands over the past weeks. They call on their voters to show more mutual understanding and tolerance and not to confuse threats and insults with debate.
After antagonizing most of the faction leaders during the general budget debate on Wednesday, PVV leader Geert Wilders has now turned his attentions to Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Wilders and Rutte spoke some harsh words in their clash over the refugee crisis, with Wilders telling Rutte that "he's only Prime Minister on paper", and Rutte accusing Wilders of "illusion politics".
Today the leaders of factions in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, is debating the 2016 budget which was presented at Prinsjesdag on Tuesday. As can be expected, the opposition parties have a lot to say about the budget, many focusing on the asylum plan.