After years of a budget deficit, the Dutch government managed to achieve a budget surplus in 2016. And that surplus is even 14 times larger than previously expected - a massive 2.9 billion euros, according to Statistics Netherlands on Friday. The Dutch economy also gew more than expected in previous estimations, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Dutch advisory council for international affairs AIV expects that a trade agreement with the United Kingdom will not be possible within the first two years of the Brexit. In a recommendation to the yet-to-be-formed new Dutch government, the council advocates for a transitional period after the UK's official departure from the European Union, ANP reports.
The Netherlands will not apologize to Turkey for the actions taken in Rotterdam on Saturday around the arrival of Turkish Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Mark Rutte said to Het Parool on Wednesday. "The actions taken on Saturday were firm and respectful."
The European Commission called on Turkey to refrain from making harsh statements that could worsen the country's relationship with the Netherlands and other European members. "The comparison by the Turkish President with Nazi practices is unacceptable", Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans said, according to NOS.
Air France-KLM is one of several airlines that may be facing a massive fine from Brussels. The Dutch-French airline is accused of cartel forming in the cargo transit market, ANP reports.
Insiders told the news wire that attempts to negotiate a settlement failed. Which means that fines amounting to millions of euros may be imposed on the involved airlines.
The authorities suspect 11 airlines for making secret agreements between 1999 and 2006 on how they would deal with fuel and security surcharges and how to ensure that no discounts were granted.
Another 10 Dutch names were added to the Netherlands' national terrorism list. The list now contains 100 names - 86 men, 11 women and three organizations, RTL Nieuws reports.
Most of the names on the list involve people believed to be involved in terrorist activities in Syria and Iraq.
The bank accounts and assets of everyone on the list have been frozen, which means they can no longer access the money in their accounts. This measure is intended to make it more difficult for terrorist activities to be funded from the Netherlands.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte got support from a majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament for amendments he wants to add to the association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine so that the Netherlands can ratify it. In the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday the VVD, PvdA, D66 and GroenLinks supported his solution, NOS reports.
An increasing number of companies from the United Kingdom are considering making a move to the Netherlands. The main reason for them to move across the Channel is the fact that the Brexit will likely mean more difficult trading with the European Union from within Britain, NRC reports
The fact that British Prime Minister Theresa May announced last year that in addition to the EU, the Brits also want to leave the European internal market, reinforced many companies' determination to move across the Channel, according to the newspaper.
If the European Union falls apart, the Netherlands would face severe consequences, according to Rabobank. The Dutch economy will shrink by 10 to 15 percent, unemployment will double and welfare will remain structurally lower than when the Netherlands was part of the internal market. Should the EU stay together, but the Netherlands decides to step out, the consequences would be even more disastrous, the bank predicts, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Netherlands' healthcare system is the best in Europe, according to the annual index by Swedish Health Consumer Powerhouse. The Netherlands has been number in Europe on this index since 2008, the Telegraaf reports.
Powerhouse compares accessibility, cost, treatment outcome and use of medicine for their ranking. This year the Netherlands scored 927 out of the possible 1,000 points. Improvements were seen in shorter waiting lists.
Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs thinks its time for Europe to change, now that "America First is the motto" of the new U.S. president Donald Trump, he said in newspaper AD. "Not more Europe, not less. We need a different Europe."
The European Union could face collapse if nationalist parties win the elections in the Netherlands and France this year, German Minister Sigmar Gabriel of Economic Affairs said tto the Bundestag lower house of parliament, Reuters reports.
"After the Brexit last year, if enemies of Europe manage again in the Netherlands or in France to get results then we face the threat that the largest civilization project of the 20th century, namely the European Union, could fall apart."
On Monday United States president elec. Donald Trump said that he does not much care whether the European Union is divided or united, in interviews with newspapers Bild and The Times. He also called on other countries to follow Britain's example with the Brexit. European Commissioner Frans Timmermans read these statements with amazement. "We have never seen a U.S. president show interest in a divided Europe." he said to broadcaster NOS.
Security experts in the United States are convinced that the Netherlands will be targeted by Russian hackers in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in March, like the American Democratic Party was during the U.S. elections, NOS reports. "The Dutch government is very, very alert", Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs said to the broadcaster. "I have no concrete evidence that this is the case, but I am not naive."
For the first time ever a list of endangered habitats in Europe was released, compiled by some 300 experts from over 30 countries working for three years on behalf of the European Commission. Across the EU there are 28 habitats that are considered "endangered" or "critically endangered". Fourteen of these habitats can be found in the Netherlands, Trouw reports.
In the Netherlands, endangered habitats include tidal rivers such as the Westerschelde and Eems, reed marshes in Noord-Holland and Zeeland, bogs like in Peel in Brabant among others, and sand banks such as the Veluwe.
According to PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher, the free movement of workers in the European Union - one of the EU's core values - has become a "business model for lwo wages". He calls on his European colleagues to put a stop to his by limiting labor migration in the EU, the Volkskrant reports.
Inflation in the Netherlands increased from 0.6 percent to 1.0 percent in December, according to Statistics Netherlands on Thursday. But despite this increase, the Dutch inflation over 2016 was at its lowest level in nearly 30 years. Over 2016 inflation in the Netherlands increased only 0.3 percent. The last time inflation was so limited was in 1987, according to the statistics office.
The Dutch government is having discussions with Belgium, Germany and France about implementing a registry for people traveling on international buses, trains and boats, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Security and Justice said to the Volkskrant. This follows terror Anis Amri suspect fleeing through the Netherlands unchecked after he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19th.
The European Summit in Brussels today is expected to be a tense one. One of the main items on the agenda is the fact that the Netherlands still has not ratified the association agreement with the Ukraine, the only EU country not to do so. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will try get his fellow EU leaders to accept a set of amendments to the deal, with which he hopes he can convince Dutch parliament to ratify the agreement.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte plans to ask the EU leaders to put limits on he association agreement with the Ukraine at a EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, Reuters reports based on information from diplomatic sources.
A Dutch drafted document, which Reuters caught sight off, states that the Netherlands wants to make it clear that this association agreement is not a "stepping stone" for the Ukraine to become a member of the European Union.
The Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) called upon Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte to push through ratification of a European Union agreement with the Ukraine. The deal, rejected by Dutch voters in a non-binding referendum, includes policy on energy, economics, labour rights and free travel across borders.
Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs is willing to advocate within the European Union for pausing the talks with Turkey regarding their admittance to the EU, he said in parliament on Wednesday, NOS reports
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, today voted for pausing the talks. The PvdA added its vote to stepping away from the negotiation table, taking Tuesday's minority vote to a majority on Wednesday. Dutch parliament now supports pausing the talks for six months because of the worsening situation in Turkey.
In the first nine months of 2016 Dutch companies exported more to the Ukraine than in the same period last year, according to figures from the European Commission (EC). The total trade between the Netherlands increased by 4 percent to 1.17 billion euros. According to the Commission, this can be attributed to the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine, the trade part of which took effect on January 1st, ANP reports.