Edith Schipers, the mediator in the Dutch government formation talks, plans to contniue exploring to find the best way to form the new Dutch government, despite the current impasse. She asked the party leaders to keep themselves available for meetings on Friday, Schippers reported to Tweede Kamer presidend Khadija Arib on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
VVD leader Mark Rutte is carefully considering the next steps in the Dutch cabinet formation now that negotiations between his party, the CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed. He is clear on one thing however - the VVD still won't rule with anti-Islam nationalist Geert Wilders and his PVV, he said to RTL Nieuws.
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.
Unemployment in the Netherlands dropped by an average of 6 thousand people per month during the first three months of this year, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands. In March a total of 463 thousand people in the Netherlands were unemployed, 5.1 percent of the working population. In March last year, there were 574 thousand unemployed.
The number of people with paid work increased by an average of 14 thousand per month over the past three months. At the end of March benefits agency UWV was paying 415 thousand unemployment benefits, a decrease of 0.3 percent.
There were indications that the Turkish Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya's security guards were carrying weapons during disturbances at the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam last month, the Dutch government wrote to parliament on Monday. The police therefore considered the guards "armed and dangerous". No weapons were found after they were arrested, AD reports.
The Dutch government "understands" the United States' cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base in retaliation to a poison gas attack in Syria earlier this week, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher and Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders all said before the cabinet meeting on Friday, NU.nl reports.
PvdA parliamentarians will no longer automatically boycott any proposal made by their PVV colleagues, but will instead assess each proposal's content before making a decision, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher announced. PVV leader Geert Wilders is pleased with this decision. "Good of Asscher this new road and as it should be: evaluate on content and nothing else", he said, ANP reports.
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.
Eurogroup chairman and departing Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem was one target of eight letter bombs intercepted and defused in Athens on Monday, his spokesperson confirmed to ANP on Tuesday. He made no further comment.
Several PvdA Ministers are calling for calm and unity following a crushing defeat in the parliamentary election on Wednesday. According to the labor leaders, a reckoning now fixes nothing, Het Parool reports.
After a night of celebrations or condolences following the parliamentary election on Wednesday, the Dutch political party leaders are gathering in parliament to discuss the election results and start the massive task of creating a new government. GroenLinks party leader Jesse Klaver thinks it will be "difficult" to for his party to form a coalition party with the VVD, the biggest party after the election, but he is willing to consider it, the Telegraaf reports.
Former PvdA parliamentarian Rob Oudkerk thinks the labor party should disband after what he calls a "historic defeat" in this election. The PvdA lost 29 parliamentary seats, compared to what the party had after the 2012 election, NOS reports.
"What a night it seems to be," Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte said to begin his election victory speech Wednesday night. "For the third time in a row the VVD is the largest party in the national elections," he added.
"It is also a night wherein the Netherlands, after Brexit, after Trump, has said 'no" to populism," he said. He praised the massive voter turnout of over 81 percent, a stark contrast to the comparatively low turnout in the UK for the Brexit referendum and in the U.S. for the 2016 general election there.
An exit poll sampling voters in the 2017 Netherlands parliamentary election shows the conservative party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte taking 31 seats in the Lower House, down from its current 41 seats. The coalition partner of Rutte's VVD, the Labour party (PvdA), showed a bigger than expected drop, losing 29 of its 38 seats, the Ipsos exit poll showed.
Many of the political party leaders already cast their votes in the parliamentary election in the Netherlands this morning. D66 leader Alexander was the first party leader to do so. He voted in his hometown of Wageningen, NOS reports.
According to Pechtold, today is an exciting day. "There are four parties that can become the biggest and of those the D66 is the most progressive", he said to the broadcaster. He plans to hand out some more flyers during the day.
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.
In a new verbal attack, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds the Netherlands responsible for the mass murder of thousands of Muslim men in Srebrenica in 1995. "We know the Dutch from the Srebrenica massacre", he said in a speech that was televised live in Turkey, according to the Volkskrant. "We know how rotten their character is due to their murder of 8 thousand Bosnians there."
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.
Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher called on Turkey to retract its accusations of Nazism and fascism against the Netherlands. If the country does not do so, the relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey will remain difficult, Asscher said, according to RTL Nieuws.
Asscher added that the Dutch government will not take any measures against the Ankara government, even if they refuse to retract the statements. According to him, it is important that calm returns. But "a different form of communication must come from Turkey", he said.
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.
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.
The Dutch government should reinstate regular meetings with consultative bodies for ethnic minority groups, according to a study by Van de Bunt advisers on behalf of Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs. Abolishing these meetings led to the fast decline of the dense network of representative members of ethnic communities and means that the government is less sufficient in reacting to rising social tensions, the report concludes, according to the Volkskrant.
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.