A number of rules in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the Netherlands will likely be set into stone, according to a preliminary draft proposal leaked out to RTL Nieuws on Saturday, clearing the way for emergency ordinance laws to come into force for a longer duration of time. The law also aims to end confusion about the definition of a household, which had made it possible for students to be fined even while inside their own student housing.
Issues concerning racism and other forms of discrimination should be tackled collectively, as a society, and not by the government alone, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday. Speaking at a press conference after convening with the cabinet, Rutte was taken to task on a number of issues around racial discrimination following a week of protest action in the Netherlands and abroad.
Black Lives Matter demonstrations will be held in Utrecht, Nijmegen, and Enschede on Friday afternoon. To prevent it from getting too crowded and so that social distancing can be maintained, the organizers of the demonstrations stressed that they are only for people living in the immediate area and that more protests will be held in other places soon, ANP reports.
In the 2018 municipal elections in The Hague, local political party Groep de Mos bought votes, was revealed in telephone conversations tapped by the police, NRC reports based on the transcripts. The conversations were tapped as part as an investigation into party members and former aldermen Richard de Mos and Rachid Guernaoui, who are accused of accepting bribes to issue hospitality permits.
Prime Minster Mark Rutte has started to think differently about the appearance of blackface Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet, he said in a parliamentary debate on Thursday about protests against racist police brutality. "I also belonged to the group that said: Zwarte Piet is simply black," he said, but added that he now thinks differently.
Two online petitions regarding Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema received tens of thousands of signatures. One calls for her to stay on as mayor after she allowed an anti-racism and -police brutality protest to continue on Monday, despite a lack of social distancing. The other calls for her to step down.
The municipality of Amsterdam will allow no more demonstrations on Dam Square for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, mayor Femke Halsema said. A Black Lives Matter protest will be held in Arnhem on Thursday. Mayor Ahmed Marcouch said a maximum of 500 people can participate and everyone must wear face masks.
In 2017 the Dutch ambassador to Nigeria, Robert Petri, leaked confidential information about an extensive corruption investigation into Shell to the oil company itself, NRC reports based on information revealed in an integrity investigation into Petri. The ambassador warned Shell that it was under investigation over bribery allegations.
There was some unrest in Rotterdam on Wednesday evening after the local authorities ended a demonstration against racist police brutality about half an hour before it was scheduled to end. The police had to intervene in a few incidents of vandalism. Two people were arrested, one for throwing a firework at a police officer, RTL Nieuws reports.
Amsterdam police chief Frank Paauw was surprised by the rapid increase in the number of demonstrators protesting against racist police brutality on Dam Square on Monday, he said on television program Op1. But police sources told NOS that the police knew the protest would be crowded hours before it started.
Both the inexcusable nature of George Floyd's death and the "irresponsible" nature of mass gatherings in the Netherlands that followed in its wake can both be acknowledged at once, Prime Minister Mark Rutte asserted on Friday during a press conference, in which he announced an easing of restrictions for European tourism. "The images from the US are very intense. What happened there is unacceptable, but it is not only in the United States.
Various flexible workers in the Netherlands, including students who only worked a few hours per week, will become eligible for financial assistance if they lost income as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A new program announced by Wouter Koolmees, the Minister of Social Affairs, will allow people who qualify to claim 550 euros per month for the months of March, April, and May.
Some holiday options will be available to residents of the Netherlands this summer, Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed during a press conference on Wednesday. However trips to countries outside of the European Union and the Schengen Area will remain restricted to residents.
A day after demonstrators protesting against police violence and racism were praised for maintaining social distance even in large crowds, a similar protest of several thousand people in Rotterdam on Wednesday evening was ordered to conclude because attendees were not maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5 meters. The organizers of the event had repeatedly asked participants to do this in social media posts throughout the day, including during the protest.
Lodewijk Asscher will be the leader of the PvdA in the next elections. Anyone who wanted to run against him for party leadership had until last week Friday to register, but nobody did, sources reported to RTL Nieuws. The party board still has to ratify the party leadership, but with Asscher as only candidate, this is just a formality.
The Amsterdam authorities had bad information about how many people would attend an anti-racism protest in the city on Monday, resulting in Dam Square becoming overcrowded and making social distancing impossible, Mayor Femke Halsema said in a letter to the city council. "We deeply regret this," she said. She will make sure that their information position improves so that crowds can be handled better in the future. But she does not intend to step down over this.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb decided to move a demonstration against racism and police brutality on Wednesday to the Erasmus Bridge, in order to be able to accommodate more protesters. The municipality granted permission for a demonstration from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Glitterplein, the pedestrian area of the Erasmus Bridge and Wilhelminaplein, Aboutaleb said to Rijnmond.
Demonstrators rallied in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on Tuesday, gathering on the Malieveld in The Hague and on the Grote Markt in Groningen to protest a culture of systemic racism in the Netherlands. As of 7 p.m., both events remained peaceful demonstrations, with well over a thousand in The Hague and hundreds more in Groningen, all of whom were reportedly sticking to social distancing rules.
The Dutch government is set to reduce the level of the negative travel advisory for trips within parts of Europe so that outgoing tourist trips and family visits will be permissible from June 15, sources from the government told local media on Tuesday. The move marks a departure from the government's current recommendation that only necessary trips be made, and is reportedly part of a wider European effort to lift restrictions on tourism on the same date.
Football clubs, museums, theaters, performers, political organizations, and media in the Netherlands massively posted black pictures on social media on Tuesday to show support for the movement demanding an end to racism and police brutality in the United States and beyond.
Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam will allow a demonstration against racism to happen on Schouwburgplein on Wednesday, but the number of participants will be limited to no more than 80. The square is not suitable for more than 80 demonstrators while adhering to social distancing measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, he said to Radio Rijnmond on Tuesday.
Parliamentarians from the D66, ChristenUnie and SP are critical of an emergency law that will give health institute RIVM access to transmission mast data in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. D66 MP Kees Verhoeven is not convinced that this population tracking is necessary, he said to the Telegraaf.
Left-wing parties PvdA, GroenLinks and SP are calling on the government to significantly increase its support for the culture sector, from the already promised 300 million euros to a total of 1 billion euros. The Netherlands has a moral obligation to support this sector that not only colors society, but is also of great economic importance, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher said to AD.
VVD leader Klaas Dijkhoff and Marianne Schuurmans, mayor of Haarlemmermeer and chairman of Veiligheidsregio Kennemerland, both called on everyone who participated in a protest in Amsterdam against racism and police brutality to self-quarantine for two weeks, in case they caught the coronavirus. Some 5 thousand people were gathered on Amsterdam's Dam Square for the protest on Monday.