Opposition parties did not hesitate to comment on the new government's plans for the Netherlands for the coming years.
After 209 days of formation talks, the new Dutch government presented its plans for the coming years on Tuesday. Here follows some details from the agreement that were not leaked to the press before the official release.
After the longest formation process ever in Dutch history, the new Dutch government of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie presented their government agreement to the Tweede Kamer and released it to the public. "The coalition agreement is ambitious and balanced", Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte said at a press conference after the agreement was handed to the Tweede Kamer, the Volkskrant reports.
Government formation mediator Gerrit Zalm is delivering the new Dutch government agreement to Tweede Kamer president Khadija Arib at around 1:00 p.m. Some time after that, the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie will present their plans to the press and parliamentarians, the Volkskrant reports.
The government agreement contains the new coalition's plans for the coming years. A summary of leaked details can be seen here.
A petition for a referendum on a new law that gives the Dutch intelligence services massive data mining capabilities, collected over 300 thousand signatures - the number necessary for an advisory referendum to be arranged. The Electoral Council must still check the validity of the signatures. Should they all prove valid, the referendum will be arranged during the municipal elections in March next year, NU.nl reports.
After 208 days of negotiations, the new Dutch government coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie can almost take office. On Monday the negotiators of the four parties presented their new government agreement to their parliamentary factions, and all four parties approved it. It will be presented to the press and the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, later today, according to RTL Nieuws.
"Confidence in the future" is the motto of Prime Minister Mark Rutte's new government, the Rutte III cabinet, RTL Nieuws reports. The motto will be officially announced when the government agreement is presented. The expectation is that this will happen on Tuesday.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold will not be a Minister in the new Dutch government, he confirmed to RTL Nieuws. He is staying as D66 leader in the Tweede Kamer, because that is better for "the stability of the new coalition" and being party leader in parliament gives him a bit more room on the home front, he said.
The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are now really very almost done with their government agreement, ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers said to NOS on Friday afternoon. But he thinks the four parties will have to meet again on Monday.
There will be no meetings over the weekend. The ChristenUnie respects the Sunday rest. "And on Saturday I have other plans", Segers said to the broadcaster.
The new Dutch government plans to limit gender registration and work gender-neutrally as much as possible, sources confirmed to RTL Nieuws. Article 1 of the Dutch Constitution will be supplemented to specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The new Dutch government is making 170 million euros extra available for early learning disability detection in very young kids, sources told the Telegraaf.
With the extra money, the youngest toddlers, from 2.5 years, can spend more time at day care or play groups. The older kids in groups 1 and 2 will get more lessons, mostly focused on language problems. Lessons in these groups will increase from 10 hours per week to 16 hours per week.
Nearly seven months after the parliamentary elections, the negotiators of the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are finally done with their new government agreement, formation mediator Gerrit Zalm announced on Monday. The agreement was sent to the four parties' parliamentary factions, which have the rest of Monday to read through it, ask questions and make comments, NU.nl reports.
The new Dutch government is implementing an hourly minimum wage of between 15 and 18 euros for meal deliverers, cleaners and other freelancers or self-employed who work at a low rate, RTL Nieuws reported after getting a look at the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie's plans for freelancers.
Unlicensed escort agencies and pimps in the Netherlands will soon face criminal prosecution, according to agreements made by the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie in their government formation talks, RTL Nieuws reports. The new government wants a harsher approach to illegal prostitution as part of the fight against human trafficking, sources confirmed to the broadcaster.
Under current Dutch law, illegal prostitution companies can get an administrative fine for working without a license. In the future they will face criminal prosecution, with prison being a possible punishment.
The new Dutch government is planning an experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation, to see if this legal cultivation will decrease organized crime and increase the safety of cannabis in the country. In the experiment, the government will give one organization a government license to grow cannabis, which will be distributed in six to 10 municipalities, RTL Nieuws reports.
As the new Dutch government prepares to present its government agreement, more and more of the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie's plans are leaking to the press. On Monday we've learned that the new government plans more changes to the asylum policy and is giving more money to security.
Hillary Clinton believes that her loss in the American presidential election last year, had an influence on the Dutch parliamentary election earlier this year. At the very least, Dutch voters were more informed about things like Russia trying to influence international elections with propaganda after that happened in the United States election, she said in an interview with RTL Nieuws correspondent Erik Mouthaan.
"I think it [the U.S. election] certainly gave Dutch voters information that American voters didn't have", she said in the interview.
The Nobel Peace Prize for this year was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Dutch peace organization PAX is a member of ICAN's board and is "one of the driving forces behind ICAN", PAX director Jan Gruiters said to newspaper AD. "This is really a top day."
The entire Amsterdam is in mourning after the death of Mayor Eberhard van der Laan on Thursday. The flag outside his official residence on Herengracht is hanging half mast and local residents are leaving flowers outside his door, Het Parool reports.
After a long battle with cancer, Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan passed away on Thursday. He leaves behind a wife and five children. In Amsterdam Van der Laan will be remembered as a very involved and very well loved mayor of the Dutch capital.
The Rutte III government is changing the immigration policy, specifically they're limiting immigrants' access to benefits. The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are also increasing the low VAT rate from 6 percent to 9 percent, RTL Nieuws reports.
Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan passed away on Thursday, the municipality of Amsterdam announced. He was battling metastasized lung cancer. Van der Laan was 62 years old.
Nearly a quarter of Dutch mayors have been threatened by criminals, according to a survey of 4 thousand mayors, aldermen and officials by Pro Facto on behalf of the Ministry of Security and Justice. The researchers add that there is no sign of large-scale criminal influence on local governments, NOS reports.