Amsterdam’s city council greeted Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s arrival this week with rainbow flags on every building in the city. The flags was also purposely placed around the city center to raise awareness around the world.
Employees of all Dutch prisons and forensic psychiatric clinics will go on strike if the austerity plan of State Secretary Fred Teeven is not suspended before Thursday next week, as related by a spokesperson of the Action Committee of the prison in Hoogeveen to RTV Drenthe.
If the plans of Teeven pushes through, a lot of prisons will have to close. Unions, the Work Councils of the prisons and action committees have issued an ultimatum that expires on Thursday, April 18. The staff will go on strike on April 25 if Teeven does not respond.
Russian president Vladimir Poetin will pay the Netherlands a short visit on Monday to open the Netherlands-Russia year together with Queen Beatrix in the museum Hermitage in Amsterdam. Sensitive topics will also be discussed and more than 3,3 thousand people plan to protest against the Russian anti-gay law.
Some citizens of Meerssen (Limburg), united with the Restoration of Democracy Group, believe that acting mayor Hans Schmidt of the municipality in Limburg must resign. They published this in a manifest last Saturday and they have an internet signature campaign going on.
Meerssen, a peaceful village in the South of Limburg, is in turmoil. More than a month ago, 58-year old alderman Jo DeJong committed suicide after he resigned.
At a carnival a few weeks earlier, DeJong gave a french kiss to a female municipal officer in a pub against her will.
The Dutch Party for Animals Partij voor de dieren (PvdD) in the northern city Groningen wants to prohibit large urban Wi-Fi networks because they are afraid that the radiation is harmful for people and trees.
Activists protested in Enschede against the closure of prisons in the east of the Netherlands. The protestors are afraid of more unemployment in the region because Secretary of State Fred Teeven plans to save 340 million euro on prisons.
The Dutch economy shrank faster in the last quarter of 2012 than previously thought. This follows from the second estimate of the CBS, which was distributed on Thursday. According to the estimate, the economy shrank by 0.4 percent. The first estimate in mid-February, on the other hand, showed a shrinking of 0.2 percent.
The shrinkage was 1.2 percent compared to a year earlier. In the first estimate, this was still at 0.9 percent. Consumer expenditure was lower and authorities spent less money than expected.
The confidence of the Dutch people in their government has decreased. During the formation of this government in the fourth quarter last year, the number of people that had trust in the government was about 10% higher.
The Citizen Perspectives report of the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP), presented on Friday, shows that only 51 percent of the Dutch people have confidence in the government. Last quarter, when the cabinet formation took place, the political mood improved considerably. Then the confidence in the government increased from 41 percent to 57 percent.
The coalition parties VVD and PvdA understand that the price of stamps must increase, but, at the same time, they warn that this cannot always be the solution to the financial problems at PostNL.
"The rates should not rise indefinitely," said VVD MP Bart de Liefde. "I hope that this is not going to happen every year," said Labour (PvdA) MP Mei Li Vos.
Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs wrote to the House on Wednesday that he made an agreement with PostNL about increasing the price of stamps up to 6 cents beginning July 1st.
The “Blok mortgage” has to be the way to make the housing market moving again. But almost no bank wants to offer it and mortgage advisers refuse to sell it. RTL News concludes this after its own investigation.
Recently Volkskrant reported that the newly devised mortgage construction of Minister Stef Blok (Housing) to reduce monthly costs for starters proved to be very expensive. A calculation of the advice chain Hypotheker shows that an average starter with a block mortgage pays almost 60,000 euro more interest over the whole period than people with an annuity-type mortgage.
Although the 50Plus party is doing well in polls, the unions of the elderly claim to be critical of the party of Henk Krol.
The daily journal Trouw interviewed the unions of elderly people. Five of these organizations for senior citizens were not happy at all with the party.
“We don’t want to be associated with the image that 50Plus stands for the interests of the elderly only,” says Wim van Minnen, the chairman of CSO, the umbrella organization of the elderly unions. “Every discussion about the young and old undermines the solidarity that we stand for.”
The members of the parliament are very happy that State Secretary for Education, Sander Dekker, is going to take on teasing at schools. The coming new law of Dekker can count on the support of the coalition parties VVD and PvdA, but part of the opposition also promised support.
The rise of the 50Plus party has come to an end in the Politieke Barometer.
According to this poll, by investigation bureau Ipsos, the party of Henk Krol would get 16 seats in parliament if elections were held today. Though that is significantly more than the two seats the party has now, it is three less than the outcome of the same poll given two weeks ago.
The PVV benefits most from the decline in the results for the 50Plus, jumping from 18 seats two weeks ago, to 20 seats in the poll now.
Lelystad expects more than thousand Turks to protest against Dutch youth care policy this Friday. Unrest is growing in Turkey and among Turks living in the Netherlands because of reception of Turkish-Dutch children by gay couples and families with a different religious background.
Security and Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten is planning "additional actions" to more effectively respond to digital threats.
Dutch labour party, PvdA, is calling for a greater level of transparency from criminal psychiatric clinics, known in the Netherlands as TBS clinics. Party MPs want data on performance, therapies and check-outs to be presented in a clearer and more comprehensible manner.