Today is Budget Day, or Prinsjesdag, in the Netherlands. This is the official opening of the parliamentary year. King Willem-Alexander will give a speech and the government will present its budget plans for next year. Here's what to expect.
The partner of Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema was formally questioned in connection with the ownership of a deactivated German revolver, according to newspapers Telegraaf and AD. Robert Oey was considered a crime suspect for the purpose of the interview, a spokesperson told the Telegraaf.
A spokesperson for the public prosecution service in Haarlem said the official interview was planned after Oey said the gun which led to the arrest of his and Halsema’s son was actually his.
The weapon that Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema's 15-year-old son was arrested with in July was a deactivated revolver that belonged to his father, Robert Oey, the boy's father and Halsema's partner said in an interview with NRC. The boy found the weapon in a drawer in the mayor's official residence, where Oey left it before going on a business trip to Hong Kong, he said, adding that Halsema did not know the weapon was there. Opposition parties in Amsterdam want an explanation from the mayor.
The government must better promote Dutch history and ensure that the Netherlands' "birth certificates" are exhibited in a prominent and public place, according to CDA leader Pieter Heerma and VVD leader Klaas Dijkhoff. They want the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (1581), the Unie van Utrecht (1579) and the Apologie van Willem van Oranje (1580) to be made jointly accessible to the general public, they said to AD.
Another five political parties joined the call of youth movement Coalitie-Y to abolish the student loan system. The manifesto to this effect will be handed to Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday evening, the night before Budget Day, the Volkskrant reports.
A majority of Dutch people are in favor of abolishing religious primary schools, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond. 59 percent of respondents said that all schools based on a religion in the Netherlands should be closed.
Large and medium-sized cities in the Netherlands will face a total budget shortage of around 500 million euros in the next four years, according to the G40, a network of the Netherlands' 40 largest municipalities. Cuts to public facilities are inevitable, Paul Depla, mayor of Breda and chairman of the G40, said to newspaper AD.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will be the 'designated survivor' this Budget Day. He will not be in the Netherlands next week Thursday and will not attend the King's Budget Day speech in the Ridderzaal, NOS reports.
The D66 wants to introduce a temporary quota for women in top positions at listed companies. According to parliamentarian Vera Bergkamp, the current rules for getting more women in top jobs are insufficient and a quota is needed for equal opportunities on the labor market, NOS reports.
Six years ago the largest companies in the Netherlands got the goal of having 30 percent women in leadership positions by 1 January 2020. The majority of the companies are not yet close to this goal.
Multinational companies which conduct business in the Netherlands will soon be forced to pay taxes on their profits, instead of creatively using an accounting loophole to avoid tax liabilities in the country. The ruling Dutch cabinet, led by third-term Prime Minister Mark Rutte, has reportedly agreed to back an initiative from the left wing opposition parties, according to broadcaster NOS and newspaper AD, both citing unnamed sources.
Children at Salafist mosque schools in the Netherlands are taught Sharia law, and are taught the death penalty is appropriate for people with a different religion or belief system, according to a study by Nieuwsuur and NRC. The report has parliamentarians concerned.
Udo Kock resigned as the Amsterdam alderman for finance and economic affairs with immediate effect. In his letter of resignation to mayor Femke Halsema, Kock said that he cannot accept responsibility for the solution that the office of mayor and aldermen decided on for the problems at waste and energy company AEB, AD reports.
The VVD wants banks to check city council members for money laundering and signs of links to the criminal underworld, like the payment systems of national politicians are already monitored, VVD parliamentarian Roald van der Linde said to BNR.
Dutch journalists and aid workers will soon need permission from the Ministry of Justice and Security to work in areas controlled by terrorists. A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Tuesday approved a legislative amendment by Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus to this effect, NOS reports.
Ruling parties VVD and D66 think that the Netherlands can be a world leader when it comes to electric air travel. And to achieve that the Netherlands should do much more to stimulate and experiment with electric flying, VVD parliamentarian Remco Dijkstra and D66 parliamentarian Jan Paternotte proposed during a parliamentary debate on aviation, NOS reports.
Hundreds of elderly people on the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius regularly go to bed hungry. They have no food at home and often can't find a spot at the daycare, where food is provided, National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen said in his report Eye for the Elderly in the Caribbean Netherlands, NOS reports.
The Dutch government wants to halt gas extraction in Groningen much earlier than originally planned. Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate now thinks that gas extraction in the earthquake-ridden province can be stopped by mid-2022, instead of in 2030, NOS reports.
Coalition party D66 wants to reduce the number of livestock in the Netherlands by half. This will reduce nitrogen emissions, and create more room to build new houses, D66 parliamentarian Tjeerd de Groot said to RTL Nieuws.
It's a simple calculation, according to De Groot. "70 percent of Dutch nitrogen emissions come from agriculture, a large part of which comes from intensive livestock farming. That is huge. At the same time, the contribution of intensive livestock farming to our own economy is not even 1 percent. The ratio is completely missing."
Minister Sigrid Kaag for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation regrets that four of her guests were not welcome at a meeting she had with the center for information and documentation on Israel CIDI in The Hague on Sunday, she said to NOS.
For the past 40 years the Dutch government has been maintaining almost all the furniture in the Noordeinde, Huis ten Bosch, Het Loo, and Soestdijk palaces, but also paid the head of state allowance to maintain the furniture, NRC reports based on its own research.
While not all the violent incidents in Amsterdam Zuidoost over the past weeks can be linked, there is a common thread, Amsterdam police chief Frank Paauw and mayor Femke Halsema said in a city council debate on Thursday. More than conventional measures will be needed to tackle the violence in the district, Halsema said, Het Parool reports.
PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher lashed out at PVV leader Geert Wilders and FvD leader Thierry Baudet on Facebook. He accused the far right leaders of "playing poker with our securities", like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is doing with the Brexit, AD reports.
The Netherlands could get a new annual national day off to honor Liberation Day, politician Paul Blokhuis said on Friday. The second-in-command at the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Sports said he would not stand in the way should such policy be introduced.
“There is a lot to be said for [the holiday]. I am the last person to oppose this,” he told radio program 1 op 1.
Robert Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe, died at age 95 on Friday, the current president Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed on Twitter. Dutch Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs remembers Mugabe with "very mixed feelings", he said in a response. Mugabe played a major role in the independence of Zimbabwe, Blok said. But then he was also responsible for a "very questionable human rights regime", Dagblad van het Noorden reports.