The leaders of right-wing VVD and far-right FvD debated each other in the Rode Hoed in Amsterdam on Wednesday evening, the eve of the European Parliament elections in the Netherlands on Thursday. The sometimes fierce debate ranged from topics like leaving the euro to FvD leader Thierry Baudet's stance on women and the last time VVD leader Mark Rutte shed a tear. Baudet accused Rutte of "fear mongering" and Rutte called Baudet a "Russia lover", RTL Nieuws reports.
The first polling stations for the European elections in the Netherlands are open. The first votes have already been cast in Castricum, traditionally the first polling station to open in elections held in the Nehterlands. There voters can cast their vote from midnight, NU.nl reports.
This week residents of the European Union will vote for the European Parliament. The elections are held over several days throughout the EU, starting in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom on Thursday.
Mark Harbers resigned as State Secretary for Justice and Security on Tuesday evening. The VVD State Secretary, who is responsible for asylum, stepped down after it became known that his Ministry deliberately reported incomplete figures on crimes committed by asylum seekers in a report.
Pieter Heerma was appointed to fulfill the position of CDA party chairman in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. He is succeeding Sybrand Buma, who will be taking a new post as the mayor of Leeuwarden in the summer, NOS reports
Immediately after his appointment, Heerma said that he has no ambition to become party leader. "I am not here from a huge personal ambition, but mainly from a sense of duty", Heerma said.
Facebook is not keeping to promises it made to the Tweede Kamer last week about political transparency on the social media platform, according to privacy and civil rights movement Bits of Freedom who put the social media giant's promises to the test, Nieuwsuur reports.
Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education and a number of parliamentarians reacted in outrage to an essay written by FvD leader Thierry Baudet on the works of French writer Michel Houellebeck. In the essay, Baudet talks about what he considers the negative aspects of female emancipation and individualism, also discussing abortion and euthanasia.
FvD leader Thierry Baudet is facing criticism from other party leaders over a video he posted on Twitter. The video features women telling how they were sexually assaulted or raped by migrants and blaming politicians who "refuse to protect our borders", showing photos of GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver, VVD leader Mark Rutte and D66 leader Rob Jetten at the end.
VVD leader Mark Rutte and Forum voor Democratie leader Thierry Baudet will face off against each other in a debate on television program Pauw on NPO on Wednesday evening. No one else is invited to participate in the debate. Other parties, particularly left-wing GroenLinks and PvdA, are annoyed that only the right and far-right will be represented in this debate on the eve of the European Parliament elections, which are being held in the Netherlands on Thursday.
The Italian authorities allowed dozens of migrants rescued by aid organization Sea-Watch ashore in Lampedusa on Sunday, apparently against the will of Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. The ship, the Sea Watch 3, was confiscated by the Italian police.
The Sea Watch 3 sails under the Dutch flag. Sea-Watch said on Twitter that Italy allowed the 47 migrants still on the ship to go ashore on Sunday, along with a short video showing people boarding an Italian coast guard ship.
American president Donald Trump will likely not visit the Netherlands next month around the international business congress in The Hague, according to Prime Minister Mark Rutte. "It looks like Trump has a full agenda then", he said on television program WNL op Zondag. But there is a chance that Trump will come to the Netherlands for the liberation celebration in Terneuzen in August, he hinted.
Increasing the interest on student loans is contrary to an international treaty that the Netherlands signed, according to student organizations ISO and LSR. They call on Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education to withdraw the legislative proposal that regulates this interest increase. If she does not, the organizations will call on the Senate to stop it or take "legal action", NOS reports.
Russia has agreed to pay 2.7 million euro to the Netherlands as part of a final settlement to end the dispute over a 2013 incident where Russian personnel boarded a Greenpeace ship. The amount is less than the 7 million originally sought by Greenpeace and the Netherlands, and half the amount awarded at arbitration.
After a busy week that included a working trip to Africa, Queen Máxima celebrated her 48th birthday on Friday. She has been queen of the Netherlands for just over six years, after King Willem-Alexander’s mother Beatrix abdicated on April 30, 2013.
The King and Queen were scheduled to attend an event on Friday commemorating 100 years of equal voting rights in the Netherlands. All women in the country gained the right to cast a ballot in 1919, two years after men, according to the Dutch government information service.
Approximately 13.5 million residents of the Netherlands are eligible to vote in the European Parliament elections next week. 3.6 percent of this group do not have Dutch nationality, but are EU citizens, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday based on population figures from 1 January 2019.
The Netherlands must "show grace and mercy" and bring back the children of Dutch jihadists in Iraq and Syria as quickly as possible, the special UN envoy for Children in Armed Conflicts, Virginia Gamba, said during a visit to The Hague on Thursday. The fact that these kids and their mothers are now just left to their fates is not only inhumane, but also contrary to international children's rights, she said, Het Parool reports.
People with disabilities in the Netherlands still experience difficulties when going to cast their votes. After the Provincial States elections the voting hotline of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights received 188 reports about the accessibility of polling stations, compared to 148 reports after the municipal elections in 2018, NOS reports.
The municipality of The Hague will likely not participate in the government's regulated cannabis cultivation experiment. In a letter to the city council, Mayor Pauline Krikke wrote that the conditions of the experiment are unworkable - specifically the condition that all coffeeshops in participating municipalities have to participate in the experiment, NOS reports.
The Ministry of Justice and Security hid the number of serious crimes committed by asylum seekers in the Netherlands by including crimes like sexual offenses, aggravated assaults, and murder and manslaughter or attempts thereto under the heading of "other" in figures released to parliament, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch military training mission in Iraq was suspended due to an increased threat in the region. The nature of the threat is unknown. The commander of the international coalition that coordinates training in the region ordered the mission to stop, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense said to NU.nl.
This temporary halt applies to all international allies who provide training in the area. Some 50 to 60 Dutch soldiers were ordered to cease their work "until further notice" due to an increased threat.
Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema will not ban alcohol on the city's canals. Barely a week after such a ban was suggested by the city council, Halsema described it as undesirable and disproportionate.
"Measures [to combat nuisance] serve to enable Amsterdammers to enjoy their city freely. Only misconduct is curbed", she said in a letter to the city council, Het Parool reports.
In the run-up to the European Parliament elections next week, Prime Minister Mark Rutte is talking about his vision for Europe. According to the VVD leader, his ideas about that have shifted. "Europe is market and currency, but a point has been added", he said to Nieuwsuur on Wednesday night. That point is safety. Without the European Union, the Netherlands is just a small country on its own in a big and increasingly volatile world.
Enforcement officers are planning more protest actions in their long ongoing campaign to be armed with batons and pepper spray, to defend themselves against the violence they face during the course of their duties, enforcers' union NBB said to Nieuwsuur.
Forum voor Democratie leader Thierry Baudet is taking an "irresponsible risk with our security, our stability, and our prosperity" with his positive attitude towards the Netherlands leaving the European Union, VVD leader and Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a speech about Europe on Tuesday, NOS reports.