Politics

Amsterdam flag
Apr 9 '20 19:32

Residents in Amsterdam will no longer need to separate plastic recycling from their trash once city-owned waste management firm AEB launches a new setup to separate out plastic and drink cartons for them. "If we separate it after collection, we are less dependent on good behavior," the city said in a statement.

The machines used for this task have improved significantly, the city said. "As a result, machines can separate more plastic than we Amsterdammers ourselves."

Covid-19: Sign in Amsterdam's Oosterpark instructing people to stay 1.5 meters apart
Apr 9 '20 17:46

There is "zero chance" that life in the Netherlands will return to normal after April 28, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at a press conference on Thursday. The current rules in place around social distancing⁠, specifically that people are required to keep a distance of 1.5 meters from others, will be kept in place for a while longer, Rutte said after the cabinet held a meeting to discuss Covid-19 measures.

KNVB football
Apr 8 '20 19:45

The Dutch football federation KNVB is planning to resume its professional football season on June 19. For this to happen, clubs would need to start training by May 15, despite the fact that football has been banned until at least June 1. The mayors of several cities with football teams were not in agreement with the plans.

The KNVB's plans are dependent on updates regarding coronavirus distancing measures in place in The Netherlands. Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to update the nation on April 21 over these issues.

Wopke Hoekstra in Brussels
Apr 8 '20 12:23

After over 16 hours of discussions overnight, the European Ministers of Finance still could not come to an agreement on a financial support package of 540 billion euros for countries hit hardest by the coronavirus. The negotiations will continue on Thursday.

Flags of Netherlands and Europe
Apr 7 '20 20:00

Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra received support from a majority in parliament for the government's stance on European Union aid for countries in trouble due to the coronavirus. The Dutch government is against so-called coronabonds, and wants strict requirements attached to any emergency financing, NOS reports.

Later in the evening, reports emerged that the European Stabilization Mechanism (ESM) could instead be used to make a quarter of a trillion euros available to help countries in the EU pay for the medical problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Social distancing in Amsterdam's Oosterpark
Apr 7 '20 19:07

The Dutch Cabinet was advised not to relax measures put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 anytime soon, a source confirmed to broadcaster NOS on Tuesday. According to information leaked from the RIVM’s Outbreak Management Team (OMT), which advised the cabinet on Monday, no steps should be taken to ease restrictions until there are five criteria that are met.

Foreclosure
Apr 7 '20 08:07

Minister Stientje van Veldhoven, responsible for Environment and Housing, made agreements with parties involved to ensure that no homeowners end up on the street during the coronavirus crisis. There will be no mortgage foreclosures until at least July 1st, and mortgage lenders will look for solutions with homeowners in trouble.

The Minister made agreements to this extent with the Dutch association of banks VNV, the Association of Insurers, the national mortgage guarantee fund Nationale Hypotheekgarantie, and homeowners association VEH, she said on Tuesday. 

Mark Rutte
Apr 7 '20 07:21

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to ICU with the coronavirus on Monday, after being hospitalized on Sunday. Prime Minister Mark Rutte wished him strength and a speedy recovery on Twitter. 

"On behalf of the Dutch government, I wish Boris Johnson, his family and the British people much strength and luck in this difficult time. I hope to soon be able to him in good health," the Dutch Prime Minister tweeted.

German border
Apr 6 '20 08:14

German health service Robert Koch Institute (RKI) classified the Netherlands as an "international risk area" for the further spread of the coronavirus. The country's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is expected to decide on Monday whether the borders with the Netherlands will close, NOS reports.

Netherlands money calculator
Apr 5 '20 13:00

In spite of a 10-billion euro rescue package designed to ensure that Dutch businesses continue to pay their employees, people should be prepared for impending bankruptcies and layoffs in the weeks ahead, social affairs and employment minister Wouter Koolmees said. “People will lose their jobs and companies will go bankrupt,” Koolmees admitted to local news service AD.

The Zuidas, Amsterdam’s large commercial business district, was virtually abandoned. 19 March 2020
Apr 4 '20 13:44

Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra has called on Dutch banks to reduce the interest rates they charge on overdraft payments in a new move designed to financially support consumers in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. In an interview, Hoekstra told De Telegraaf newspaper that supporting people “is evidently about reducing those percentages,” which are currently “very substantial.”

Amsterdam street largely abandoned due to coronavirus restrictions, 18 March 2020
Apr 4 '20 10:47

About 67 percent of people believe the coronavirus restrictions in place in the Netherlands will last for six months or a year, a survey of Dutch people showed. The report, released by I&O Research, showed that about a third of the public was already concerned about their personal financial situations, less than three weeks after the government began imposing stricter measures on the public to combat the spread of the virus.

KLM and Air France planes at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris
Apr 3 '20 19:45

Aviation giant Air France-KLM Group is currently in discussion with various banks in order to secure at least six billion euros in government-backed emergency loans, sources told news agency Reuters on Friday. The emergency loans, of which 2 billion euros will likely go to KLM, are being designed in order to help keep the airlines afloat during the economic fallout resulting from the coronavirus crisis.

Stock image of a Covid-19 coronavirus microscope analysis
Apr 3 '20 19:35

Members of the public who deliberately cough or spit at police officers will be forced to be immediately tested for coronavirus, if a new emergency measure put forward on Friday wins parliamentary approval.

The law has been put in place after a spate of spitting and coughing incidents aimed at police, bus drivers, and store personnel were recorded in recent weeks, prompting concerns over the transmission of the coronavirus.

MS Zaandam
Apr 3 '20 15:30

Cruise ships MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam of the Holland America Line were allowed to dock in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter. A number of passengers on MS Zaandam tested positive for coronavirus Covid-19.

Pete Hoekstra
Apr 3 '20 10:25

American ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra lashed out at China and the information it provided about the coronavirus in an interview with Dutch newspaper AD. According to Hoekstra, China did not give the world reliable data about Covid-19 and is still not being transparent about the actual number of coronavirus infections and deaths in the country.

Self-Service Passport Control lines at Schiphol Airport
Apr 2 '20 19:18

Dutch and EU citizens as well as legal residents arriving in the Netherlands from the United States will be told to spend 14 days in home isolation in order to prevent possible new cases of coronavirus infection, the Cabinet confirmed on Thursday. The new measure was decided due to the “large increase in the number of coronavirus infections in New York, but also more broadly in the United States,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed after a meeting of the Ministerial Crisis Management Committee.

Planes parked at Schiphol, 25 March 2020
Apr 2 '20 11:00

Airlines are only allowed to give vouchers in return for a canceled flight if the passenger agrees. If not, the canceled ticket must be refunded, European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean said. With that she threw a spanner in the works of Dutch Infrastructure Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen's plan to allow airlines to compensate passengers with vouchers.

Mona Keijzer, the State Secretary for Economic Affairs in the Netherlands, responded by asking the public to accept the vouchers as a way of supporting the embattled travel industry.

Wopke Hoekstra in Brussels
Apr 2 '20 08:37

The Dutch government is willing to contribute up to 1 billion euros to a yet-to-be-established European fund aimed at dealing with the coronavirus, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance said. Countries hit hard by Covid-19 and that are not in good financial health can turn to the fund to finance medical aid. "I am thinking roughly of a few hundred million to 1 billion euros," Hoekstra said to NU.nl on Wednesday.

Parliament in the Netherlands at night
Apr 1 '20 19:28

Members of parliament have shown broad support for Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, although some MPs assert that more ought to be done. This comes as the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch Parliament, convened on Tuesday to debate the government’s current efforts to tackle the ongoing crisis, and its path forward.

Artist's rendition of the coronavirus
Apr 1 '20 11:06

A "flattening" of the Covid-19 infection curve may be starting to show itself, Jaap van Dissel of public health institute RIVM said to parliament on Wednesday. The number of coronavirus patients reported to municipal health services GGD, admitted to hospital, and admitted to intensive care are all leveling off, he said. But he added that these are provisional figures based only on patients who were officially tested, NU.nl reports.

Giuseppe Conte
Apr 1 '20 09:01

The relationship between Italy and the Netherlands has not deteriorated due to the lack of European support to save the Italian economy, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in an interview with the Telegraaf. "The friendship with the Dutch people remains in tact."

Netherlands and the European Union
Mar 31 '20 20:49

Speaking about the heightened tensions between the Netherlands and several southern EU nations over the issuance of “coronabonds”, Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra indicated on Tuesday that he had previously shown “too little empathy” for the plight of Europe’s southern economies. Such a measure would be designed to support weaker economies, particularly in the south, which are struggling under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark Rutte
Mar 31 '20 19:03

The measures in place to curb the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 will be extended until at least April 28, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in a press conference on Tuesday evening, after meeting with experts, advisers and the Ministerial Crisis Management Team. During this time schools, daycare facilities, restaurants, museums, and other contact-heavy businesses will remain closed.

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