Labour leader Diederik Samsom continues to fight for a coalition agreement about the criminalization of illegality, despite the problems it causes in his party. However, he will consult with the various departments of the party about everything. "Otherwise we're not going to discuss," he said on Wednesday in Pauw and Witteman.
Mayor Wolfsen (53) of the city of Utrecht will stop on the 31st of December this year. He doesn’t want to start a second term of office of six years. Wolfsen has been the mayor of Utrecht since 2008.
House Chairman Anouchka van Miltenburg is still 'furious' after she was accused of bias on Thursday night by CDA MP and party leader Sybrand Buma. "My integrity was questioned; that upset me very much," said van Miltenburg on Sunday morning at ‘Eva Jinek on Sunday’.
Laura van Geest is the new director of the Central Planning Bureau (CPB), according to RTL Nieuws. She succeeds Coen Teulings, who had been the director of the CPB since 2006.
Van Geest is the current Director-General of the State Budget at the Ministry of Finance. She was previously active in various other positions at Finance.
Teulings received a royal honor during his farewell ceremony today. He was appointed Officer of the Order of Oranje Nassau.
Tampering with the mileage counter of a car will be prohibited starting 2014. On Thursday the House voted on a bill of Minister Melanie Schultz (Infrastructure) about this.
Tampering with kilometer counters costs consumers 150 million euro annually. For insurance companies and the government, these costs are estimated to be even higher. Schultz hopes that the new law will deter further acts as offenders will be caught quicker and will be punished.
More than thirty Dutch companies do business with Israeli companies based in the occupied Palestinian areas. This was disclosed in a report, which was made public on Wednesday, and which was investigated by peace and help organizations Cordaid, ICCO and IKV Pax Christi.
A revolt is rising amongst members of Dutch labour party PvdA against the government plan to make undocumented residency a punishable, criminal offence in the Netherlands. A number of party branches and prominent members will ask Labour leader Diederik Samson to break the coalition agreement, to adjust the direction and restore the fundamental party principle of 'the right to a decent life'.
Criminalization of illegal residents
During their Federation Council in Utrecht, all 18 FNV unions, including the critical Abvakabo, have unanimously voted positive to the social agreement that FNV chairman Ton Heerts signed with the government and employers half a week ago.
Directors and supervisors in the education sector will be jointly and severally liable when they are negligent in the performance of their duties. This includes not only financial management but also educational failure. The Minister and Secretary of Education said this in an interview with NRC.
After a full day's debate on the death of the Russian asylum seeker Alexander Dolmatov, State Secretary Teeven suddenly turned the issue on himself. "I don’t want to be a State Secretary with the benefit of the doubt," the VVD politician said. "I am not interested in that. That's what I just want to say."
The police and justice are allowed to use unmanned airplanes to keep an eye on people, as long as they adhere to certain conditions. Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch college that protects personal details, College bescherming persoonsgegevens (CBP), said this on Thursday.
Prince Willem-Alexander will accept a ceremonial role as a king if the House decides that. He said that in an interview with RTL Nieuws and NOS. “I’ll accept anything, as long as the processes are democratic and laws are followed”.
The CDA wants Minister Ivo Opstelten (Security and Justice) to put a stop to the construction of a large sex palace in Hoofddorp (Noord Holland). According to CDA MP Peter Oskam, such a complex will attract all sorts of shady businesses, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking and illegal prostitution.
On Wednesday, Oskam asked Opstelten what could still be done to stop the construction of the mega brothel. Because most residents of Haarlemmermeer and Hoofddorp are against the sex palace, he thinks that the entertainment complex should not be built.
Thursday is going to be a tough day for Fred Teeven, State Secretary of Security and Justice. He must answer questions in the House about the mistakes which were made under his responsibility and which led to the death of the Russian activist Aleksander Dolmatov.
The offender, not by the taxpayer, should pay costs made to maintain public order. Dutch political party VVD asked the Minister of Justice, Opstelten, to change the law.
The current economic situation limits the government to act on the situation of people who live near high voltage cables. However, Minister Henk Kamp (Economic Affairs) announced onWednesday that no more than 400 residents, who lived directly under power lines, could get a buy-out offer.
There are people who live under high voltage cables of 220 and 380 kilovolt (which technically cannot be put underground) and people in rural areas, living under power lines of 110 and 150 kilovolt. The costs related to this buy-out scheme are estimated at 140 million euro.
According to a report by NOS, the Ministry of Defense has a severe shortage of young soldiers. The current organization resembles, according to Minister Hennis-Plasschaert (Defense), an inverted pyramid too much, that is, there are many older but few young people.
In an interview with NOS Radio 1 News, the Minister said that she is aiming for a small top and a wide bottom. Therefore, Defense is trying to recruit mainly young people. The inflow is not yet how it should be, but according to the Minister, there is a slight increase.
Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs has put the potential importance of shale gas for the Netherlands into perspective. The production is expected to be at most a few percent of the current conventional natural gas production. The House wants, as soon as possible, a debate with Kamp about the research he wants to conduct on shale gas.
The savings of 100 million euro on public broadcasting in the coalition agreement must be turned back, according to ChristenUnie MP Gert-Jan Segers. He also said on Monday that most other opposition parties agreed on this.
The Chamber will talk on Tuesday with State Secretary Sander Dekker (Media) about media policy. The position of the opposition is important, because the coalition has no majority in the Senate. Since the PVV is in favor of the cuts, they could support the government in these plans in the Senate.
On Thursday employers, employees and the government closed a social agreement. Part of the agreement is that the extra austerity package of 4.3 billion for 2014 is abandoned. In the fall it will be decided if next year additional cuts in the budget are necessary. Prime Minister Rutte Thursday disclosed this during a joint press conference.
Besides abandoning the austerity package, the agreement includes the WW, dismissal, the disabled, flexible employment, pensions and state pension deficiency.
Holding a nationwide referendum costs 30 million euro each time. Minister Ronald Plasterk of the Interior Affairs announced this to the members of the House on Wednesday while they were discussing the new plans of Plasterk for the introduction of a corrective referendum.
The introduction of a corrective referendum, a request of PvdA, D66 and GroenLinks, would enable citizens to have a direct vote on new bills.
In the House the three parties can count on PVV and the SP and so will have a majority for their corrective referendum.
A new parallel currency alongside the euro should be established for creditworthy countries like the Netherlands and Germany. The 80-year-old VVD celebrity Frits Bolkestein declared this in the TV program Pauw & Witteman on Wednesday night.
“France may not participate in the parallel currency,” according to the former leader of the VVD, “because the country is virtually bankrupt and not managed well.” The plans for the currency (e.g., the mark) for the creditworthy countries will have to come from the German Bundesbank.
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.