On January 31s the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union. Negotiations on a trade agreement will start in February. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is confident that a deal will be reached within a year, but Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is not so certain.
The Netherlands is again in the top ten of the least corrupt countries in the world, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index for 2019 by Transparency International. In eighth place with perceived level of public sector corruption score of 82, the Netherlands is ahead of its neighbors Germany in 9th place, the United Kingdom in 12th place, and Belgium in 7th place.
The VVD and CDA want to amend the Passport Act to make sure that people whose Dutch nationality was stripped because they joined a terrorist organization can not get a new passport from the Dutch government. "This is another step to prevent these people from returning to the Netherlands and making our country unsafe," VVD parliamentarian Dilan Yeşilgöz said, RTL Nieuws reports.
King Willem-Alexander is currently in Jerusalem, at the invitation of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, for the World Holocaust Forum. On Thursday, the Dutch King will visit the Yad Vashem museum and the Dutch care home Beth Juliana, ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day next week.
Yad Vashem is the official Israeli memorial center for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The institute documents and commemorates the fates of European Jews during the Second World War and honors the people who worked to help the Jews at the time.
There are major doubts in parliament about D66 Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra's plans to reorganize the Tax Authority, including from the coalition parties themselves, was revealed during a debate about the Tax Authority with Hoekstra and Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday, NOS reports.
Hoekstra plans to split the Tax Authorities into three parts - Customs, Allowances, and Taxes. Each part will have its own official leadership, and two State Secretaries will be appointed to be politically responsible for the service. Who the two State Secretaries will be, is not yet known.
The Royal Netherlands Navy is now allowing women on the crews of its submarines, following a successful year-long experiment in which women functioned as "one of the crew", the government said in a statement. This change takes effect immediately.
The Submarine Service was the last place in the Dutch Armed Forces in which women could not perform all functions. The sailing positions were only open to men, because there are no separate facilities on board the current submarines - an important condition for mixed sailing for the government and the navy.
After chaos caused by farmers driving their tractors on highways during protests last year, a majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament pledged their support to a legislative proposal that will oblige farmers to put license plates on their tractors. The Netherlands is one of the last countries in Europe to regulate this, RTL Nieuws reports.
While investigating the Turkish Airlines plane crash near Schiphol in 2009, the Dutch Safety Board was pressured by Americans to downplay the role design errors in the Boeing 737 NG played in the crash, the New York Times reports based on its own research. According to the newspaper, there are many parallels between the 2009 crash and the recent crashes with Boeing 737 MAX planes, the successor of the Boeing 737 NG.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte met with a group of 200 parents who were unjustly labeled fraudsters by the Tax Authority and had their childcare allowance halted as a result. During the emotional meeting, Rutte apologized for the Tax Authority's actions in this affair and listened to parents' stories. Some stories made him shed a tear, he said after the meeting, NU.nl reports.
Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will lead the Dutch delegation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this week. The Queen will attend the entire Forum in her capacity as special advocate of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Inclusive Financing for Development. The Prime Minister will join the meetings later in the week.
At least 60 people have come forward to claim damages from the Dutch state for a bombing carried out by Dutch F-16s in Iraq in 2015 that destroyed a neighborhood of Hawija. Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld is preparing a claim for compensation for the victims. She expects that the number of claimants will still increase, she said to Trouw.
The American ambassador to the Netherlands confirmed that the United States does not want Dutch chip producer ASML to share its advance chip-making machines with everyone. In an interview with Financieele Dagblad, Pete Hoekstra said that this technology "does not belong in certain places". According to the newspaper, he was referring to China.
Aviation in the Netherlands can only be allowed to grow if the sector decreases its nitrogen emissions, a committee on nitrogen emissions led by Johan Remkes said in advice to the government about air travel. Remkes thinks it only fair that aviation, like other sectors, makes a balanced contribution to reducing emissions. If that doesn't happen, Schiphol can't grow any further and Lelystad Airport can't open for holiday flights, the committee said, NOS reports.
Government party D66 no longer wants airlines to decide for themselves whether to fly over conflict areas. Instead, the European aviation authority EASA should be in charge of that decision, according to D66 parliamentarians Jan Paternotte and Sjoerd Sjoerdsma. They will submit a motion to this effect during a debate on aviation and conflict zones on January 29th.
Dozens of Dutch municipalities, provinces and the central government will sign the Clean Air Agreement on Monday - a promise to improve air quality in the Netherlands. With a package of measures, they want to prevent some 5 thousand premature deaths by 2030. The government is pushing 50 million euros into the agreement, municipalities and provinces dozens of millions more, NOS reports.
All Dutch soldiers stationed in Iraq are safe and together in the northern city of Erbil, including the around 10 soldiers previously stationed in Baghdad, Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense said before the start of the Council of Ministers on Friday, NOS reports.
The governing cabinet in the Netherlands plans to implement new limits on fireworks after this past New Year's period saw thousands of incidents requiring first responders. Millions of euros worth of damages to private personal property were estimated, with even more damage caused to commercial property.
Henk Naves, the chairman of the Council of Judiciary, called on politicians to stop immediately blame the judge if they find a verdict unpleasant. That is bad for the rule of law, he said in his New Year's speech, NOS reports.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte to ask him how he dealt with the MH17 disaster. The call was in response to a Ukraine International Airlines plane crashing in Tehran on Wednesday, possibly after being hit by a rocket. All 176 people on board the Boeing 737-800 were killed, including 64 Canadians, RTL Nieuws reports.
Rutte "offered all the support that the Netherlands can offer" to Trudeau and Canada, a spokesperson for the Dutch Prime Minister told the broadcaster.
A majority in the Amsterdam city council wants to implement a general ban on consumer fireworks in the city. The local faction of VVD announced its support on Wednesday. GroenLinks, PvdA, and PvdD previously announced their support. Together the four parties have 24 of the 45 seats in the city council, NU.nl reports.
The Amsterdam VVD said that it must "unfortunately" support a ban. "We are very disappointed by the misery [fireworks] cause. A small group of people are ruining it for the rest," the party said.
Last year a 126 of the total 1,144 aldermen in the Netherlands were dismissed or forced to resign - the highest number in 15 years, according to a study commissioned by Binnelands Bestuur. In 2004, a total of 157 aldermen and -women were forced to leave, NOS reports.
The Dutch State is partly responsible for a plane crash in Faro in 1992 in which 57 people were killed and 106 seriously injured, the court in The Hague ruled on Wednesday. Survivors of the disaster and victims' relatives have been litigating against the State for years in an attempt to find out the causes of the disaster, AD reports.
KLM is no longer flying over Iraq and Iran as a precaution after Iran's retaliation attack on American targets in Iraq, a KLM spokesperson said to NU.nl on Wednesday. Depending on their destination, flights will detour to the north or the south.
News agency AFP reports that Air France stopped flying over the two countries.
Rotterdam will be the first large Dutch city to completely ban consumer fireworks for the coming New Year. After the "umpteenth" incidents and violence this past New Year's, the VVD in Rotterdam decided to support the ban, which means that there is majority support in the city council to prohibit the lighting of consumer fireworks, NOS reports.