"Unacceptable", Prime Minister Mark Rutte said about threats made against FvD leader Thierry Baudet after the nationalist party's major win in the Provincial States elections last week. All politicians must be able to perform their duties in safety and freedom, Rutte said to the Telegraaf. "Democracy is not easy, but it is a valuable possession.
Nearly ten thousand people rallied in Amsterdam on Saturday calling for an end to racism and divisiveness in Dutch politics. The event began on Dam Square and then progressed to the monument on Daniël Meijerplein, but counter-protestors along the way were arrested for allegedly disturbing the peace.
Former KVP leader and Finance Minister Frans Andriessen passed away at the age of 89, his family confirmed to news wire ANP on Friday. Andriessen was the last leader of the Catholic people's party KVP in 1972. In the following years he played an important role in the establishment of the CDA, NOS reports.
The victory speech FvD leader Thierry Baudet gave after his party won 12 Senate seats in the Provincial States election on Wednesday was full of fascist statements that made his supporters yearn for the Netherlands of the 19th century, according to Jan Jaap de Ruiter, professor of Cultural Studies at Tilburg University. "His statements about a purified and boreal Netherlands are worrying and threatening", De Ruiter said to De Gelderlander.
The controversial British Sharia preacher Haitham Al Haddad gave "covert" lessons at the Cornelius Haga Lyceum in Amsterdam, newspaper NRC reported on Friday based on a confidential official message that intelligence service AIVD sent to mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam in January.
The message also says that other radical Islamic people were also involved in the school and that the school management funded a Chechen terrorist movement, according to the newspaper.
Rotterdam is introducing a limited fireworks ban from this New Year's. Neighborhoods where things got out of hand and there were firework related incidents in the past, will be banned from lighting fireworks on New Year's. While quiet neighborhoods will still be allowed to do so, the city council decided on Thursday night, RTV Rijnmond reports.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver believes that the government will opt for cooperation with the left-wing opposition in the new Senate. "The cabinet must choose: is it about the right or about the left? I assume it will opt for the Paris climate goals. That means that cooperation on the right is not an option", Klaver said, ANP reports.
FvD received the most votes in the Provincial States election, according to a provisional forecast from news wire ANP. Over 93 percent of the votes have been counted. Thierry Baudet's nationalist party will get 12 seats in the Senate, the same number as ruling party VVD. GroenLinks also had a major victory, ending with 9 seats in the Eerste Kamer.
FvD leader Thierry Baudet believes that his party's victory in the Provincial States election is punishment for the "arrogance and stupidity" of the Netherlands' current leaders. In his victory speech he emphasized that FvD is now one of the largest parties in the country, and that a change has been set in motion. "Economic and political capitulation is coming to an end", he said, NOS reports.
Voter turnout was up substantially in the country's provincial election on Wednesday, compared with turnout in 2015. Some 57.9 percent of eligible voters showed up at polling places, up from 47.8 percent four years earlier, according to RTL Nieuws.
The ruling coalition that forms the Cabinet in The Netherlands was projected to lose seven seats and its majority in the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch parliament. Eerste Kamer relative newcomer Forum voor Democratie (FvD), a nationalist right wing party, was projected to secure ten seats in the Dutch Senate, and left wing GroenLinks was expected to take eight seats. There are 75 seats in the chamber, with the coalition currently holding 38 for a razor thin majority.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte had a blackout during the last election debate before the Provincial States election on NOS on Tuesday. While debating with PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher, the Prime Minister could not remember an example he wanted to give. "What was the second example? ... Caroliene, help, I lost it", he said, smiling towards the audience. After the debate Rutte asked the media not to make a big deal out of this, but by then the name 'Caroliene', and various spellings thereof, was already trending on Twitter.
By 10:30 a.m. 7 percent of Dutch voters cast their vote in the Provincial States election, exactly the same turnout as this time in the 2015 election, according to a prognosis by research institute Ipsos. During the previous Provincial States election, the turnout eventually amounted to nearly 48 percent, NOS reports.
There are nearly 10 thousand polling stations spread throughout the country, most of which opened smoothly and on time at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Over 13 million Dutch can vote for their waterboards and the members of the Provincial States on Wednesday.
While most polling stations for the Provincial States elections opened smoothly and on time on Wednesday morning, there were a few problems. One polling station in Alkmaar is closed due to a fire on Wednesday morning. A number of polling stations in Amsterdam opened over an hour late. And residents of a Rotterdam neighborhood didn't get their voting passes.
The shooting in Utrecht on Monday that cost the lives of three people and left three other seriously injured is influencing the voting behavior of people in the Provincial States election today, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond. People voting for right-wing, anti-Islam parties FvD and PVV in particular are now more determined to cast their votes on Wednesday, De Hond found.
On Tuesday evening the 13 political party leaders responded to the shooting in Utrecht, in which three people were killed and three seriously injured, at the start of the last political debate before the Provincial States elections on Wednesday. PVV leader Geert Wilders and FvD leader Thierry Baudet decided to use their moment to blame the attack on Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) and CDA leader Sybrand Buma, linking the shooting to the Netherlands' immigration and integration policy, NOS reports.
The polling station in Castricum that opened at midnight received 17 voters during the early hours of Wednesday morning. The polling station at the train station in the Noord-Holland town was the first to open for the Provincial States election. Most other polling stations opened at 7:30 a.m.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, held a moment of silence on Tuesday afternoon to commemorate the three victims killed in a shooting on 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht on Monday. The President of the Tweede Kamer, Khadija Arib, opened Tuesday's weekly question and answer session speaking in honor of the victims in Utrecht and also the fifty people killed in a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte received a "stare down" lesson from kickboxer Rico Verhoven after the two were both guests on television program WNL op Zondag. During the broadcast the Prime Minister said that he always wanted to take a kickboxing lesson. "I see talent", Verhoeven said afterwards.
In kickboxing the two fighters look each other in the eye for a long time before the match. This is called a stare down. Verhoeven shared a photo of the moment on Instagram. "Told our prime minister Rutte to tell all politicians to start every debate with a stare down from now on", he wrote.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima expressed their shock about a shooting in Utrecht that left three people killed and five injured on Monday. Their sympathies are with the victims, and their thoughts with the residents of Utrecht, they said in a statement on the Koninklijk Huis website. A number of world leaders also expressed condolences and support.
Flags across The Netherlands will be lowered, and will fly at half-staff on Tuesday, said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at a press conference on Monday evening. The move is in response to a mass shooting that left three people dead, and at least five others injured in Utrecht.
"Our country was startled today by an attack in Utrecht," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at the beginning of a hastily arranged press conference on Monday afternoon. He was addressing journalists following a shooting inside a tram on the 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht on Monday morning.
"Now it is certain that the passengers on a tram were shot. There were injuries and possibly fatalities," he said. "Our thoughts are with the victims whose lives have been turned upside down."
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is very worried by a possible terrorist attack in Utrecht on Monday morning. "Very disturbing news', he said to NOS as he was heading back to his office to meet with a crisis team that has been gathered. The national coordinator for counter terrorism and security NCTV increased the threat level for the province of Utrecht to 5, the highest threat level, until at least 6:00 p.m.