On Friday Facebook launched its library of political advertisements for the Netherlands and the other European Union member states. In this ad library, users can find advertisements from political parties and on political topics. The library is Facebook's response to pressure from EU policy makers to be more transparent about political advertisements on social media, NU.nl reports.
Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health thinks it is a "good idea" for municipalities to keep pro-life protesters at an appropriate distance from abortion clinics. He supports municipalities who want to protect the women going to these clinics by creating buffer zones around the clinics. "I am in contact with the municipalities and the clinics about that", the Minister said, AD reports.
Dutch people are increasingly concerned about the society and the way people in the Netherlands treat each other, as well as about the economy, according to the quarterly report on the mood in the Netherlands by social and cultural planning office SCP, the Volkskrant reports.
According to the SCP, 35 percent of Dutch are concerned about the way people are living together in the Netherlands, with some saying they experience a growing intolerance. The same percentage are concerned about immigration and integration, and 31 percent are concerned about the economy.
A 21-year-old woman from Nijmegen who was arrested on Monday for involvement in death threats made against FvD leader Thierry Baudet during an anti-racism protest in Amsterdam, regrets what she did. In a statement to the police, she said that "underestimated the impact of her words", NU.nl reports.
The woman was released again on Tuesday evening.
Earlier this month the Netherlands and Australia had a first meeting with Russia about the country's liability in the MH17 disaster, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne revealed in a press conference in Australia. Both Ministers stressed that they are doing everything in their power to get justice to the victims of the disaster, NOS reports.
D66 alderman in Tilburg Marcelle Hendrickx is under fire for a tweet she posted last week saying that a vote for the Noord-Brabant FvD leader Hans Smolders is a vote for racism, hatred and division. In a debate on the matter on Monday night, she said that she regrets that the tweet was misunderstood, but she stands by the content, AD reports.
"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.