31 mayors of larger Dutch cities are calling on the Senate not to remove the appointment of mayors from the Dutch constitution, and to keep the procedure as is. Removing the appointment procedure from the constitution is the first step in enabling an elected mayor. The mayors are worried that this will result in them losing their connecting role as "father or mother for all residents, businesses and institutions", they wrote in an open letter to the Senate, the Volkskrant reports.
The Rotterdam-Beverwaard asylum center will stop taking in asylum seekers from safe countries following a number of incidents involving such asylum seekers in the center, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb wrote in a letter to the city council. This halt is being implemented in agreement with the COA, the central agency for the reception of refugees, RTL Nieuws reports.
Between April and August of this year, there were a total of 20 incidents in the asylum center, Aboutaleb wrote. "In the period from mid-August to the present, this number has increased to 69 incidents."
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was authorized to ban a demonstration against Zwarte Piet in November 2016, the court in Rotterdam ruled. Activist group Kick Out Zwarte Piet wanted to protest in Rotterdam during the arrival of Sinterklaas in November 2016. Mayor Aboutaleb banned this demonstration out of fear of disturbances. Some 200 demonstrators were arrested.
Instead of declaring certain areas in the city firework-free over New Year's, Rotterdam wants to designate areas where fireworks can be lit this year. The city plans to have 35 designated firework zones, NOS reports.
According to mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, it will still be possible for many Rotterdam residents to light fireworks in their neighborhoods. "With the introduction of fireworks zones in our city, we hope to significantly reduce the nuisance and the efforts of our emergency services. At the same time Rotterdam residents who want to can still light fireworks", he said.
There are plans in motion to ban smoking on multiple Rotterdam streets in the area around Erasmus MC, the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and the Erasmiaans Gymnasium, AD reports. According to non-smokers association Clean Air Nederland, if these plans succeed, Rotterdam will be the first municipality to implement a smoking ban for entire streets.
The violence a police officer used while arresting a woman on Stadhuisplein in Rotterdam last month was not proportional, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb wrote in response to questions from the local DENK faction. The officer was allowed to use force, but the degree of violence used crossed a line, according to the mayor, NOS reports.
The police arrested a 29-year-old man from Rotterdam on Thursday afternoon after he waved a knife around in the Rotterdam city hall. The man was tasered and bitten by a police dog during his arrest, AD reports.
The incident happened around 3:45 p.m. at the main entrance of the city hall on Coolsingel. Witnesses told AD that the man shouted for help and then walked up the building's stairs, where he was stopped by security guards.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is under extra security due to a death threat he received after a city council debate on Thursday, June 15th, he said on NOS World Cup program Studio Russia on Sunday.
Freedom of speech means that everyone must be able to express their opinion, whatever it may be, Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said at a neighborhood Iftar on Sunday. "No matter how poisonous the message may be, it must be able to be expressed", he said in reaction to him allowing a Pegida pork roasting demonstration at the Laleli mosque in Rotterdam-Zuid last week, ANP reports.
About 20 supporters of anti-Islam movement Pegida decided at the last minute not to hold a demonstrative barbecue in front of the Laleli Mosque in Rotterdam on Thursday. According to Pegida, the police said that their safety couldn't be guaranteed. According to the police, they said no such thing and the group decided on its own to leave, NU.nl reports.
A spokesperson for Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told the newspaper that Pegida "made the decision not to let the demonstration go on itself, when they saw the crowd."
Turkey fiercely criticized Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb for allowing anti-Islam movement Pegida to roast pigs in front of the Laleli mosque on Thursday evening. On Twitter Omer Celik, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, called the decision to allow this protest "immoral".
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is calling for a pay increase for the municipal councilors in the large Dutch cities.
Currently councilors in municipalities with 357,001 or more inhabitants receive around 2,300 euros gross. Aboutaleb wants this to increase to 2,800 euros gross, Het Parool reports.
"Officially, councilor is a secondary function, but that is really nonsense", Aboutaleb said on Friday, according to the newspaper. "In practice, the council work takes up three to four days [per week]."
Controversial imam Fawaz Jneid from The Hague called Rotterdam mayor Ahmad Aboutaleb an 'enemy of Islam' and a renegade Muslim in an hour long preach on social media, reports the Telegraaf, who had the Arabic preach translated to Dutch by a credited interpreter.
Former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers passed away on Wednesday. He was in poor health for some time, a spokesperson for the 78-year-old CDA politician said. While other politicians knew that Lubbers was not doing well, they are still shocked by his death.
Six people accused of rioting at the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam will be prosecuted for violent crimes, the Dutch public prosecutor’s office announced on Friday. Violence around the March 11 expulsion of a prominent Turkish politician came to a boiling point a few hours after it became clear she would not be allowed to speak at a rally in front of the consulate.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb caused a social media uproar with an interview on NPO Radio 1 in which he said that "every Muslim is a bit of a salafist". PVV leader Geert Wilders called for Aboutaleb's resignation.
A man was wounded in a shooting on Groepstraat in Rotterdam on Monday night, the police said on Twitter. This was the fifth shooting incident in Rotterdam over the past six days.
The shooting happened around 9:00 p.m. The victim was shot in the legs, according to the police. He was taken to hospital. Two suspects were arrested. The police are investigating their involvement in this incident.
A total of 25 municipalities have signed up so far to take part in the Rutte III government's experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation, NOS reports. The government wants to start the experiment next year by letting eight to ten municipalities regulate the marijuana cultivation for their regions.
Rotterdam plans to soon start growing its own "municipal weed", mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said on Wednesday. The Rotterdam mayor already spoke to new Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus about participating in the new government's regulated cannabis cultivation experiment. "I was one of the first mayors to talk to Minister of Justice Grapperhaus.
Twelve year old Haci Nuh stole the show in his role as Mini-Minister of Finance when Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem delivered the suitcase with next year's budget to the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday. Shrouded in a suit and black sneakers, Haci from Rotterdam shadowed Dijsselbloem throughout the entire Budget Day. He was in the Ridderzaal for the King's speech, went on interviews with the Minister and to the Tweede Kamer to discuss te budget, the Telegraaf reports.
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was well within his rights when he banned a demonstration against blackface Zwarte Piet in the city in November last year, the municipality's independent complaints committee ruled, RTV Rijnmond reports.
The municipality of Rotterdam is taking extra measures to better protect the city against terrorist attacks, the city announced on Wednesday. One of these measures includes placing obstacles to prevent vehicles driving into parts of the city where many pedestrians gather. These extra measures are in line with the current threat level in the Netherlands. "There is currently no concrete information about an attack", the municipality emphasized, AD reports.
The police arrested a 22-year-old man in Noord-Brabant during the early hours of Thursday morning in connection with a terrorist threat in Rotterdam on Wednesday evening. In a statement the police said a Special Interventions team entered the man's home around 2:00 a.m., arrested him and searched the home carefully.
A concert by American band Allah-Las in the Maassilo in Rotterdam on Wednesday night, was canceled after the Spanish police tipped the Dutch authorities off about a potential terrorist threat. A few hundred meters from the Maassilo, the Rotterdam police pulled over a van with Spanish license plates and found gas bottles inside. The driver was arrested, RTL Nieuws reports.