Members of parliament have shown broad support for Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, although some MPs assert that more ought to be done. This comes as the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch Parliament, convened on Tuesday to debate the government’s current efforts to tackle the ongoing crisis, and its path forward.
Several parties in the lower house of Dutch parliament are in favor of forcing pharmaceutical company Roche to release the manufacturing process and recipe of the coronavirus test they make, if this is necessary. This would make it possible for tests to be produced in the Netherlands, NOS reports.
Politicians in The Hague were surprised by Bruno Bruins' resignation as Minister for Medical Care. Many complimented him on his hard work and wished him well and good recovery.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte could count on praise from both opposition and coalition parties for his address to the nation on Monday. In his speech, the Prime Minister warned that coronavirus Covid-19 will be in the Netherlands for some time, and called on Netherlands residents to face this difficult time together.
Despite the success of a 2019 weapons collections program, where anyone with armaments can dispose of them no questions asked, authorities say they have no plans to roll out a nationwide version of the event, sources told broadcaster NOS.
A local version organized in Rotterdam last January and February was considered a success, with over 260 weapons and 650 kilograms of ammunition collected. The weapons included 60 firearms, 43 knives, and various other items like Samurai-style swords and brass knuckles, police said at the time.
A majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament wants gas stations and supermarkets to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by next year. According to the CDA and ChristenUnie motion, tobacco products should only be available in specialist shops, AD reports.
The parties want the government to make agreements with supermarkets and gas stations on this matter. If these stores do not stick to the agreements, the government should force them with a legal obligation. This plan is supported by the CDA, ChristenUnie, D66, SP, GroenLinks, PvdA, 50Plus, PvdD, and SGP.
More than half of medical students believe that people from poorer families have less chance to be admitted to medical school than their more wealthy peers, according to a study by student platform De Geneeskundestudent among its over 3 thousand members, Trouw reports.
In the 2017 academic year, the government abolished the central draw for study directions with a limited number of places, including medicine. Since then, faculties have been allowed to apply their own selection criteria.
In an effort to relieve housing pressure in Amsterdam, ruling parties CDA and D66 want to build thousands of new homes in Almere, as well as a tunnel or bridge to improve the connection to the capital. They want Almere Pampus to consist of 25 thousand homes that can house between 50 thousand and 60 thousand people, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Tax Authority suspended the provisional tax refund of 124,000 people in January, a significant increase compared to the between 79 thousand and 82 thousand halted in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Thousands of these suspensions were unjustified and many of the affected persons were only notified about the suspension in mid-January, when they should already have received their money, RTL Nieuws reports.
The D66 wants to temporarily bring migrants from African countries to work in the Netherlands. According to the coalition party, this can help fill shortages on the labor market. And if there is a legal route to follow, migrant workers can come to the Netherlands without risking their lives by crossing the Mediterranean Sea in the "floating coffins" of people smugglers, D66 parliamentarian Maarten Groothuizen proposed, AD and NOS report.
ChristenUnie, the smallest party in the Rutte III coalition, seems to have the future of the CETA trade agreement between the European Union and Canada in its hands. If the party votes for, there is a small majority for the agreement. ChristenUnie voted against CETA in 2016, but now seems to be changing sides, was revealed in the debate on the trade agreement on Wednesday, NU.nl and RTL Nieuws report.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs ignored signals and reports that there were many problems with Centrum Veilig Wonen (CVW) - the company responsible for reinforcing homes in Groningen against fracking earthquakes - for years. The then National Coordinator for Groningen Hans Alders warned the Ministry that the company was not complying with agreements, and that Groningen residents were the victims of this, in the summer of 2017.
All 26 Dutch members of the European Parliament will be voting for the Brexit on Wednesday evening. Some with complete conviction, others with pain in their hearts. "With reluctance", "we regret it", "it is inescapable", "inevitable", and "this is what the British want", is how the more reluctant Dutch MEPs explained their 'yes' vote to NOS.
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.
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.
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.
Lighting fireworks over New Year's is a tradition that needs to change, CDA Minister Hugo De Jonge of Public Health said on television program Jinek on RTL 4 on Monday. Earlier in the day it became clear that a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, now supports a partial ban on consumers' fireworks.
Support for a nationwide ban on firecrackers and rockets is growing within the political parties, including within the coalition. Coalition parties D66 and ChristenUnie called for such a ban. And two VVD mayors went against their party's position to call for such a ban, NOS reports.
Acting mayor Johan Remkes of The Hague argued for an "enforceable ban on firecrackers and rockets" for consumers on television program Buitenhof. And mayor Jan van Zanen of Utrecht asked the VVD to cooperate in a ban on all consumer fireworks.
The Netherlands needs tens of thousands of hectares more nature reserves to achieve European nature objectives, according to the Netherlands' environmental assessment agency PBL. Take measures to make nature more robust, so that more permits can be granted for construction and other projects, the PBL said in new advice to the government, AD reports.
The Tax Authority released the files of some parents whose childcare allowance was halted because they were unjustly suspected of fraud, at the parents' request because they wanted to know what led to these suspicions. But to the fury of a number of parliamentarians, large parts of the documents are completely blacked-out, according to a video SP parliamentarian Renske Leijten posted on Twitter.
On Tuesday the SP decided to get behind a CDA and D66 motion for a women's quota for the supervisory boards of listed companies. With that there is a majority support in the Tweede Kamer for the motion that is intended to ensure that at least 30 percent of supervisory directors in business are women, NOS reports.
Coalition party CDA wants to do more to protect children against advertising and sponsors on television, YouTube and other social media. According to CDA parliamentarian Harry van der Molen, children are currently treated as "mini-consumers" and that has to stop, AD reports.
State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice and Security is struggling to talk to Morocco about taking back Moroccan nationals whose asylum application in the Netherlands had failed. She wanted to visit the country to discuss this matter, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed her that she "would not speak to the right people", she said to parliament on Thursday, NOS reports.
Because the words "Red Light District" explicitly refers to sex work, the term will no longer be used on signposts leading to the Wallen area, D66 alderman Victor Everhardt of Tourism said during a debate in the Amsterdam city council on Thursday, Het Parool reports.