Taking in orphaned child asylum seekers from refugee camps in Greece is causing conflict within coalition party CDA. The national faction of the Christian democrats is set against it. On Tuesday over 40 local and provincial CDA factions called on party leader Pieter Heerma and party chairman Rutger Ploum to change their mind and bring 500 orphaned children to the Netherlands, Trouw reports.
Companies in the Netherlands are worried about their continued existence. While the government is offering businesses support, the consequences of the coronavirus are stretching further and further into the future and many businesses worry about whether they will survive.
Two protests were held at the Noord-Brabant provincial house in Den Bosch on Friday, during the appointment of the province's new deputies. A huge stack of theater seats with giants unable to find somewhere to sit protested against the new coalition's lack of support for culture. And hundreds of denim jeans represented the Noord-Brabant residents who want more attention to be paid to the climate crisis, Omroep Brabant reports.
The new Noord-Brabant coalition consists of right-wing and far-right parties CDA, FvD, VVD, and Lokaal Brabant.
Support for the government's coronavirus policy remains high among Netherlands residents, and that is also showing in the polls, according to a recent survey by I&O Research. If the parliamentary elections were held today, Prime Minister Mark Rutte's VVD would walk away with 43 seats in parliament, compared to its current 32, ANP reports.
The VVD distanced itself from controversial pictures shared in a WhatsApp group group created in October last year to exchange ideas about the party's 70th anniversary celebrated at the time. The party will investigate which members of its youth organization JOVD shared these images, and if any VVD members are among them, action will be taken, NOS reports.
Over 11 thousand Netherlands citizens with dual nationality were subject to stricter inspections by the Tax Authority than other Dutch people. Their second nationality was an official selection criterion to determine whether they were an increased risk of fraud, the Tax Authority acknowledged after an investigation by RTL Nieuws and Trouw. This is the first time the tax office confirmed that nationality was used as an "indicator" to make a distinction between Dutch citizens, according to RTL Nieuws.
Dutch parliamentarians want a number of additional conditions attached to a coronavirus aid package for KLM. Groenlinks wants the airlines' financial partners to help pay for the aid package. Various parties want high-earning pilots to accept salary cuts. And a majority agrees that KLM should not pay any bonuses or dividends as long as it is dependent on state aid.
Parties from both in and outside of the ruling coalition have called on the cabinet to take action to protect the financial wellbeing of sex workers in the Netherlands, following the economic fallout caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
"Despite repeated requests, action has so far failed to materialize," the CDA, ChristenUnie and opposition party PvdA affirmed in a statement. All the while, they claim, many sex workers "do not even have money for food."
The lower house of Dutch parliament debated the current state of affairs around the coronavirus with the cabinet on Wednesday. Parliamentarians wanted to know whether more businesses can be opened before the extended "intelligent lockdown" date of May 20th, and called for more than medical experts to be on the government's Outbreak Management Team, NOS and NU.nl report.
Children play a negligible role in the transmission of Covid-19, Jaap van Dissel of public health agency RIVM told parliament during a debate on the government's response to the pandemic on Wednesday. According to Van Dissel, who directs the Center for Infectious Disease Control wing of the RIVM, there are several studies which indicate that children become ill from contracting the coronavirus very infrequently, and they seldom pass it along to adults when they do.
Most Dutch political parties in the European Parliament are critical of how the European Commission responded to the coronavirus crisis. The FvD, VVD and PvdA think the European Commission responded too slowly. The CDA thinks Europe is struggling because the Commission doesn't have the power to take real action. Only the D66 said that the Commission took some excellent initiatives, NOS reports after speaking to the parties.
The European recovery plan for the economy must focus on making the EU economy greener, more circular, more sustainable, according the European Commissioner Frans Timmermans. "We must not return to a carbon spewing economy," he said in an open letter in seven European newspapers, including NRC, on Thursday.
Even though people want the Netherlands to open back up and relax the rules imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the country "cannot open all at once," said Prime Minister Mark Rutte at a press conference on Wednesday. The rules will be relaxed based on the ability to reduce pressure on the healthcare system, protect elderly people and people in poor health, and attain more insight into the spread of the virus.
The government will set up a separate scheme to help support flexible and temporary workers who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus. The scheme is expected to cost hundreds of millions of euros and will be implemented in the coming days, after opposition party PvdA managed to get support from GroenLinks and the four coalition parties for it, AD reports.
A majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament is in favor of sheltering refugees currently staying in overfull camps on the Greek island of Lesbos on cruise ships in order to prevent the coronavirus from spreading among them like wildfire. The parliamentarians called on the Dutch government to push for this solution on a European level, AD reports.
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.