The prices for existing homes in the Netherlands continue to rise. In the third quarter, the average price for an existing home was 7.2 percent higher than the same quarter last year. And after half a year of the housing supply seeming to stabilize, the number of homes available for sale saw a significant decrease in the third quarter, according to figures from the Dutch association of realtors NVM, NOS reports.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, wants a further investigation into the role Ukraine played in the MH17 disaster, focused specifically on the country not closing the airspace above eastern Ukraine despite fighting in the area. A motion filed by CDA and SP to that extent received the support of all parties that attended a debate on the matter on Tuesday evening, NOS reports.
Coalition parties CDA and D66 are flabbergasted by the fact that the government's China Strategy does not mention anything about the poor human rights situation in China. Opposition parties are also critical. The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, will debate the strategy, in which the government explained its policy towards China, with Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs on Monday, NOS reports.
Since the Partial Ban on Face-Covering Clothing was implemented on August 1st, banning clothing items like burkas and balaclavas in public transport, hospitals, education- and government buildings, no violators have been fined, RTL Nieuws reports after speaking to institutions where the ban applies. A number of organizations raised concerns about increased aggression and hostility against women who wear burkas and niqabs.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance does not want to outright ban a negative interest rate on savings. Such a "hard ban" would be a "very significant intervention in the market" which can have negative effects, he said in response to parliamentary questions from the CDA and PvdA, NU.nl reports.
The VVD expelled parliamentarian Wybren van Haga on Tuesday. According to party leader Klaas Dijkhoff, he cannot remain in the party now that he is again under fire over his activities as a property manager and landlord, NOS reports.
The fight against organized crime is complicated, but can be won, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on the second day of the parliamentary debate on the national budget. Ferdinand Grapperhaus agreed with Rutte’s standpoint. The Security and Justice Minister from the PM’s conservative VVD party backed a call from several politicians to form a specialized unit focused solely on tackling drug crime.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte, MPs and lawyers are shocked by the murder of criminal law attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam on Wednesday morning, calling it an attack on the rule of law. "Very disturbing reports", Rutte said to reporters in response to the lawyer's death. Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus is currently being informed about what the authorities know so far. "As soon as any announcements can be made, that will happen", the Prime Minister said.
Coalition parties CDA and D66 are angry with VVD Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs because he revealed information from the King's Budget Day speech and the government's budget a day before Budget Day. Prime Minister Mark Rutte received three requests from coalition partners to reprimand Wiebes, AD reports.
The government must better promote Dutch history and ensure that the Netherlands' "birth certificates" are exhibited in a prominent and public place, according to CDA leader Pieter Heerma and VVD leader Klaas Dijkhoff. They want the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (1581), the Unie van Utrecht (1579) and the Apologie van Willem van Oranje (1580) to be made jointly accessible to the general public, they said to AD.
Coalition party D66 wants to reduce the number of livestock in the Netherlands by half. This will reduce nitrogen emissions, and create more room to build new houses, D66 parliamentarian Tjeerd de Groot said to RTL Nieuws.
It's a simple calculation, according to De Groot. "70 percent of Dutch nitrogen emissions come from agriculture, a large part of which comes from intensive livestock farming. That is huge. At the same time, the contribution of intensive livestock farming to our own economy is not even 1 percent. The ratio is completely missing."
Early next year coalition party D66 will submit a legislative proposal to make assisted suicide possible at the end of a "full" and "completed" life, parliamentarian Pia Dijkstra said in an interview with newspaper AD. The bill is a sensitive topic for Christian parties and coalition partners CDA and ChristenUnie, according to the newspaper.
A report stating that Amsterdam is losing the fight against organized crime led to alarmed and shocked reactions from politicians in The Hague. Parliamentarians call on the government to invest more into combating this issue, the Telegraaf reports.
The report stated that the authorities have little insight into drug economy and -crime, that the police have basically given up the fight against drugs, and that the judiciary is failing to tackle real crime structures.
The coalition parties in the Rutte III government reached broad agreements on the focus of the Netherlands' tax plans for next year. Low- and middle-income households must see an improvement in their purchasing power. And it must become easier for people starting out on the housing market to find a home, NOS reports.
"We have taken further steps on our way to Prinsjesdag", Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte said after an hours long meeting between the coalition parties and the Ministry of Finance, which ended at around midnight on Thursday.
The Amsterdam police will investigate how information about the arrest of mayor Femke Halsema's 15-year-old son leaked to newspaper De Telegraaf. The investigation will be conducted by the Security, Integrity and Complaints Office of the Amsterdam police unit, AD reports.
The Rutte III government is more popular than ever, with 47 percent of Dutch saying they are satisfied with the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie coalition, according to a poll by I&O Research. That is the highest satisfaction percentage the government had since it took office in October 2017. At the start of this year, only 33 percent of Dutch were satisfied with Rutte III, AD reports.
After months of negotiations, the coalition parties reached an agreement on how to arrange custody for families with more than two parents and surrogacy by law. Dutch kids will soon be able to legally have up to four parents, and the rights of surrogates and the parents who use them will be laid down in law, RTL Nieuws reports based on a draft letter to parliament in its possession.
The Council of Ministers will discuss the proposal on Friday.
Left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks and PvdA are demanding some changes to the Climate Agreement before they will support it in the Senate. "If you think that we are applauding, then you are wrong", PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher said during the first parliamentary debate on the Agreement on Wednesday, NOS reports. "If there are no concrete solutions, you can forget our support."
Dutch PM: Misinformation from Russia will neither impact, nor tarnish the investigation.
Russia: No evidence to support "groundless" investigation claim.
Parliamentarians from both opposition and coalition parties expressed concerns about increasingly intimidating anti-abortion, anti-choice demonstrations at abortion clinics in the Netherlands. Oppositions parties GroenLinks, PvdA, SP, PvdD and 50Plus and ruling party VVD issued a joint call to protect women's right to safely choose abortion, NOS and RTL Nieuws report.
Former CDA Prime Minister Dries van Agt had a stroke two weeks ago, his family confirmed. "We were shocked, it was stressful for a few days. Fortunately there is now recovery. My father is conscious, his mental capacities are not affected", the 88-year-old politician's daughter Eugenie van Agt said, De Stentor reports.
"Physically, he had a major blow", Eugenie continued. The left side of Van Agt's body was affected by the stroke. "The doctors are cautiously optimistic, but it is clear that he will need a lot of rest and intense rehabilitation."
Nearly half of the politicians who will soon represent the Netherlands in the new European Parliament are women. Of the total 26 Dutch European Parliamentarians, 12 are women. At 46.2 percent it is the highest percentage of female Dutch MEPs since 2009, NOS reports, and an increase from 34.6 percent.
The man convicted of killing Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002 planned to file accusations of defamation against politicians Han ten Broeke and Madeleine van Toorenburg. Volkert van der G. said the two political insiders went too far when they claimed he violated the conditions of his early release from prison, his lawyer Willem Jebbink said in a press release issued Tuesday.
The results of the European Parliament elections are in, with most of the votes counted. Some parties, like the PvdA and FvD in the Netherlands, are celebrating major victories. Others, like the PVV and SP, are mourning defeats.