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.
Long-time Dutch prime minister Ruud Lubbers reportedly died on Wednesday according to the Dutch government. He was 78 years of age.
The Christian Democrats leader served as prime minister longer than any other Dutch politician. He held the office from 1982 to 1994 at the helm of three cabinets.
No information was provided about the cause of death. The Dutch government press office made the announcement which was reported in various media outlets in the country.
Minister Halbe Zijlstra of Foreign Affairs admitting that he lied about having a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, was met by fierce criticism from opposition parties in the Tweede Kamer. The coalition parties call his actions mainly "unwise", NOS reports.
Amsterdam city councilor Diederik Boomsma (CDA) received a death threat shortly after the city council discussed squatters that have been living on the ADM site in the city for decades. He reported the death threat to the police, the Telegraaf reports.
The police refused to comment to the newspaper about the threat. Boomsma confirmed that he was threatened and reported it to the police, but would not say anything further.
The question of whether or not to bring the children of Dutch rebel fighters in the Syrian civil war back to the Netherlands, has the government parties divided. Doing so was proposed by the D66 and ChristenUnie, but the VVD is vehemently against it. What fourth government party, the CDA, thinks about this, is not yet clear, NOS reports.
"Before you know it, the parents will come too", VVD parliamentarian Barbara Visser said on Twitter. "The VVD chooses for the safety and freedom of the children in the Netherlands!"
Everyone who took part in the discussion on social media about the Mauritshuis Museum removing its namesake's bust from the foyer over the past days, can visit the museum in The Hague for free on Sunday, January 28th, museum director Emilie Gordenker announced on television program Buitenhof on Sunday.
Almost all parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, demanded that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate come up with a protocol for handling earthquake damage caused by gas extraction in Groningen within two weeks. Wiebes will make haste on such a protocol, but can not give a time frame for when it will be ready, he said in a parliamentary debate on the matter on Tuesday, NOS reports.
Rotterdam's mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb would not take back his controversial remarks on Salafism. Last month the mayor, a Muslim himself, caused uproar when during an interview he stated that every Muslim is a bit of a Salafist. Salafism is an ultra-conservative branch within the Sunni Islam.
"There were no wrong words used in the interview, but perhaps the radio is too volatile of a medium"; Aboutaleb told the city council on Friday. The mayor's provocative remark was heard during an interview on the radio-program Dit is de Dag.
The political opposition grows against the plan to set the opening of the Lelystad airport around April 2019. The ruling parties are under the pressure of their local politicians, who consider April 2019 to be way too soon.
Members of the Dutch Parliament of the coalition-parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie will discuss on the matter next week. According to newspaper Trouw, last week they met with fellow party members from the interested region. The ChristenUnie already came to the conclusion that next year's April is not an option for the opening.
The Tweede Kamer wants to know from the Minister of Justice and Security why the police are not acting against a Russian site on which pedophiles are massively sharing photos of children, including Dutch children. On Tuesday the Belgian police launched an investigation into the site, RTL Nieuws reports.
The CDA in the Rotterdam city council wants clarification about "patrols" right-wing extremist group Voorpost claims they perform in the dunes in Hoek van Holland. In a statement on Sunday, Voorpost said their members patrol the dunes looking for undocumented migrants. According to the CDA, such searches jeopardize public order and are "highly undesirable", AD reports.
Public broadcaster PowNed paid No Surrender leader Henk Kuipers a thousand euros before each broadcast of series Captain Henk, which is about Kuipers and the outlaw motorcycle club, sources told the Telegraaf. On Thursday night, PowNed director Dominique Weesie admitted that money was paid to Kuipers. Parliamentarians are outraged, according to the newspaper.
The Tweede Kamer wants better and more careful screening for LGBTI asylum seekers. Currently the immigration and naturalization service IND rejects too many LGBTI people, while they are actually eligible for asylum, according to coalition parties D66, VVD, CDA and ChristenUnie, NOS reports.
Dutch politicians want to intensify the fight against texting while driving. The VVD wants the police to always check a smartphone's history after a traffic accident, to see if it was being used during the accident, parliamentarian Remco Dijkstra said to the Telegraaf.
According to the VVD parliamentarian, the police can already check smartphones to see whether a driver had both hands on the wheel, but they rarely do so. The VVD also wants stricter punishments for smartphone use while driving. The party calls for the punishment for this to be the same as for drunk driving.
The Dutch Tax Authority still hasn't stopped welfare payments to any suspected Dutch jihadists who joined the war in Syria, despite a law making this possible being implemented in October, the Telegraaf reports.
The PVV thinks that Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations should go to jail. According to parliamentarian Martin Bosma, the newly appointed D66 Minister broke the law during her time as alderman in Amsterdam by saying that the Dutch capital should become a republic if the PVV comes into power, NU.nl reports.
The Tweede Kamer is shocked and outraged by reports from Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations that Russia and other countries are using fake news to try and influence public opinion in the Netherlands. "That fake accounts influence our democracy is life threateningly dangerous", CDA leader Sybrand Buma said to broadcaster NOS. The CDA and D66 are presenting a set of measures in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Wednesday to prevent this from happening.
Fake news is a deep concern for the new Netherlands cabinet, and its suppression is a priority in the Dutch cabinet, a new letter sent to parliamentarians shows. Russia deserves much of the blame for a disinformation campaign in the Netherlands, Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongrenhas clearly states in a brief to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.
State Secretary Barbara Visser of Defense calls on victims of abuses in the Dutch armed forces to come forward, following a report in the Volkskrant about three soldiers who left their unit in Schaarsbergen after being assaulted, bullied, abused and even raped. "Unacceptable. I read the article and had chills. This is not worthy of Defense", the State Secretary said to ANP.
The Dutch government is postponing the implementation of the new data mining law for the intelligence and security services. Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations will send a letter to the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday to inform them that it will not be possible to appoint a supervisory committee before the law was set to take effect on January 1st, NOS reports.
On Thursday the Ministers in the Rutte II government hand over their tasks to their successors. Some decided to mark the occasion. Former deputy prime minister and Social Affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA), for example, posted a video on Twitter of his last day at work.
After the longest government formation process ever in Dutch history, the Rutte III cabinet will be presented today. At 10:30 a.m. King Willem-Alexander will swear in the 16 new ministers and 8 new state secretaries at the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. At around 11:20 a.m., the new ministers will appear in front of the palace with the King, RTL Nieuws reports.
PVV leader Geert Wilders wants to stop the appointment of Ferdinand Grapperhaus (CDA) as Minister of Justice of Security. According to Wilders, posts on Grapperhaus' personal blog show that he is "more a danger to national security than a minister of Justice", he said to ANP.
Wilders is referring to a blog post in which Grapperhaus wrote that "you should not revoke jihadists' citizenship. On the contrary, you must let them come back." He goes on to say that jihadists must return to the Netherlands so that they can be held accountable, according to the Telegraaf.
The names of the Rutte III cabinet's Ministers and State Secretaries were announced on Saturday. In addition to Prime Minster Mark Rutte, there wil be 15 Ministers and eight State Secretaries. Just over a third of the new government are women. The expectation is that the Rutte III cabinet will take office on October 26th, RTL Nieuws reports.