A group of 12 Italian politicians lambasted the Netherlands on Tuesday, angered by Dutch reticence to support European financial assistance to countries most affected by coronavirus. The Netherlands blocked emergency aid to EU member states, despite “using its tax system to withdraw tax revenue from major European countries for years,” they wrote in an open letter published in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The number of patients in the Netherlands who tested positive for coronavirus jumped from 38 confirmed cases on Wednesday to 82 on Thursday, Dutch health authority RIVM said on Thursday.
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.
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.
Before Schiphol can be given permission to further expand its number of flight movements, there must first be a new investigation into safety at the airport, according to coalition parties D66 and ChristenUnie. They want to be absolutely certain that growth will not affect the safety of passengers and employees at Schiphol, NOS reports.
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.
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.
The governing cabinet in the Netherlands plans to implement new limits on fireworks after this past New Year's period saw thousands of incidents requiring first responders. Millions of euros worth of damages to private personal property were estimated, with even more damage caused to commercial property.
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.
In response to a drone attack by the United States on a Baghdad airport, killing an Iranian military leader, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the events unfolding in Iraq are "worrying and serious." The attack happened weeks before the Dutch military was to send a frigate and helicopter to help patrol the Strait of Hormuz, which the U.S. requested months ago.
All coffeeshops throughout the Netherlands must refuse to serve tourists, according to coalition party ChristenUnie. Parliamentarian Stieneke van der Graaf called on Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security to get municipalities to arrange for their coffeeshops to ban people who do not live in the Netherlands, AD reports.
The fact that many municipalities, like the big cities, allow coffeeshops to sell to tourists makes the Netherlands "known as a country where you can use drugs and enjoy yourself", Van der Graaf said. She wants to get rid of that reputation.
The Dutch government is currently investigating a list of around 20 unorthodox and unpopular measures for reducing nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These measures include banning car traffic on one Sunday a month, and lowering the speed limit on all highways to 100 kilometers per hour, AD reports based on sources in The Hague.
The government wants to quickly reduce the maximum speed limits on Dutch roads in order to get housing construction up and running again. Lowering the speed limit will reduce the nitrogen emissions caused by road traffic, creating room for nitrogen emissions caused by construction projects, is the idea, AD reports based on sources in The Hague.
Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema will investigate whether the prostitution sector can be moved out of the Red Light District and located in other parts of the city, including neighborhoods where more workplaces can be found. A prostitution hotel outside the Red Light District is one of the options she is looking into, she said in a city council debate on Thursday, Het Parool reports.
Two political parties in the Netherlands want to force the cabinet to take up the issue of making Liberation Day a paid day off from work for as many people as possible. Currently, many people in the country take the May 5 national holiday off from work once every five years.
The PvdA and ChristenUnie want a fund to be established for buying the debts of people with major financial problems. Currently people with problematic debts sometimes have dozens of collection agencies hounding them, according to the two parties. With such a fund, they will only have one creditor to deal with NOS 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.
Coalition party ChristenUnie and opposition party PvdA want the government to invest at least 10 million euros per year extra into the fight against human trafficking and forced prostitution. This money must go to the police, so that more specialized investigators can be recruited and trained, the parties' leaders said to RTL Nieuws.
Four political parties have teamed up on a proposal to reduce the highway speed limit in Den Haag to 80 kilometers per hour. The parties, including the city’s governing coalition members GroenLinks and D66, have also called for a ban on older diesel vehicles and an expansion of the city’s environmental zones.
The rule changes also have the backing of the animal rights party PvdD and the Christian party bloc CU/SGP. Together the four groups represent 20 of the city’s 45 council seats.
Another five political parties joined the call of youth movement Coalitie-Y to abolish the student loan system. The manifesto to this effect will be handed to Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday evening, the night before Budget Day, the Volkskrant reports.
Children at Salafist mosque schools in the Netherlands are taught Sharia law, and are taught the death penalty is appropriate for people with a different religion or belief system, according to a study by Nieuwsuur and NRC. The report has parliamentarians concerned.
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."
The PvdA also wants to get rid of the student loan system and reintroduce the basic study grant, joining the call of Coalitie-Y - an initiative of the ChristenUnie and youth organization who want to take measures to give more certainty to the next generation of young people. A vast majority in parliament now supports this plan, NU.nl reports.
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.