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.
The ChristenUnie's stance on same sex marriage - that it should not be allowed - is up for debate. ChristenUnie State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health said that he wanted to discuss this anti-gay marriage stance with his party in an interview with EO radio program Dit is de dag. "I would really like to have that conversation with the party, yes", he said, NOS reports.
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."
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, want the number of night flights at Schiphol to be reduced. Some parties even want night flights to be scrapped completely. The Kamer will discuss aviation with Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management on Thursday, RTL Nieuws reports.