On Thursday opposition parties in parliament insisted that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs reverses his decision to postpone the reinforcement of 1,588 homes in the province of Groningen, NU.nl reports.
Over two months after the municipal elections in March, Rotterdam still doesn't have a new city government. Coalition talks now started between the VVD, D66, GroenLinks, PvdA and ChristenUnie-SGP. Leefbaar Rotterdam, which came out as the biggest party in the city after the elections, is not part of the negotiations, NOS reports.
The six parties together have 23 seats on the municipal council, the smallest possible majority on a council with 45 seats. Previous negotiations stranded when GroenLinks, PvdA and D66 could not agree to forming a coalition with Leefbaar and VVD.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs does not rule out that in the future the Netherlands will also hold Ukraine accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster. "There is no concrete legal ground for this, but the cabinet does not rule anything out", he said in a parliamentary debate on the government's decision to hold Russia accountable for its role in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight, NU.nl reports.
The new Amsterdam city government of GroenLinks, D66, PvdA and SP presented its coalition agreement on Thursday. "The coalition agreement is ambitious and will change things in the city", GroenLinks leader Rutger Groot Wassink said, according to Het Parool. "I always said: the city must become more sustainable, more honest and more democratic, and this agreement does that."
Below are the main plans in the new coalition agreement, Het Parool reports:
GroenLinks, D66, PvdA and SP successfully reached a coalition agreement for Amsterdam, D66 faction leader Reinier van Dantzig announced on Twitter. Amsterdam's new coalition will present their agreement on Thursday.
The negotiations happened in a "very good atmosphere", Van Dantzig said.
Sharon Dijksma is one of the new proposed aldermen for the PvdA in Amsterdam, the party announced. Should the coalition negotiations end successfully, she will handle the portfolio for traffic and transport, water and air quality, ANP reports.
Dijksma is currently a parliamentarian for the PvdA. In the previous government, she was first State Secretary of Economic Affairs and then State Secretary of Infrastructure and Environment.
The new Amsterdam college of mayor and aldermen will also be tough on tourism. The coalition negotiations between GroenLinks, D66, PvdA and SP are still ongoing, but the parties reached an agreement on their tourism plans, they announced on Wednesday morning, Het Parool reports.
A number of parliamentarians want an explanation from Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus about secret relationships within the Public Prosecution Service. On Wednesday NRC reported that two prosecutors lied about being in an relationship for years. And that two were appointed chief prosecutors by a prosecutor they had relationships with.
At this time Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs sees no reason to summon the Israeli ambassador for an explanation about the dozens of deaths and hundreds of wounded who fell during demonstrations on the Palestinian side of the Gaza Strip on Monday, he said to parliament on Tuesday, NU.nl reports.
The entire opposition, with the exception of the SGP, supported a motion of censure against Prime Minister Mark Rutte in a parliamentary debate about secret memos surrounding the Rutte III government's decision to abolish dividend tax, NU.nl reports.
Officials from the Ministry of Finance expressed serious doubts about the abolition of the dividend tax during the Rutte III government formation, according to secret memos on this topic that the government released under pressure on Tuesday, AD reports.
During the government formation, documents were drawn up about the controversial abolition of the dividend tax - tax companies pay on profits paid out to shareholders, the Ministry of Finance confirmed to Trouw. Previously Prime Minster Mark Rutte said that the party leaders do not recall the existence of such documents, NU.nl reports.
The Ministry of Finances refuses to make the documents public, Trouw writes.
Government parties D66 and ChristenUnie are in talks with the Israeli ambassador and the representative of the Palestinian territories in the Netherlands about creating a direct connection between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank of the Jordan, NOS reports.
The two parties want Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs to take the initiative in starting talks with Israel and the Palestinians about a corridor for buses and trucks, among other things. They believe that such a connection will lead to access to medical care, family reunification and trade for the people in Gaza.
Just over half - 52 percent - of Dutch voters are in favor of holding a referendum on the new organ donation law, according to the weekly poll by Maurice de Hond.
The four parties in the Dutch government are willing to consider adapting the new law for the intelligence and security services. Responsible Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs will soon present a number of proposals for amendments, sources told BNR.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold will not be prosecuted for a remark he made about Russians. His remark does not constitute group insult and is not punishable, the Public Prosecutor announced on Wednesday.
The Dutch police team focused on investigating child pornography is so overworked and understaffed that thousands of child pornography reports go un-investigated, RTL Nieuws reports The Public Prosecutor, police unions, and victim lawyers call for police capacity to be increased.
Geert Wilders and his lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops want the appeal in the hate speech trial against the PVV leader postponed until after the Public Prosecutor decided what to do with discrimination charges pressed against D66 leader Alexander Pechtold over a remark he made about Russians.
Wilders and Knoops sent the request for postponement to the Court of Appeal in The Hague on March 1st, the PVV confirmed to RTL Nieuws.
Amsterdam is heading for a left-wing-progressive municipal council. GroenLinks, D66, PvdA and SP are starting negotiations on forming a coalition on Tuesday, Het Parool reports.
The brother of key witness Nabil B., who was shot and killed in Amsterdam on Thursday morning, chose not to accept all the protection measures the Dutch authorities offered him, spokesperson Ties Kortman of the Public Prosecutor said, according to newspaper AD.
It seems unlikely that a plan to ban firecrackers before New Year's will be implemented. A majority in parliament is against the plan, doubting how effective it will be in reducing the number of fireworks incidents in the Netherlands every New Year's, NOS reports after speaking with sources around the government.
Jeroen van der Veer, president of ING's board of commissioners, again defended the bank's now scrapped plan to increase the salary of CEO Ralph Hamers from 2 million to 3 million euros per year. The bank has to increase the executives' salaries if it wants to remain an international player, Van der Veer said in the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday, AD reports.
The final results for Amsterdam's municipal elections are in. GroenLinks is the biggest party in the city, with 10 city council seats. And four parties will enter the Amsterdam city council for the first time - newcomers DENK, Bij1 and FVD, and ChristenUnie, AT5 and Het Parool report.
The seats in Amsterdam's city council are divided as follows:
Parties in at least Maastricht, Venray, Beek, and Zeewolde demanded that the votes in the municipal elections on Wednesday be recounted, NU.nl reports.
In principle, votes are only recounted if mistakes were made or there is evidence of fraud. In all four these cases, parties want the votes recounted over the division of city council seats - the difference between two parties in each municipality is so minimal that an extra vote or two could mean an extra seat.
In Maastricht, the D66 is two votes short of an extra seat.