Donald Trump's decision to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is "unwise and counterproductive", Minister Halbe Zijlstra of Foreign Affairs said to a delegation of the United States government in Brussels on Wednesday. The EU countries gave this same message to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during lunch. "This is going to reverse the peace process rather than moving it forward", Zijlstra said to NOS.
The Netherlands' center for information and documentation on Israel, CIDI, worries that an "explosion of violence" will result from the United States recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, director Hanna Luden said to NOS. Donald Trump is expected to officially announce later today that the United States is moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. ChristenUnie thinks the Netherlands should follow suit, parliamentarian Joel Voordewind said to BNR.
The VVD, D66 and PvdA want clarification from the government on exactly what role the Netherlands played in the case against former Transavia pilot Julio Poch. After years in custody, the Argentinian-Dutch man was acquitted on Wednesday of involvement in so-called "death flights" during the military dictatorship in Argentina between 1976 and 1983, ANP reports.
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 D66 in Amsterdam is calling for a regional tolling system on the roads around the Dutch capital. Motorists who want to reach Amsterdam during busy periods like rush hour, must pay an additional tax, according to D66 city councilor Bart Vink. The aim is to keep the city accessible during peak times, 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.
A total of 25 municipalities have signed up so far to take part in the Rutte III government's experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation, NOS reports. The government wants to start the experiment next year by letting eight to ten municipalities regulate the marijuana cultivation for their regions.
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.
Recently deceased Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan launched a secret anti-radicalization campaign that the city council knew nothing about, Elsevier reported on Sunday. The GroenLinks faction in Amsterdam is surprised by the commotion this report caused, saying that the project was discussed in the city council in March, NU.nl 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.
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.
As the time for the Rutte III government to take office approaches, the names of more and more Ministers are leaking out. Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) will have three Deputy Prime Ministers, one from each of the other coalition partners. They will be Kasja Ollongren (D66), Carola Schouten (ChristenUnie) and Hugo de Jonge (CDA), newspaper AD reports.
Hable Zijlstra will be the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Eric Wiebes will be the Minister of Economic Affairs in the new Dutch government, sources told the Telegraaf. In the Rutte II government, Wiebes was the State Secretary of Finance and Zijlstra was faction chairman for the VVD in parliament.
Zijlstra is taking over from Bert Koenders at Foreign Affairs, and Wiebes is succeeding Henk Kamp at Economic Affairs.
The new government's plan to make revenge porn a separate and punishable offense, feels like a victory for Chantal from Werkendam - the Netherlands best known victim of revenge porn, her lawyer Thomas van Vugt said to Eindhovens Dagblad.
The new coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are debating their new government agreement with the opposition parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Thursday. As far as Prime Minister Mark Rutte is concerned, the government agreement is not set in stone and the coalition is open to discussing changes with the opposition parties, NU.nl reports.
The new Dutch government presented a very ambitious energy policy in its government agreement on Tuesday. By 2030 the Rutte III cabinet wants the Netherlands' greenhouse gas emissions to be 49 percent lower than the level it was in 1990, a higher goal than what European rules currently demand. The governments is also planning to advocate for a 55 percent reduction in emissions in Europe.
The Rutte III cabinet plans to have two Ministers each at the ministries of Security Justice, Public Health, and Education, sources told newspaper AD. This is the first time that Ministries in the Netherlands will be headed by two ministers, according to the newspaper.
Unions, associations and interest groups had mixed reactions to the Rutte III government's plans for the future. While some are carefully optimistic about what the Netherlands will hold in the coming years, the new government agreement left others with only concerns, according to reactions on the Volkskrant's liveblog of the agreement presentation.
Opposition parties did not hesitate to comment on the new government's plans for the Netherlands for the coming years.
After 209 days of formation talks, the new Dutch government presented its plans for the coming years on Tuesday. Here follows some details from the agreement that were not leaked to the press before the official release.