The number of Dutch who explicitly said 'no' to being organ donors increased by 152 thousand to 1.71 million since early 2016, Statistics Netherlands announced on Wednesday. In the same period the number of people who did give permission for their organs to be donated also increased, by 36 thousand to 3.6 million.
Negotiators for the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie seemed carefully optimistic that the government formation talks will come to a good conclusion when they pick up again after the summer break. There is good hope, mediator Gerrit Zalm said after the negotiators parted ways for a two week long break on Wednesday, AD reports.
Today is the 126th day of government formation talks in the Netherlands. And while the formation still seems to be far from over, progress is being made. The financial part of the formation is going so well, that mediator Gerrit Zalm hopes to have this phase finished today, BNR reports.
Once the financial part is complete, the documents can be sent to central planning office CPB to be checked over and credited, and the negotiators can break for summer holiday.
Dutch parliamentarians are shocked that a court ordered a Hague school to pay compensation to a mother whose kids missed the class photo. The kids missed the class photo because it was taken during Eid al-Adha, and the court ordered the school to pay their mother 500 euros in compensation.
After a week and a half of negotiations, the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie have made little progress in forming a new Dutch government together, according to D66 leader Alexander Pechtold. The talks moved by centimeters, rather than meters, he said after Tuesday's negotiations in the Johan de Witthuis in The Hague, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch government formation talks are continuing this week, but not on the Binnenhof. On Monday and Tuesday the leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie, and their seconds, will be negotiating in the Johan de Witthuis, a few hundred meters away from their regular meeting place, AD reports.
Mediator Gerrit Zalm hopes that a change of scenery wil bring some new inspiration.
Political parties in Utrecht are fighting over which snacks to serve in the city hall. A proposal was recently accepted to serve at least 50 percent vegetarian or vegan snacks during meetings. The local VVD is now fighting to keep their bitterballen - a deep fried, meat based Dutch snack.
Several parliamentarians are praising Weert mayor Jos Heijmans for his persistence in getting six North-African asylum seekers prosecuted for breaking curfew over New Year's. On Thursday Heijmans announced that he is turning to court after the Public Prosecutor decided not to prosecute these men.
On Tuesday a majority in the Tweede Kamer voted against a proposal to keep the Netherlands' strict cap on bankers' bonuses in place. While the parliamentary vote is not binding, it does suggest that if the new government decides to scrap te cap, or make the rules around it more lenient, the decision will be met with approval.
PVV leader Geert Wilders' legislative proposal to give intelligence service AIVD the power to detain potential terrorists for six months as a precaution, was met with criticism by other parliamentary parties. Human rights organization Amnesty called the PVV proposal a "frontal attack on the rule of law", according to NOS.
Herman Tjeenk Willink is resigning as mediator in the Dutch government formation negotiations, sources reported to De Telegraaf on Monday. It is believed that Gerrit Zalm, former VVD Finance Minister and former CEO at ABN Amro, will succeed him, according to the newspaper.
PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher officially made his party unavailable for government formation talks. "We are not available to help the engine to a majority", he said after speaking with mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink on Tuesday, according to AD. If the 'engine' of VVD, CDA and D66 still want to rule in a four party majority coalition, the ChristenUnie is the only option left to them.
The leaders of the VVD, CDA and D66 want the next cabinet to bind "left and right" together, VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday afternoon after the three leaders spoke with formation mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink, AD reports.
The VVD and CDA again firmly stated that they will not work with anti-Islam party PVV and its leader Geert Wilders. Formation negotiator Herman Tjeenk Willink asked VVD leader Mark Rutte and CDA leader Sybrand Buma to put in writing why they will not form a government with Wilders. They dismissed Wilders as untrustworthy and "increasingly radical", the Volkskrant reports
The Tweede Kamer is calling on the Dutch government to do something about unsafe internet of things devices. A vast majority of 148 out of 150 parliamentarians voted for a motion demanding an investigation into what security requirements can be set, NU.nl reports.
The motion demands that the government investigates what minimum security requirements can be imposed on the internet of things, how those requirements can be enforced and what other measures are necessary to protect consumers from poorly-protected devices.
VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte does not see a breakthrough happening in the government formation talks any time soon. In fact, he worries that new elections may be necessary, he said in a live session the VVD hosted on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon, NU.nl reports.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver had to defend himself from all sides in a parliamentary debate about the stalled government formation talks between his party and the VVD, CDA and D66. "We will not send anyone back to countries where it is unsafe", Klaver said in the Tweede Kamer. But the other party leaders did not seem to be buying it, NU.nl reports.
VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte is "extremely disappointed" and "bewildered" that the government formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed again. A parliamentary debate on the matter is likely to be held before the end of Tuesday, the Telegraaf reports.
Political party Leefbaar Rotterdam plans to give some 40 thousand employed Rotterdam residents with a low income a 'work bonus' of 50 euros. A number of other parties in the city are critical of the plan, calling it an election stunt and stigmatizing to people living on welfare, NOS reports.
VVD leader Mark Rutte and GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver met with mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink at his home on Wednesday in another effort to break through a stalemate that formed around the formation of a new Dutch government. Afterwards neither Klaver nor Rutte would comment on what was discussed, but it is believed that the topic was a restart of negotiations between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks, NU.nl reports.
It's been exactly 11 weeks and five days since the Netherlands' parliamentary election and the country still doesn't have a new government. Formation talks continue today with mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink meeting with the leaders of the VVD, CDA and D66 this afternoon, according to various Dutch newspapers.