After over 16 hours of discussions overnight, the European Ministers of Finance still could not come to an agreement on a financial support package of 540 billion euros for countries hit hardest by the coronavirus. The negotiations will continue on Thursday.
Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra received support from a majority in parliament for the government's stance on European Union aid for countries in trouble due to the coronavirus. The Dutch government is against so-called coronabonds, and wants strict requirements attached to any emergency financing, NOS reports.
Later in the evening, reports emerged that the European Stabilization Mechanism (ESM) could instead be used to make a quarter of a trillion euros available to help countries in the EU pay for the medical problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Airlines are only allowed to give vouchers in return for a canceled flight if the passenger agrees. If not, the canceled ticket must be refunded, European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean said. With that she threw a spanner in the works of Dutch Infrastructure Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen's plan to allow airlines to compensate passengers with vouchers.
Mona Keijzer, the State Secretary for Economic Affairs in the Netherlands, responded by asking the public to accept the vouchers as a way of supporting the embattled travel industry.
The Dutch government is willing to contribute up to 1 billion euros to a yet-to-be-established European fund aimed at dealing with the coronavirus, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance said. Countries hit hard by Covid-19 and that are not in good financial health can turn to the fund to finance medical aid. "I am thinking roughly of a few hundred million to 1 billion euros," Hoekstra said to NU.nl on Wednesday.
The relationship between Italy and the Netherlands has not deteriorated due to the lack of European support to save the Italian economy, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in an interview with the Telegraaf. "The friendship with the Dutch people remains in tact."
When the leaders of the EU Member States could not agree on a 400 billion euros emergency fund to absorb the blows of the coronavirus, there was criticism from other EU countries that the Netherlands was thinking only of itself in blocking this fund. Prime Minister Mark Rutte denied this. "The idea that the Netherlands alone stands against the entire south is not true," he said to RTL Nieuws. "There is a fairly broad group against it and that was expressed quite firmly."
United States president Donald Trump banned entry to flights from Europe for 30 days starting on the night from Friday to Saturday. This has to do with coronavirus Covid-19. Schiphol will definitely be affected by this ban, the airport said in a brief statement, adding that it is mapping out "what this means exactly for flights to the U.S."
The entry ban exempts countries outside the Schengen Area, like the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The European Ministers of Public Health are meeting in Brussels on Friday to discuss a EU strategy for dealing with Covid-19. The coronavirus continues to spread in the Netherlands, with three people working for football club Ajax being among the new diagnoses, according to RTL Nieuws.
The infected Ajax staffers include assistant trainer Christian Poulsen, and two physical trainers and therapists, according to several publications. They were at a birthday party also attended by someone diagnosed with the virus earlier this week, NU.nl wrote.
Shopping at online stores outside the European Union entails irresponsible risks, according to a sample study conducted by Dutch consumers' association Consumentenbond and five of its European counterparts. Two thirds of the 250 products they examined did not meet the safety standards required to be sold in EU stores, the association said on Monday.
The leaders of the European Union Member States made no progress in their negotiations regarding the new EU budget on Thursday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said to NOS when he left the meeting just after midnight. The leaders hare heavily divided.
More and more companies are setting up in the Netherlands because of the Brexit. Last year 78 companies made this move, compared to 43 in 2018, according to annual figures from the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), which helps foreign companies settle in our country. The Netherlands is now home to 140 "Brexit companies", NOS reports.
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.
The Netherlands does not intend to contribute more to the European Union budget in the coming years, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said to EU president Charles Michel at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday. The 27 EU leaders will gather at an extra summit in two weeks time, during which the EU budget and the member states' varying viewpoints thereon will be discussed, NOS reports.
Many British citizens who are living in the Netherlands and want to continue to do so now that the Brexit has taken place, will have to apply for a residency permit by December 31st, according to the Dutch immigration and naturalization service IND. There are some exceptions to this, including those UK nationals who already carry permanent residency in the Netherlands, and those who also hold the nationality of an EU nation, IND said in an updated bulletin on the subject.
Last year fewer people emigrated from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom, while the number of immigrants from the UK to the Netherlands increased. This situation has been the case since 2015 - shortly before the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union in June 2016, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday. The Brexit is officially happening at midnight.
A total of 18 Dutch in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter for the new coronavirus, reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that they want to be evacuated from the country, Minister Stef Blok confirmed. Exactly when this evacuation will happen, is not yet clear. The Dutch embassy in China warned Dutch in the area that they may have to spend 14 days in quarantine in another EU country.
Dutch musician Andre Rieu is currently number one on the iTunes and Amazon hit lists in the United Kingdom with his Ode to Joy. UK residents are massively buying and streaming the song to protest against the Brexit, scheduled to happen on Friday, NU.nl 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.
Representatives of five prominent European cities are looking into a night train which would stretch all the way from Amsterdam to Helsinki. The train route would conceivably stop in Hamburg, Copenhagen and Stockholm along with the Dutch and Finnish capitals. The cities' governments have reportedly put this project on their political agendas.
On January 31s the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union. Negotiations on a trade agreement will start in February. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is confident that a deal will be reached within a year, but Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is not so certain.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party achieved an absolute majority in the parliamentary elections on Thursday. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is pleased that his win will at least bring quick clarity on what will happen with the Brexit, he said according to NOS.
"I don't feel relief or sadness, but rather an factual finding to settle this. I think everyone thinks that is good news, otherwise it will keep us occupied for years", Rutte said.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is attending a two-day NATO summit in London on Tuesday and Wednesday. The conference is already off to a rocky start, with American president Donald Trump clashing with French president Emmanuel Macron, and a number of sensitive topics still on the agenda.
After years of lobbying in Brussels by Amber Alert, a special European police network will be established in which European police forces will collaborate more intensively to find missing persons. Amber Alert, the Dutch organization that handles missing children cases, will be the secretariat of this network, called PEN-MP, NOS reports.
The European Union's policy on air quality led to much cleaner air in the Netherlands, according to a study by public health institute RIVM. Without the European measures implemented since the 1970s, air pollution in the country would be much higher and the average life expectancy in the Netherlands would be about six years lower, the RIVM said.