With the municipal elections and a referendum on the new Big Data law for the Dutch intelligence services coming up in March next year, the Dutch government has taken an official stance against fake news and foreign meddling and is taking more steps to battle these attempts to influence public opinion in the Netherlands.
The European Union published its black list of tax havens. It consists of 17 countries the EU believes help multinationals and rich people avoid the tax authorities. The Netherlands does not appear on the list - no EU countries do. But Aruba and Curacao, which form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, were placed on a "gray list" - they have two years to implement promised improvements, or they'll be blacklisted, the Volkskrant reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned the Dutch agriculture and horticulture sector to prepare for a so-called hard Brexit - the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without signing a trade agreement. After months of talks between the EU and the UK, the parties are not yet close to an agreement, NU.nl reports.
"Keep the option in mind that it won't succeed", Rutte said. The British government plans to leave the EU on April 1st, 2019.
The Netherlands should be on the European Union's blacklist of tax havens, according to development organization Oxfam Novib in a report. The EU is currently working on such a list, to get a clear picture on which countries 'refuse to play fair', and the expectation is that the Netherlands will not be on it, RTL Nieuws reports.
The EU list is expected to be presented in December. According to Oxfam, if the criteria for non-EU countries were also applied to the Netherlands, the country would definitely end up on the blacklist.
A nail-biting lottery is how Amsterdam is now officially the next home of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Roughly 900 jobs will move to Amsterdam, with staffers needing to choose between staying in the UK or making the move to the Netherlands.
The European Union's EMA will formally leave London, United Kingdom beginning in March 2019 because of the impending Brexit.
The Dutch Tax Authority will not share details on the majority of its tax rulings with multinational companies with other European Union countries, despite an obligation to share all agreements with 'cross-border effects' over the past five years with Europe, Trouw reports.
According to the Tax Authority, it makes an estimated 2 thousand deals per year with large and small companies that also have consequences for foreign countries. That amounts to around 10 thousand tax rulings that the Netherlands is obliged to share with the EU.
A third of all European foreign rebel fighters in the Syrian Civil War have now returned to their country of birth, according to American think tank Soufan Center. Around 50 jihadists returned to the Netherlands, RTL Nieuws reports.
According to Soufan Center, the returning fighters pose a great danger to the society return to. They don't have a great chance of leading a normal life and stay sensitive to calls from former combatants.
If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a trade treaty, a so-called hard Brexit, the cost to the Netherlands can amount to some 4 thousand euros per working Dutchman, economists at Rabobank calculated on Thursday, NU.nl reports.
From next year, identity checks will be mandatory on all flights within the Schengen area, Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice said, according to BNR. Earlier this week, the broadcaster reported that at least 10 airlines don't do ID checks when passenger check-in on a flight within the Schengen area, making it easy for criminals and terrorists to fly around Europe anonymously.
On Tuesday King Willem-Alexander opened the Netherlands' parliamentary year with his traditional Budget Day speech. He talked about the devastation Hurricane Irma left of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Dutch Kingdom, terrorism around the world, the prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster, and making sure that everyone in the Netherlands benefits from the improving economy, among other things.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has mixed feelings about European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's plans for the European Union, which he revealed in the annual State of the Union address on Wednesday. "I like the short term ideas", Rutte said about the speech. "But there are also issues I like less", AD and the Telegraaf report.
Large Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) filed a license application to set up a new subsidiary in Amsterdam, so that the financial group can continue to serve customers in the European Union after the Brexit, the bank said in a statement.
"The new subsidiary in Amsterdam will ensure that the Group can continue to provide these services to its EU clients, even if the cross-border passport is lost as a result of Brexit," the bank noted. Currently, the EU customers are served by a subsidiary based in the United Kingdom.
Sint Maarten can count on a financial contribution from the Netherlands to help it recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday evening, according to Metro Nieuws. He did not mention any amounts.
There is no doubt that the Sint Maarten - an autonomous country that forms part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands - desperately needs help. According to the Red Cross, 91 percent of the homes on the island were damaged or destroyed.
Sint Maarten hopes that the island can recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma within a year or two, deputy minister of the island Henrietta Doran-York said after a national council meeting in The Hague on Tuesday. She also praised the cooperation between the Netherlands and Sint Maarten in the run-up and aftermath of the hurricane, and refuted criticism about a lack of preparation for the hurricane, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Netherlands plays a big role in money laundering in the European Union, according to Europol. In 2014, over a quarter of suspicious bank transactions in the EU were reported by Dutch banks, the Telegraaf reports.
The banks in Europe reported almost a million transactions they suspected involved money laundering in 2014. Dutch banks reported 277 thousand suspicious transactions. Only Great Britain reported more, with 350 thousand.
The fipronil contaminated egg scandal is spreading to more and more countries. Since it was discovered that the toxic pesticide was used illegally in the Netherlands and Belgium a few months ago, 45 countries found fipronil in their eggs and egg products, the Telegraaf reports.
Of the 28 EU member states, 26 reported finding fipronil in their eggs and egg products, European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis of Health and Food Safety said on Tuesday. Only Lithuania and Croatia haven't reported finding the pesticide.
The European Commission wants to organize a summit type meeting for EU food safety minsters about the crisis surrounding eggs being contaminated with toxic insecticide fipronil, EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said in a statement. He wants this meeting to put an end to the infighting and accusations, RTL Nieuws reports.
The end of the Dutch government formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie is not yet in sight, the party leaders confirmed on Wednesday following the first day of talks after the summer vacation. The D66 and ChristenUnie are still struggling to agree on issues of "principle" like abortion and assisted suicide.
Over 16 percent of Dutch households say they have too little money to go away on holiday one week per year, according to figures from Eurostat. That is well below the European Union average, where 33 percent of households can't afford a vacation, NOS reports.
The Netherlands is ranked 6th on the list of EU whose residents go on holiday most. Sweden counts the most vacationers - only 8 percent of households stay home year round. Luxembourg, Austria and the Scandinavian countries are also above the Netherlands on the list.
Dutch refugee organization VluchtelingenWerk and ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's are working together to try and convince European politicians to take in more vulnerable asylum seekers from shelters across the world. Today they launched a campaign titled Home Safe Home, AD reports.
"This is one of the biggest problems of this moment. We are talking about it in the Netherlands for the first time. We have young supporters and we want to activate them for this", Laura van Geel, social mission manager of Ben & Jerry's said to the newspaper.
Dutch nationals in the U.K. considering taking British citizenship in order to avoid complications after the Brexit, must be aware that they will lose their Netherlands passport due to existing limits on dual nationality, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, according to The Guardian.
The memorial on the third anniversary of the MH17 disaster started at 2:00 p.m. at the site of the National MH17 Monument in Park Vijfhuizen, next to Schiphol airport. The search for the perpetrators behind MH17's downing continues, but finding a way to move on is just as important, Evert van Zijtveld said on behalf of the survivors' foundation Vliegramp MH17, according to AD's live blog of the memorial.
Dutch bank ING expects that electric driving in Europe will only increase as the main obstacles for switching to electric cars continue to decrease. By 2035 only electric cars will be sold in Europe, according to the bank, RTL Nieuws reports.
A study by the bank showed three main reasons that consumers aren't immediately switching from petrol and diesel cars to electric cars. 40 percent found it too expensive, 28 percent say they can't drive far enough on a fully charged battery, and 20 percent said there are no charging poles in their area.
There was no confusion about the Netherlands stance at the start of the talks about Britain's departure from the European Union in Brussels on Thursday. "I hate the Brexit from all angles", Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said as he arrived at the summit, according to ANP. "You are one of our most beloved partners. But the Brexit is a decision of the British people and you can't argue wit democracy."