Members of parliament have shown broad support for Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, although some MPs assert that more ought to be done. This comes as the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch Parliament, convened on Tuesday to debate the government’s current efforts to tackle the ongoing crisis, and its path forward.
Several parties in the lower house of Dutch parliament are in favor of forcing pharmaceutical company Roche to release the manufacturing process and recipe of the coronavirus test they make, if this is necessary. This would make it possible for tests to be produced in the Netherlands, NOS reports.
Some 43 coronavirus patients died in the Netherlands since Saturday, with the nation now mourning the loss of 179 people, public health agency RIVM said on Sunday. The agency also announced that another 573 tested positive for the virus, pushing the total number of diagnosed patients to 4,204, nearly four-times the number of patients recorded on March 15.
Just one week ago, the total number of patients in the Netherlands was 1,077. By that date, a total of 20 people who tested positive for the virus had died, a figure which has increased by 800 percent in the past seven days.
Politicians in The Hague were surprised by Bruno Bruins' resignation as Minister for Medical Care. Many complimented him on his hard work and wished him well and good recovery.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte could count on praise from both opposition and coalition parties for his address to the nation on Monday. In his speech, the Prime Minister warned that coronavirus Covid-19 will be in the Netherlands for some time, and called on Netherlands residents to face this difficult time together.
Parliamentarians from both coalition and opposition parties are worried about the government's decision to keep schools open for the time being.
As the rate of coronavirus infections continues to grow in the Netherlands, the Dutch government imposed stricter advice to deal with the spread of the virus. The new rules call on anyone in the country to work from home as much as possible especially if they have any respiratory symptoms or a fever, for medical personnel, first responders, and essential workers to cancel travel to countries abroad, and a ban on all events where over a hundred people are to meet in one place.
The D66 wants to temporarily bring migrants from African countries to work in the Netherlands. According to the coalition party, this can help fill shortages on the labor market. And if there is a legal route to follow, migrant workers can come to the Netherlands without risking their lives by crossing the Mediterranean Sea in the "floating coffins" of people smugglers, D66 parliamentarian Maarten Groothuizen proposed, AD and NOS report.
The Public Prosecutor and PVV leader Geert Wilders clashed hard in an appeal hearing on the hate speech trial against Wilders on Wednesday. Wilders said the advocates general on his case should be ashamed of how they damaged citizens' trust in the system. Advocate general Gerard Sta accused Wilders of an "undisguised attack" on the Public Prosecution Service (OM), NU.nl re ports.
The Netherlands saw a 16 percent increase in criminal discrimination cases filed in the country last year, with 63 cases above the 397 total recorded in 2018, data from the police department shows. It is the second straight year such an increase was posted in annual crime statistics.
In response to a drone attack by the United States on a Baghdad airport, killing an Iranian military leader, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the events unfolding in Iraq are "worrying and serious." The attack happened weeks before the Dutch military was to send a frigate and helicopter to help patrol the Strait of Hormuz, which the U.S. requested months ago.
Junaid I. was sentenced to 10 years in prison for threatening an attack on PVV leader Geert Wilders by the court in The Hague on Monday. The court convicted the 27-year-old Pakistani man of preparing for a murder with a terrorist purpose. The sentence is higher than the six years the Public Prosecutor demanded.
The suspect accused of threatening far right leader Geert Wilders, and preparing a terrorist plot, should be sent to prison for six years, the Public Prosecution (OM) said during closing statements against Junaid I. in court on Tuesday. Wilders was present in the courtroom earlier in the day, but declined the opportunity afforded him to make a statement as one of the victims in the case, saying he only wanted to look into the eyes of the suspect.
The court has jurisdiction, the Public Prosecution Service is independent, there are ample grounds to convict PVV leader Geert Wilders of hate speech, and no reason to drop the case against him, the Advocate General said on Friday in the appeal in the hate speech trial against Wilders. The PVV leader himself was not present in the court room, Het Parool reports.
The fight against organized crime is complicated, but can be won, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on the second day of the parliamentary debate on the national budget. Ferdinand Grapperhaus agreed with Rutte’s standpoint. The Security and Justice Minister from the PM’s conservative VVD party backed a call from several politicians to form a specialized unit focused solely on tackling drug crime.
PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher lashed out at PVV leader Geert Wilders and FvD leader Thierry Baudet on Facebook. He accused the far right leaders of "playing poker with our securities", like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is doing with the Brexit, AD reports.
The appeal in the hate speech trial against PVV leader Geert Wilders will continue as planned, The Hague court of appeal said on Thursday. The court will not decide whether the Public Prosecution Service was justified in prosecuting the PVV leader and whether there was political interference in the decision until the final ruling in the hate speech case, the court said, NU.nl reports.
As the appeal in the hate speech case against PVV leader Geert Wilders continued in the high security court at Schiphol on Tuesday, his lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops demanded that the case be declared inadmissible due to political interference in the decision to prosecute, NOS reports. The prosecutor denied that any interference occurred, and pressed for the case to move forward as scheduled.
Former Justice Minsiter Ivo Opstelten and the Public Prosecution Service discussed the prosecution of PVV leader Geert Wilders for hate speech even before the Public Prosecution Service had made the decision to prosecute the nationalist politician, RTL Nieuws report based on a secret official document it received from the Ministry of Justice and Security. Wilders is furious and demands that the case against him be dropped
The Public Prosecutor's office (OM) demanded a five thousand euro fine from Geert Wilders, the leader of far right nationalist party PVV. The sentence recommendation was made during the prosecution's closing argument in a court case stemming from Wilders's political rally speech just before the elections in March 2014.
On the second day of the appeal in the hate-speech trial against PVV leader Geert Wilders on Thursday, claimants could demand compensation from the politician and explain why they think they deserve it. Demands ranged from apologies to actual monetary amounts between a symbolic 1 euro to over 30 thousand euros, NU.nl reports.
A former civil servant who was going to testify in the hate speech trial against PVV leader Geert Wilders, decided to not testify after all, according to Wilders' lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops. The man is afraid that he will be prosecuted by the Public Prosecution Service, the lawyer said to AD.
Twitter temporarily suspended the account of PVV leader Geert Wilders, due to a tweet he posted about the D66, according to screenshots tweeted by other PVV members. The company informed the anti-Islam, populist politician that he violated their "rules against hateful conduct".
Wilders is outraged. "Unbelievable, a Twitter block for criticizing [D66 leader Rob] Jetten", Wilders said to NOS. "Temporarily with the threat added that it can be made permanent. Senders of death threats to me are often tolerated by Twitter, but a factual tweet from me about a colleague is not. Madness."
Prime Minister Mark Rutte delayed the publication of the planning offices' climate agreement calculations until after Budget Day, because he thought a debate about the climate would be "undesirable" at this point, Nieuwsuur reports based on documents it received by appealing to the Government Information Act. Opposition parties in parliament are outraged and want a quick explanation from Rutte about the pressure he exerted on the planning offices to delay this publication, NOS reports.