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 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.
Coalition talks in Germany between Angela Merkel's CDU, liberal FDP and The Greens reached a deadlock late on Sunday night, tumbling the country into a political crisis. New elections may be held. But according to Minister Halbe Zijlstra of Foreign Affairs, this would be the "worst case scenario", 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.
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.
Klaas Dijkhoff (VVD) will be the Minister of Defense for the final weeks of the departing government's reign. He is taking over from Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, who stepped down on Tuesday due to a mortar grenade accident in Mali that killed two Dutch soldiers last year. King Willem-Alexander swore Dijkhoff in on Wednesday morning, AD reports.
The VVD and PvdA may have found a solution to resolving their disagreement about increasing teachers' salaries in the budget for next year, VVD chairman Halbe Zijlstra said before entering the second round of budget talks at the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday afternoon, AD reports.
Exactly what this solution is, he did not say. "We're now going to see if it really is a solution", Zijlstra said to the newspaper.
The current government plans to make more money available for teacher salaries, primary school education and Defense in a compromise to solve a conflict about teacher salaries between the VVD and PvdA, Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte confirmed. Though he stressed that there is no deal yet, NU.nl reports.
The negotiations on forming a new Dutch government will happen outside The Hague on Thursday and Friday. The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie will be meeting on De Zwaluwenberg in Hilversum, the workplace of the Inspector General of the Armed Forces, for those two days, NOS reports.
The terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on Thursday and Friday emphasize the need to hurry with the government formation, VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra said at the start of the formation talks on Friday morning. "A country without a government is really something you should not have for too long, certainly not in this time", he said to newspaper AD.
Zijlstra called the attacks terrible.
Negotiators for the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie seem increasingly optimistic that the four parties will be able to form a government together, from the statements they gave before the start of the talks on Friday, NU.nl reports.
The VVD and PvdA's squabble over increasing teachers' salaries in the budget for next year, has the teachers themselves furious. According to primary school teacher action group PO in Actie, the parties are playing "political games" with their livelihoods and more protest actions will follow this fall, Thijs Roovers of the group said to RTL Nieuws.
The VVD and PvdA are butting heads over teacher salaries. The PvdA stated that they will not sign next year's budget if it doesn't contain higher wages for teachers. The VVD is digging in their heels, according to the Telegraaf.
With government formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie still ongoing, and with no end in sight, it is up to the departing VVD-PvdA government to come up with the 2018 budget.
Negotiators for the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks talked about security, the judiciary and income disparities on Tuesday during the negotiations on forming a new Dutch government. On Wednesday they will continue to discuss security. Experts in the field of security and defense were invited to the morning negotiation session, Het Parool reports.
"We talked about security. That is an important issue. We need to develop new ideas", D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said after Tuesday's negotiations. VVD negotiator Halbe Zijlstra added that income disparities were also on the table.
The first formal and substantive negotiations for forming a government with the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks start at 9:30 this morning. The parties will try to find common ground and make agreements on a number of major issues, including employment, income distribution, the tax system, the energy transition and the environment, security and defense, immigration and integration, education and healthcare, NOS reports.
The chance that the VVD will form a ruling coalition with the PVV after the elections in March next year, is "zero" in content, VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra said in parliament on Sunday, ANP reports.
Zijlstra reiterated the VVD's position that it will consider any party in principle, but stressed that the chances of cooperation with the PVV is negligible. According to him, the VVD sees nothing in a coalition partner that wants to abolish religious freedom and freedom of expression for whole groups of people.
The lower house of parliament on Thursday accepted a motion that stipulates that the Ministry of Security and Justice will no longer get income from traffic fines. Instead the Ministry will get a fixed amount of income
During the first day of the Budget Debate in Dutch parliament, party leaders focused more on each other than on the Budget and the government's plans for next year. The looming elections played a large roll in the debate
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that Prime Minister Mark Rutte's statements about Turkish-Dutch in the program Zomergasten was inappropriate
Dutch parliamentarians reacted shocked and horrified to the attack in Nice, France on Thursday that left at least 84 people dead and hundreds injured. The first of the victims have been identified. So far none of the victims are Dutch and no Dutch have been reported missing
Despite PVV leader Geert Wilders' insistence, there will be no referendum on whether or not the Netherlands will stay in the European Union. Other party leaders and the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, are against a so-called Nexit referendum.
Typhoon will work with the police in their training to avoid racial profiling, the rapper said on Instagram. He is responding to a request Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice made in parliament on Tuesday.
VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra forced one of his parliamentarians, Sjoerd Potters, to withdraw a legislative proposal on the status of religious organization in the Netherlands. According to Zijlstra, the bill "does not suit the VVD vision"
The lower house of Dutch parliament wants only sustainable, zero-emission cars to be sold on the Dutch market from 2025. If the parliamentarians have their way, no new diesel or petrol cars will enter the Dutch market from then.