VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra wants to get rid of the Refugee Convention. He wants to restrict the right to asylum to the refugee's own region and so prevent refugees from all over the world from applying for asylum in the Netherlands. His statements led to criticism from a number of experts.
That the policy on climate change and the use of coal powered energy plants have the ruling coalition thoroughly divided, once again became evident during Tuesday's municipal debate to prepare for the climate summit in Paris next week.
The majority of the Dutch voters are happy with the public letter in which the party leaders called on the population to keep a cool head during the asylum debate. An even larger majority thinks that the party leaders themselves are responsible for the escalation, with PVV leader Geert Wilders being named most often.
VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra is not the only party leader to receive threats in connection with the asylum debate. CDA leader Sybrand Buma, D66 leader Alexander and GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver also recently received threats.
Almost all party leaders in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, released a joint statement against the violent escalation seen during refugee discussions in the Netherlands over the past weeks. They call on their voters to show more mutual understanding and tolerance and not to confuse threats and insults with debate.
The PvdA has agreed with coalition partner VVD's proposal to no longer give recognized refugees priority in the distribution of social housing, on the condition that enough container homes are built to encourage the flow through asylum centers. The coalition has also adjusted their wording for the approach - the Netherlands is getting a "sober and fair" asylum policy.
The VVD wants to encourage asylum seekers to go back to their own regions by sobering the shelter in the Netherlands with limited social services. The D66, on the other hand, wants the government to allocate extra money to help refugees learn Dutch as quickly as possible so that they can start working and properly integrate into Dutch society.
The Netherlands is refusing to take in some prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for the time being. The United States is "very disappointed" in the Netherlands decision, especially since most other European countries have agreed to take in some prisoners.
The Netherlands is nearing the point where the country will not be able to take in any more refugees, according to VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra. Exactly what the maximum number of refugees in the Netherlands is, he would not say.
Today the leaders of factions in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, is debating the 2016 budget which was presented at Prinsjesdag on Tuesday. As can be expected, the opposition parties have a lot to say about the budget, many focusing on the asylum plan.
The Dutch government's plan to radically change the European asylum policy has gotten a chilly reception in the European Commission. VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra defended the plan in the parliamentary refugee debate with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Justice State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff on Thursday. The opposition parties in the Tweede Kamer are very critical.
CDA leader Sybrand Buma's idea of sending troops into Syria and creating safe havens for refugees is getting some support from ruling party VVD, though other parties are less than enthusiastic.
The VVD is pulling its support to the Cabinet's proposed increase on sale tax on many goods and services now that the negotiations on the tax reform has collapsed.
The negotiations on the cabinet's tax plan have fallen apart due to too large differences between the political parties' views.
After a week of speculation, the Dutch cabinet has reached an agreement to a package of reforms for the country’s tax system. The governing coalition, consisting of the right wing VVD and left wing PvdA (Labour) parties, has negotiated the deal almost entirely in secret, and will hear from a handful of opposition parties behind closed doors only, Labour leader Diederik Samsom said on Monday.
The VVD does not exclude the possibility of making changes to the failed asylum seekers plan, NOS writes after the Mayors' dissatisfied response to the plan and parliamentary debate. Government is still negotiating about the implementations of the agreements with municipalities.
According to UN Rapporteur Philip Alston, the bed-bath-and-bread compromise made by coalition is in violation of international rules and harms the international image of the Netherlands. "It is clearly a violation of human rights. Anyone who doubts that is being dishonest." the human rights rapporteur said.
The coalition has, after 9 days of crisis meetings, finally reached a compromise on what to do with failed asylum seekers that both parties can live with. But this "good compromise" is getting much criticism from the opposition, with some parties going so far to say that it does not solve anything.
The left-wing PvdA and right-wing VVD are near a deal on undocumented asylum seekers trying to remain in the Netherlands. The two parties form the ruling coalition, and are expected to finalize an agreement as early as Wednesday night.
PVV leader Geert Wilders is not worried by the fact that his former lawyer, Bram Moszkowicz, is on his way to The Hague as leader of the new right-wing political party VoorNederland (VNL).
VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra compared failed asylum seekers to organized crime boss Willem Holleeder after the crisis meeting on what to do about failed asylum seekers at the Ministry of Social Affairs on Monday, NU reports.
The Netherlands has breached the European Union rules on the reception of asylum seekers, such as access for food, clothing and shelter, for undocumented adults, the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) states. A Council of Europe human rights committee must now decide whether or not it will take action against the Netherlands based on the harshly critical ECSR report, unless conditions of asylum seekers quickly improve.
Controversial former VVD member Johan Houwers was re-sworn into the Tweede Kamer Wednesday. Houwers, who was found guilty of mortgage fraud in 2013, is taking the seat of VVD member Mark Verheijen after he stepped down over integrity issues, NU reports.
VVD Parliamentarian René Leegte resigned from the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) today due to an integrity issue.