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.
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."
Speaking about the heightened tensions between the Netherlands and several southern EU nations over the issuance of “coronabonds”, Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra indicated on Tuesday that he had previously shown “too little empathy” for the plight of Europe’s southern economies. Such a measure would be designed to support weaker economies, particularly in the south, which are struggling under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic.
A group of 12 Italian politicians lambasted the Netherlands on Tuesday, angered by Dutch reticence to support European financial assistance to countries most affected by coronavirus. The Netherlands blocked emergency aid to EU member states, despite “using its tax system to withdraw tax revenue from major European countries for years,” they wrote in an open letter published in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
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."
Giorgio Gori, mayor of the northern Italian city of Bergamo, criticized the Netherlands for not implementing a complete lockdown in the fight against the coronavirus Covid-19. "I say it with all due respect, but I think that a big mistake is being made in the Netherlands," Gori said during a Q&A with foreign press in Italy, the Telegraaf reports.
With nine match days remaining in the Eredivisie, the top level of Dutch football, the country's football association, KNVB, said it is examining all options for the final 162 games left to play in the season. All matches were suspended as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the country, which included a ban on all gatherings of a hundred people or more, and the shutdown of all sports clubs and their facilities.
The Netherlands will begin banning the arrival of flights from several countries among the most affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. The decision will affect flights from China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy and South Korea, said Infrastructure Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen on Friday after a meeting with Cabinet members.
Due to coronavirus Covid-19, KLM is canceling all its flights to Venice, Milan and Naples in Italy until at least April 3rd, the Dutch airline announced on Wednesday. Earlier this week, KLM said it was canceling some 25 percent of its flights to the southern European country. KLM flights to other Italian destinations are still running according to schedule, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Netherlands released a stricter travel advisory for its citizens wanting to go to Italy. The update was due to the emergency measures Italian authorities put in place yesterday as an urgent means to fight the spread of coronavirus there. The new warning is the fourth updated advisory covering Italy, and it also affects the nations of San Marino and Vatican City.
If the new coronavirus Covid-19 turns into a global pandemic, economists at Rabobank foresee an economic recession in large parts of the world, including the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Italy, and the United States. "This economic crisis could become even worse if it turned into a financial crisis, for example when the number of bankruptcies increase sharply worldwide," the Rabobank economists said, the Telegraaf reports.
KLM put a red line through twelve of its departures to Italy due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The Dutch airline will still fly to infected areas, but at a lower frequency, eliminating at least 25 percent of its flights to Italy this week through March 15th.
Sixty more people in the Netherlands tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total numver of cases in that country to 188. Forty percent of the new patients, 24, reside in the Noord-Brabant province.
The growing severity of coronavirus in the Netherlands is continuing to rattle investors, and taking a toll on the country's businesses. By the end of trading on Friday, the AEX Index at Euronext Amsterdam closed 3.9 percent lower than a day earlier, and 15.6 percent down from the record high of 629.23 set on Valentine's Day.
An international crime ring that imported thousands of kilograms of heroin to the Netherlands was broken up this week with the arrests of three people in Amsterdam and Dordrecht. Authorities said the drugs were brought to the capital to then be distributed back out to Germany, the Scandinavian countries, and the United Kingdom.
The Groningen department of health service GGD is ready to receive the 900 members of student association Vindicat, who will be returning from their skiing holiday in northern Italy early on Saturday. The students will be returning by bus. At a special location set up by the GGD, they will be checked over and tested for coronavirus Covid-19, if necessary, AD reports.
If the coronavirus continues to spread in the Netherlands, the authorities have measures ready to take the next step, Prime Minister Mark Rutte assured after a crisis meeting on Tuesday. For the time being, the government will continue to focus on curbing Covid-19. Schools will stay open and events can continue as planned for now, he said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice for Italy, warning travelers to only visit Northern Italy if absolutely necessary, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch budget airline Transavia said it would eliminate several flights to Italy from mid-March through April because of the coronavirus outbreak there. The spread of the new viral strain, linked to Covid-19, has resulted in decreased passenger demand to the European country, the airline stated.
A resident of the Zuid-Holland city of Delft tested positive for the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus, health authorities in the Netherlands said Saturday night. She was the first person in that province and the seventh person in the country to be diagnosed with the virus.
The partner and youngest child of an Amsterdam woman who tested positive for coronavirus also carry the Covid-19 viral strain, health authority RIVM said in a statement on Saturday. They are the third and fourth patients to test positive in the Netherlands.
The two new positive cases, both males, were kept in quarantine with the woman at a home in Diemen even before the positive result was determined. They will remain there unless their conditions deteriorate, presumably for the next two weeks which the agency had said was the current protocol.
A resident of the Amsterdam region tested positive for coronavirus Covid-19 on Friday morning, public health institute RIVM announced. She is currently in quarantine at a home in Diemen, which neighbors the capital.
According to the RIVM, this patient has no connection with the Noord-Brabant man diagnosed on Thursday. Like him, she also visited the Lombardy region of Italy, where hundreds of people have tested positive for the Covid-19 viral strain over the past week.
A Dutch person who traveled to the Lombardy region of Italy is the first in the Netherlands to have tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus strain, Dutch health agency RIVM announced Thursday evening. The man, which BD reported as a 56-year-old from Loon op Zand, Noord-Brabant, was placed in quarantine, authorities confirmed.
The outbreak of coronavirus Covid-19 in Italy prompted the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to warn against visiting a number of municipalities in the northern parts of the country. There is also an increased risk to visiting Rome, the Ministry said, NU.nl reports.