A hand grenade being left at the Haarlem city hall on Wednesday shocked mayor Jos Wienen, certainly because the city hall is "a symbol of local democracy and local government", he said in a statement. He called the incident "horrible and unacceptable", Het Parool reports.
Police in Haarlem evacuated the popular Grote Markt area on Wednesday after an apparent hand grenade was left on the stairs at City Hall. The suspicious device was removed by explosives experts, police said just after 5 p.m.
The police temporarily cordoned off the Grote Markt in Haarlem on Thursday morning after a suspicious package was found in front of the city hall. Investigation revealed that it was just an empty suitcase, ANP reports.
The suitcase was found on the landing of the city hall, which is located on Grote Markt, early in the morning. Defense's explosive disposal service investigated the suitcase and determined that it contained nothing dangerous. The square was released again at around 8:30 a.m.
The police call on witnesses who saw the suitcase being left there to come forward.
31 mayors of larger Dutch cities are calling on the Senate not to remove the appointment of mayors from the Dutch constitution, and to keep the procedure as is. Removing the appointment procedure from the constitution is the first step in enabling an elected mayor. The mayors are worried that this will result in them losing their connecting role as "father or mother for all residents, businesses and institutions", they wrote in an open letter to the Senate, the Volkskrant reports.
Hundreds of people gathered on the Grote Markt in Haarlem on Sunday to express support for mayor Jos Wienen, who recently went into hiding due to threats. Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations and a number of parliamentarians also attended the manifestation, NOS reports.
"Hands off Jos Wienen", Ollongren said in Haarlem. "The threats to Wienen were so bad that he had to go into hiding. That is unacceptable in a democratic constitutional state."
Mayor Jos Wienen from Haarlem left his home due to threats made against him. He is now staying at an undisclosed location. "In and of itself troublesome, but we deal with it", he said to regional broadcaster NH.
Heavily armed police officers are stationed in front of the Haarlem city hall. This is for the security of mayor Jos Wienen, who was threatened, the Public Prosecutor said, according to RTL Nieuws.
"There were reports that there was a threat and that is why we took security measures", the Public Prosecutor said. "This has been happening since the start of September." Extra security measures were also taken at Wienen's home some time ago.
PVV leader Geert Wilders is the Netherlands' worst politician of 2015, according to Jos Wienen, Mayor of Katwijk and the man responsible for the committee asylum and integration in the Association of Dutch Municipalities, on NPO Radio 1 program Kamerbreed on Saturday.
On Monday State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff sent a letter to the refugees in the Netherlands in which he explains that the asylum process will take longer and that they will have to spend more time living in asylum centers. The Association of Dutch Municipalities thinks it's great that the State Secretary sent the letter, but finds that more clarity is needed.
The Mayors of Wassenaar, Katwijk, Noordwijk and Zandvoort have decided to stand together and protest against the offshore windmills planned for their areas.
Dutch Mayors expressed their discontent towards the government's asylum seeker plan in the lower house of Dutch parliament on Wednesday and made it clear that they see the commitments required from the municipalities unwise and unclear, NOS reports. The Mayors had nothing good to say about the cost the government will impose on municipalities for failing to adhere to the plan.