Another 534 people in the Netherlands were diagnosed with coronavirus since Thursday, which took the country's total number of infected people to 2,994. Thirty of those patients died since Thursday, meaning that 106 people with coronavirus have died in the Netherlands, public health agency RIVM said on Friday.
Kasja Ollongren is temporarily stepping down as Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations and Deputy Prime Minister for health reasons. Complications arose after surgery on her sinuses. Raymond Knops, State Secretary of the Home Affairs Ministry, will take over as Minister until at least the Christmas holidays.
The premium for the National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG) is decreasing from 0.9 percent to 0.7 percent of the total home-loan beginning next year, resulting in savings of up to 620 euros for eligible buyers. The maximum price for homes eligible for the NHG is also increasing, from 290 thousand euros this year to 310 thousand euros next year, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs announced in a letter to parliament.
Since the Partial Ban on Face-Covering Clothing was implemented on August 1st, banning clothing items like burkas and balaclavas in public transport, hospitals, education- and government buildings, no violators have been fined, RTL Nieuws reports after speaking to institutions where the ban applies. A number of organizations raised concerns about increased aggression and hostility against women who wear burkas and niqabs.
There are massive differences in the costs involved in getting a building permit for new homes from Dutch municipalities, according to homeowners' association VEH. The association wants Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs to put an end to the large differences in municipal building fees, Omroep West reports.
The Dutch government will announce multiple measures aimed at tackling the housing shortage on Budget Day. A fund of 1 billion euros in subsidies will be created for municipalities starting new building projects, and housing corporations who build new homes will receive up to a billion euros in tax discounts. First-time homeowners may also be exempt from transfer tax, the Volkskrant reports based on sources.
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs must reconsider her decision not to give a journalist access to tapped conversations around the murder of Theo van Gogh and the Hofstad group, the group to which Van Gogh's murderer Mohammed B. belonged, the Council of State ruled on Wednesday. According to the court, the Minister's explanation for why these conversations can not be released was not sufficiently substantiated.
In the second quarter of this year, 12.8 thousand permits were issued to build new homes - the lowest number in three years and 14 percent less than in the second quarter of 2018, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday. The permitted building sum for the new construction and renovations of homes was also nearly 15 percent less than the second quarter of last year.
Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema and Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations signed a new Housing Deal for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area on Friday. The deal states that 230 thousand new homes will be built in the city and its surroundings until 2040, with focus on affordable housing for lower and mid-level incomes. 100 thousand of these homes will be built by 2025, the city announced in a press release.
Left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks and PvdA are demanding some changes to the Climate Agreement before they will support it in the Senate. "If you think that we are applauding, then you are wrong", PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher said during the first parliamentary debate on the Agreement on Wednesday, NOS reports. "If there are no concrete solutions, you can forget our support."
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations plans to make changes to the ways the Netherlands elects members of both the Eerste Kamer and Tweede Kamer. She wants to introduce a new electoral system in which preference votes on candidates are given more weight, NRC and Volkskrant report based on sources around the government.
Facebook is not keeping to promises it made to the Tweede Kamer last week about political transparency on the social media platform, according to privacy and civil rights movement Bits of Freedom who put the social media giant's promises to the test, Nieuwsuur reports.
People with disabilities in the Netherlands still experience difficulties when going to cast their votes. After the Provincial States elections the voting hotline of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights received 188 reports about the accessibility of polling stations, compared to 148 reports after the municipal elections in 2018, NOS reports.
The Netherlands will implement its burka ban, officially called the Partial Ban On Face Covering Clothing Act, on August 1st. From that day on no face covering clothing may be worn in education, in government buildings, in healthcare and on public transit, AD reports.
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs wants to prevent social housing from ending up with people who are not entitled to them. She is therefore sharply increasing the fine for illegal subletting, from over 20 thousand euros to 83 thousand euros, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Minister is amending the Housing Act to make the higher fines possible. Soon municipalities will be able to immediately impose a 20 thousand euro fine for a first offense. The fine can increase to 83 thousand euros for people repeatedly caught illegally subletting a social rental home.
The Dutch voting software OSV will also be used in the Provincial States election on March 20th. Over the past years, multiple vulnerabilities have been found in the software.
Facebook will not be able to guarantee that the company is transparent about the placement of political advertisements before the provincial states elections next month, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations wrote in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.
The four large Dutch cities - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague - will have the opportunity to present their wish lists in the area of mobility and housing during a special meeting with the government next week. This meeting will happen with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Ministers Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure in Utrecht on Wednesday, sources in The Hague confirmed to AD after reports in NRC.
Iran is almost certainly behind the assassination of two persons of Iranian descent in the Netherlands, Ministers Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs and Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs wrote in a letter to parliament on Tuesday.
A mistake was made in a survey intended to gauge what the Dutch population thinks about daylight savings time. In one question about implementing permanent summer time the survey states that the sun will set at around 8:00 p.m. at the end of June, while in fact the sun will set at around 10:00 p.m., NOS reports.
The vast majority of Dutch are for scrapping daylight savings time, according to a survey among over 1,800 Dutch ordered by Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom relations. 41 percent want to keep winter time all year, approximately a quarter want summer time to be the standard time, and another quarter want to stick to the current system of adjusting the clock twice a year, NOS reports.
The Dutch government is launching an online campaign against fake news in February, in the run up to the Provincial State and European Parliament elections next year. The campaign must make Dutch voters more aware of the possible presence of disinformation and help people recognize it, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs said in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.
The campaign will be spread on social media and last for around four months, through the Provincial States election on March 20th and up to the European Parliament elections on May 23rd.
Between 6 thousand and 9 thousand people permanently live in a vacation home in one of the Veluwe's vacation parks, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs wrote to parliament. The Ministry investigated to gain more insight into the nature and scale of the permanent occupancy of vacation parks, NOS reports.
The burka ban will apply to everyone, also the Netherlands' large cities, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in reaction to the news that the large cities won't prioritize enforcement of this ban on face covering clothing. "Let us first implement the law. Then the big cities will see that it also applies to them", he said.