Recent decisions by the Dutch cabinet, including the mandatory use of face masks on public transport and Wednesday's new economic support package, were met with sharp criticism as MPs offered their feedback in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday afternoon.
The lower house of Dutch parliament debated the current state of affairs around the coronavirus with the cabinet on Wednesday. Parliamentarians wanted to know whether more businesses can be opened before the extended "intelligent lockdown" date of May 20th, and called for more than medical experts to be on the government's Outbreak Management Team, NOS and NU.nl report.
Members of parliament have shown broad support for Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, although some MPs assert that more ought to be done. This comes as the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch Parliament, convened on Tuesday to debate the government’s current efforts to tackle the ongoing crisis, and its path forward.
Politicians in The Hague were surprised by Bruno Bruins' resignation as Minister for Medical Care. Many complimented him on his hard work and wished him well and good recovery.
Rotterdam will be the first large Dutch city to completely ban consumer fireworks for the coming New Year. After the "umpteenth" incidents and violence this past New Year's, the VVD in Rotterdam decided to support the ban, which means that there is majority support in the city council to prohibit the lighting of consumer fireworks, NOS reports.
The government must better promote Dutch history and ensure that the Netherlands' "birth certificates" are exhibited in a prominent and public place, according to CDA leader Pieter Heerma and VVD leader Klaas Dijkhoff. They want the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (1581), the Unie van Utrecht (1579) and the Apologie van Willem van Oranje (1580) to be made jointly accessible to the general public, they said to AD.
Children at Salafist mosque schools in the Netherlands are taught Sharia law, and are taught the death penalty is appropriate for people with a different religion or belief system, according to a study by Nieuwsuur and NRC. The report has parliamentarians concerned.
The first debate for the Provincial State elections of 20 March, which will ultimately also determine the composition of the Senate, happened on RTL on Thursday. The climate was one of the main points that the leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66, PVV, SP, PvdA and FvD debated, NU.nl reports.
The four coalition parties reached a compromise on the children's pardon, a topic that caused conflict among the parties for the past two weeks. The rules will be relaxed for the "existing cases" of asylum children and their parents who are rooted in the Netherlands, like the CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie wanted. And after that the children's pardon will be abolished, like the VVD wanted, NOS reports.
With the Senate elections in the Netherlands less than 60 days away, the Rutte III coalition is losing favor among voters. According to the latest poll by Maurice de Hond, three of the four coalition parties would lose a significant number of seats if the parliamentary elections were held today. All in all, the coalition would lose about a third of their parliamentary seats.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte made a number of thinly veiled insults aimed at Amsterdam while speaking on television program Buitenhof on Sunday. While speaking about the climate agreement, which the government and business community signed in December, Rutte mentioned the "Amsterdam elite" and later also the "white wine sipping elite", Het Parool reports.
Ruling party VVD is putting a brake on the climate measures in the climate agreement, which was signed in December. Party leader Klaas Dijkhoff does not want "ordinary people" to carry the bill for the climate measures. "It is not my agreement", VVD leader Klaas Dijkhoff said in an interview with the Telegraaf on Saturday. "I'm not going to do it."
Almost all parties in the Tweede Kamer want the government to amend Article 10 of a special emergency law for the Brexit. The 'Brexit Collective Law' will be implemented if the United Kingdom breaks with the European Union with no agreements in place. But the parliamentarians feel the law gives too much power to one minister and uncontrollable powers to the government, NOS reports.
The Den Bosch city council decided on Tuesday night to ban the release of helium balloons in the municipality. The balloons pollute nature and are dangerous for animals, the council parties who supported the ban said, NU.nl reports.
Animal party PvdD will press charges against VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff on Tuesday for environmental pollution. Dijkhoff released 500 balloons at a VVD congress in Den Bosch on Saturday, AD reports.
With the release of the balloons, Dijkhoff responded to accusations that he released too many "test balloons" in his political work. He asked the the attendees of the congress to write down political ideas, which were attached to the balloons and released into the air.
Several parties in the lower house of Dutch parliament voiced strong criticism on Prime Minister Mark Rutte's response to disturbances around various Sinterklaas celebrations in the Netherlands over the weekend. The Prime Minister's call for no demonstrations in the three weeks that Sinterklaas is in the Netherlands in particular led to bewilderment from the D66, GroenLinks, SP, PvdA, ChristenUnie, PvdD and DENK, among others, NU.nl reports.
VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff is facing furious reactions on the way he responded to a 9-year-old boy telling him how afraid he was to be deported to Iraq. When the child told him that he thinks death waits in Iraq, the Liberal parliamentarian said: "Yes, well", RTL Nieuws reports.
Alexander Pechtold is resigning as leader of the parliamentary faction of the D66, he announced at the party congress in Den Bosch on Saturday. The party will choose a successor on Tuesday. It is "time for a new generation", Pechtold said n his farewell speech, NU.nl reports.
The VVD's proposal to punish law breakers in problem neighborhoods twice as harshly as someone from another neighborhood, led to sharp accusations during the first day of the General Political Considerations, the parliamentary debate on the government's budget and plans for next year, on Wednesday.
Those who live in problem areas and break the law must be punished twice as harshly as those from another neighborhood who commit the same crime, according to VVD leader Klaas Dijkhoff. In this way he wants to force problem neighborhoods on the right path, he said to newspaper AD.
Dijkhoff will expand on his plan during the General Considerations, the parliamentary debate on next year's budget, on Wednesday.
Klaas Dijkhoff, the leader of the parliamentary faction of ruling party VVD, announced in a critical open letter addressed to archbishop Wim Eijk that he is leaving the Roman Catholic church. "I choose for love and people instead of the restrictions and the church", Dijkhoff wrote, NOS reports.
The VVD's newest parliamentarian Thierry Aartsen, who will replace Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in the Tweede Kamer on Thursday, is facing criticism about comments he made on Twitter in the past. Despite the controversy, Aartsen can count on the support of faction leader Klaas Dikjhof. As far as he is concerned, Aartsen is "most welcome" in the VVD parliamentary faction, NU.nl reports.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs is facing the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday on statements he made about multicultural societies. He faced fierce criticism from the parliamentarians, including from coalition parties D66, CDA and ChristenUnie. Only populist parties PVV and FvD outright supported his remarks, NOS reports.
The Dutch government will re-examine whether it is possible to allow daycare centers to refuse children who haven't been vaccinated. A parliamentary majority, led by the three largest government parties, supports this, RTL Nieuws reports.
"Childcare must be a safe place. I understand the concerns about decreasing vaccination, that also affects childcare", State Secretary Tamara van Ark of Social Affairs said on Twitter. "That is why I want to investigate possibilities for organizations to refuse childcare for non-vaccinated children."