The new coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are debating their new government agreement with the opposition parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Thursday. As far as Prime Minister Mark Rutte is concerned, the government agreement is not set in stone and the coalition is open to discussing changes with the opposition parties, NU.nl reports.
Opposition parties did not hesitate to comment on the new government's plans for the Netherlands for the coming years. Within minutes after the brand new government agreement was released, criticism started streaming in, according to liveblogs by the Volkskrant and NU.nl on the presentation.
"Amsterdam is crying for its beloved mayor and all of the Netherlands is grieving", Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Facebook in reaction to the death of Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan. He passed away on Thursday at the age of 62. The Dutch King and Queen, numerous politicians, the Amsterdam police, and Amsterdam's football team Ajax all responded to news of his death with shock and sadness.
Terminally ill former Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan had visits from King Willem-Alexander, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher last week, Het Parool reports. No details were revealed about these visits, because they were private visits, according to the newspaper.
Shocked and sad reactions met Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan's announcement that he is stepping down due to his metastasized lung cancer. Van der Laan (PvdA) announced on Monday afternoon that he is resigning, based on the advice of his doctors. One Amsterdam city council member described the news as "a punch to the face", RTL Nieuws reports.
The VVD and PvdA managed to come to an agreement on increasing teachers' salaries in next year's budget, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher announced on Wednesday night. The two parties agreed that a "substantial amount" will go towards teachers in the 2018 budget. With that a government crisis was averted, and the departing VVD-PvdA coalition lives to see another day, AD reports.
The VVD and PvdA may have found a solution to resolving their disagreement about increasing teachers' salaries in the budget for next year, VVD chairman Halbe Zijlstra said before entering the second round of budget talks at the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday afternoon, AD reports.
Exactly what this solution is, he did not say. "We're now going to see if it really is a solution", Zijlstra said to the newspaper.
It's D-day for the VVD and PvdA government. The 2018 budget must be finalized today, so that it can be submitted to the Council of State on Thursday, but the parties are still clashing over salary increases for teachers, the Telegraaf reports.
The compromise reached by the departing government on increasing teachers' salaries, is still on shaky ground. The VVD and PvdA reached an agreement, but formation parties CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are reluctant to give the go-ahead, AD reports.
The current government plans to make more money available for teacher salaries, primary school education and Defense in a compromise to solve a conflict about teacher salaries between the VVD and PvdA, Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte confirmed. Though he stressed that there is no deal yet, NU.nl reports.
The negotiations on forming a new Dutch government will happen outside The Hague on Thursday and Friday. The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie will be meeting on De Zwaluwenberg in Hilversum, the workplace of the Inspector General of the Armed Forces, for those two days, NOS reports.
Meal delivery service Deliveroo is gradually replacing all its employed delivery personnel in the Netherlands with freelancers starting on Tuesday, CEO Philip Padberg said to the Financieele Dagblad on Tuesday. According to him, this will result in delivers' net income increasing.
The VVD and PvdA's squabble over increasing teachers' salaries in the budget for next year, has the teachers themselves furious. According to primary school teacher action group PO in Actie, the parties are playing "political games" with their livelihoods and more protest actions will follow this fall, Thijs Roovers of the group said to RTL Nieuws.
The VVD and PvdA are butting heads over teacher salaries. The PvdA stated that they will not sign next year's budget if it doesn't contain higher wages for teachers. The VVD is digging in their heels, according to the Telegraaf.
With government formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie still ongoing, and with no end in sight, it is up to the departing VVD-PvdA government to come up with the 2018 budget.
Unemployment in the Netherlands dropped to 4.9 percent of the labor force in June, Statistics Netherlands announced on Thursday. This is the first time since the summer of 2011 that less than 5 percent of the labor force are unemployed.
Over the past three months the number of unemployed people in the Netherlands fell by an average of 6 thousand per month to 446 thousand in June. The number of people with paid work increased by an average of 11 thousand per month over that same period.
A Dutch person with a criminal record has a better chance of finding a job in the Netherlands than someone with a non-Western background and no criminal record, according to a study done by researchers from a number of Dutch universities. Their conclusion is that when looking for work in the Netherlands, ethnicity is more important that criminal records, NOS reports.
Primary schools teachers across the Netherlands are striking this morning. Almost all primary schools in the country will open at 9:30 a.m., instead of 8:30 a.m. One positive side effect to this strike, is that traffic information service VID expects less traffic on the road during rush hour this morning.
On Tuesday the Dutch Senate voted in a legislative amendment which states that all immigrants to the Netherlands must sign a pledge to uphold and support Dutch values as part of their integration exam. This amendment to the Integration Law will take effect on October 1st, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced.
PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher officially made his party unavailable for government formation talks. "We are not available to help the engine to a majority", he said after speaking with mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink on Tuesday, according to AD. If the 'engine' of VVD, CDA and D66 still want to rule in a four party majority coalition, the ChristenUnie is the only option left to them.
The leaders of the VVD, CDA and D66 want the next cabinet to bind "left and right" together, VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday afternoon after the three leaders spoke with formation mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink, AD reports.
If the PvdA wants to survive, it must spend the coming years changing from a classic management party to a broad public movement that stands with and for the people, Labour party celebrity Paul Depla said in a report on the party's future, ANP reports.
The party asked Depla, a prominent PvdA member and mayor of Breda, to investigate how the party could overcome the loss of 29 seats in the last parliamentary election. Depla did so by speaking with hundreds of people, both in and outside of the party, to come up wth what he calls "future recommendations".
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver had to defend himself from all sides in a parliamentary debate about the stalled government formation talks between his party and the VVD, CDA and D66. "We will not send anyone back to countries where it is unsafe", Klaver said in the Tweede Kamer. But the other party leaders did not seem to be buying it, NU.nl reports.
Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher calls workplace discrimination against pregnant women completely unacceptable, in response to the pregnancy discrimination hotline receiving over 550 complaints in just two weeks.
For the first time in years the number of kids attending childcare institutions in the Netherlands is increasing. But childcare institutions themselves are still worried. They fear that a new law with stricter requirements will lead to a new wave of bankruptcies, Saskia Speelman of the interest group for the childcare sector said to AD.
Last year the government paid childcare allowance for 823 thousand kids, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Thursday. That is a massive increase compared to the 764 thousand kids who attended childcare in 2015.