Officials from the Ministry of Finance expressed serious doubts about the abolition of the dividend tax during the Rutte III government formation, according to secret memos on this topic that the government released under pressure on Tuesday, AD reports.
The Centrum Veilig Wonen (CVW), the Dutch official contact point related to earthquake damage, counted 1311 damage reports filed after the earthqueke that struck in Zeerijp last Monday. Around 200 damage reports come from the municipality of Zeerijp.
A 3.4-magnitude earthquake rattled the province of Groningen on Monday afternoon. It has been the hardest earthquake in Groningen since 2012. The KNMI meterology agency qualified the earthquake as "heavy".
If the government doesn't intervene, the costs for old nuclear power plants in the Netherlands can run up to 400 million euros in the coming years, according to a report by a committee made up of officials from various ministries who looked into the nuclear industry. The officials gave this warning during the formation process of the Rutte III government, NOS reports.
Hable Zijlstra will be the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Eric Wiebes will be the Minister of Economic Affairs in the new Dutch government, sources told the Telegraaf. In the Rutte II government, Wiebes was the State Secretary of Finance and Zijlstra was faction chairman for the VVD in parliament.
Zijlstra is taking over from Bert Koenders at Foreign Affairs, and Wiebes is succeeding Henk Kamp at Economic Affairs.
Bird flu was diagnosed in chickens on a poultry farm in Sint Philipsland, which forms part of the Zeeland municipality of Tholen. The company's approximately 42 thousand laying hens were culled, NOS reports.
The authorities believe that this diagnosis involves a mild variant of the H5 virus. But as a mild variant can mutate into a highly contagious and deadly variant, European rules require the culling of affected animals.
In the first half of this year the Dutch government gave subsidies to a record number of over 4,500 renewable energy projects, the Ministry of Economic Affairs reported on Monday. The subsidies involved a total of over 5.8 billion euros, ANP reports.
Compared to the second half of last year, the number of renewable energy projects more than doubled. Then only 2,200 projects received support from the sustainable energy stimulation regulation SDE+. In the first half of last year, it was only 986 projects.
Dutch food safety authority NVWA is facing fierce criticism in the Tweede Kamer on Thursday. The parliamentarians have nothing good to say about the NVWA's actions in dealing with millions of Dutch eggs being contaminated by toxic insecticide fipronil. In summary, the MPs accused the NVWA of not communicating well, not responding adequately to an anonymous tip about the contamination and having an inadequate setup to deal with such a crisis, NU.nl reports.
Thirteen supermarket chains affiliated with Superunie quietly recalled waffles and cookies from their shelves on Wednesday because they contain toxic insecticide fipronil, AD reported on Thursday. "We expect more such silent recalls", Wilco Jansen of Emté said to the newspaper. "There are many products with a lot of egg in them. No idea where this is going to end."
The Tweede Kamer is cutting its summer holiday short in order to debate the fipronil contamination of eggs from Dutch poultry farms with Public Health Minister Edith Schippers and State Secretary Martijn van Dam of Economic Affairs, NU.nl reports.
State Secretary Martijn van Dam of Economic Affairs is stepping down on September 1st to go to his new job at NPO, whether or not there's a new cabinet. His decision to go through with his planned departure despite the raging fipronil contaminated egg crisis, for which he partially carries responsibility, is leading to criticism from other politicians. Though the poultry sector itself is not sad to see him go, AD reports.
Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA denies that it first learned that eggs were maybe contaminated by toxic fipronil in November last year. The authority did receive a report about fipronil in that month, but that report only stated that it had been used to clean stables - there was no reason to believe that it could end up in eggs and pose a potential health risk, inspector general Rob van Lint said on Wednesday, RTL Nieuws reports.
Last week supermarkets recalled "between 8 and 10 million eggs" because they may contain toxic insecticide fipronil, Rene Roorda, director of the bureau for foodstuffs trading CBL, said to the Telegraaf.
Hackers can easily break into Dutch solar panels, which could put the European power supply at risk, according to cyber security investigator Willem Westerhof of ITsec in the Volkskrant.
According to Westerhof, the SMA transformers in many Dutch solar panels are poorly protected and have a "wide range of vulnerabilities". Users aren't prompted to change the default password. The transformers are vulnerable to force attacks. And the devices are secured by one super password of the supplier. If a hacker gets hold of that password, many problems can be caused.
The Netherlands can close all its coal plants, but only if a national law to that effect is implemented, according to advice the Council of State sent to Economic Minister Henk Kamp on Wednesday, ANP reports.
The Tweede Kamer called on Kamp last week to close all the coal plants by making the efficiency requirements so high that they can't be met by any coal plant. The council of state investigated whether this was possible.
The Dutch postal service is in urgent need of a reassessment, Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs said on Monday. Fundamental choices must be made to keep postal delivery affordable and available. This could entail less frequent deliveries at higher costs, he said in a statement, NU.nl reports.
In the Rotterdam World Trade Center on Thursday politicians, companies, architects and inventors signed a 'green deal' for the eventual construction of the Dutch Windhweel - a massive, sustainable building in the shape of a wheel that will, hopefully, generate more energy than it uses. This very ambitious project is still in its planning phase, but if it becomes a reality, it is set to be an icon for green electricity, Trouw reports.
Dutch oil and gas giant NAM is appealing to the Council of State against Minister Henk Kamp's decision to further reduce gas extraction in earthquake plagued Groningen. According to NAM, the Economic Affairs Minister ignored the already established safety standard for gas extraction in the province when making his decision, NU.nl reports.
The Netherlands is Europe's fourth most innovative country, according to the European Commissions' European Innovation Scoreboard for 2016. Sweden took first place, like in 2015, followed by Denmark and Finland. The United Kingdom makes up the top 5, NU.nl reports.
Long waiting lists at international schools in the Netherlands are discouraging highly skilled expats from settling in the country. No matter how attractive a job offer is, if their kids can't go to school, expats will choose against moving to the Netherlands, Financieele Dagblad reports.
After seven weeks in quarantine, giant pandas Wu Wen and Xing Ya will make their first public appearance at the Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen this afternoon. "We have been waiting for this moment for a long time", zoo director Robin de Lange said to RTV Utrecht. "You can imagine that if you wait for something so long, then your are very happy that it's finally happening today."
The average Netherlands resident tossed about 41 kilograms of food into trash bins last year, which translates to a 15% decrease in food waste from 2010. That year people still threw away 48 kilos of food, according to research commissioned by the Economic Affairs and Infrastructure & Environment ministries in the Netherlands.
Economic Affairs State Secretary Martijn van Dam and slaughterhouses in the Netherlands came to an agreement on voluntary camera supervision to monitor against animal abuse. The cameras will make sure that there is a good view on all actions involving living animals. "You must be able to see every step in the process", Van Dam said to broadcaster NOS.
Poultry farmers in the Netherlands no longer have to keep their animals caged. The bird flu risk in the Netherlands is officially gone and State Secretary Martijn van Dam of Economic Affairs decided to lift this and other measures, which have been in place for five months, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Dutch government is reducing gas extraction in Groningen by a further 10 percent based on advice from the State supervision on mines SodM that this is the only way to reduce the chance of heavy earthquakes in the region, Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs announced on Tuesday. This year 24 billion cubic meters of gas can be extracted in Groningen, as of October 1st that will be reduced to 21.6 billion cubic meters, NU.nl reports.