Changing the names of Ministries and redistributing tasks between the different government departments is costing the Rutte III government an estimated 31.7 million euros, the Volkskrant reports based on a report by the Central Audit Service, which forms part of the Ministry of Finance.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security wants stricter legislation to prevent mayors from being threatened. The maximum prison sentence for threatening a public official must be increased from two to four years, and the Minister is also looking into how the government can confiscate more money and possessions from serious criminals, he said in an interview with the Telegraaf.
Not informing the Tweede Kamer about the government purchasing shares in Air France-KLM was a "judgment call", Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance said in a debate on the matter on Tuesday. He considered all variants of parliamentary involvement in the purchase. "Considering all the pluses and minuses, this was the most ideal, but an ideal outcome does not exist", he said, NOS reports.
It seems that the Netherlands and France are on good terms again, after the Dutch state unexpectedly bought a large interest in Air France-KLM this week. During a joint press conference, Dutch Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance and French Minister Bruno Le Maire of Economic Affairs stressed their common interest in making Air France-KLM "the best aviation company in the world", NOS reports.
French president Emmanuel Macron wants clarity from the Dutch government about its strategy with regard to Air France-KLM. Now that the Dutch state bought a considerable interest in the airline combination, it is important for the Netherlands to make its intentions clear, Macron said, AD reports.
The Dutch State bought 12.68 percent shares in Air France-KLM, worth 680 million euros, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance announced at a press conference on Tuesday evening. The French government did not know about this move in advance, according to French Minister of Economic Affairs Bruno Le Maire, NU.nl reports.
Pieter Elbers will be allowed to stay on as CEO of Dutch airline KLM, the board of Air France-KLM decided. The Dutch man's term as CEO comes to an end in April, but the intention now is that it will be extended. The shareholders still have to formally approve Elbers' reappointment at the annual meeting in April, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte criticized Brussels for being too lax as far as Italy is concerned. The European Commission must be harsher on Italy for violating budget agreements, Rutte said at an economic summit in Davos. The current state of affairs fosters mistrusts among citizens of other EU member states, including the Dutch, he said, NU.nl reports.
Shell has not paid any profit tax in the Netherlands for years, despite earning billions of euros in the country every year, newspaper Trouw reports based on "well informed" sources and a confidential internal document from the Ministry of Finance.
Shell companies annually siphon 199 billion euros out of the Netherlands in the form of dividends, interest and royalties. Approximately 22 billion of this amount end up in tax havens, according to a study bye SEO Economic Research commissioned by the Ministry of Finance, ANP reports.
The government plans to tackle the outflow to tax havens, countries with very low tax rates, by introducing a so-called withholding tax in 2021.
Iraq's new government has a Dutch touch. The new Minister of Finance, Faud Hussein, lived in the Netherlands for years. He fled Iraq in the 1970s, studied at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, married a Dutch woman, and worked for other refugees. He speaks fluent Dutch, NOS reports.
Early this month Hussein, member of the Kurdish democratic party PUK, also made a run for the presidency. But Barham Salih of the same party received the most votes in parliament.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance will skip te autumn meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Bali this year, so that he can be available for consultations on the possible abolition of dividend tax, his spokesperson said, ANP reports.
Multiple banks under the supervision of Dutch central bank DNB are too lax when it comes to countering money laundering, according to the regulator. Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance asked the DNB to look into this after ING was slapped with a massive settlement for this same reason. He informed parliament about the results of the DNB investigation on Tuesday, ANP reports.
"The foundations of our prosperity are strong, but they are no guarantee for future economic prosperity", is the message Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance will give at the presentation of the first Budget Memorandum of the Rutte III government on Tuesday, NOS reports.
According to Hoekstra, the government wants the Dutch people to feel that things are going well with the economy. At the same time he warns against economic headwinds that may be caused by the Brexit and trade disputes started by US president Donald Trump.
The first fans of the Dutch Royal Family started gathering in front of the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague from 5:30 a.m. this morning, wanting to get the best places to see the King and Queen drive by in the Glass Carriage this afternoon and later wave from the balcony, NU.nl reports.
The government parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie reached an agreement on the budget for 2019 and agreements were made about how dividend tax will be abolished, the parties said after a final meeting on Thursday evening. The parties would give no details about their agreements. That will be presented on Budget Day, the third Thursday in September, NOS reports.
American companies are investing less and less in the Netherlands. This is mainly due to tax reforms in the United States - president Donald Trump reduced corporation tax significantly, making it more attractive for American companies to invest in their own country. But the Rutte III government's planned crackdown on shell companies may also play a role, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte refused to answer substantive questions about a tax deal between Shell and the Tax Authority in the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, leaving parliamentarians furious.
A group of 21 high-level managers at ABN Amro contacted the Dutch supervisors on the financial markets to raise alarm about the lack of leadership at the bank. CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen is not a leader and the bank has basically no strategy, they write in a letter to DNB and AFM. The Ministry of Finance was also warned, NOS reports.
Last year the Netherlands' national debt decreased by 18 billion euros, from 434 billion euros to 416 billion euros, according to the central government's annual report that was released on Wednesday. That comes down to 56.7 percent of the Netherlands gross domestic product.
With that the Netherlands closed a year with a national debt that complies with European rules for the first time since the outbreak of the financial crisis. According to European rules, a country's national debt must remain below 60 percent of GDP.
The people living around six Dutch airports joined forces to fight against what they consider the undesirable growth of aviation in the Netherlands. On Tuesday they established a national residents' council on aviation called LBBL, ANP reports.
In April airline Air France-KLM transported fewer passengers than in the same month last year, due to strikes at Air France. The French-Dutch airline transported 6.9 million passengers in April, 2.5 percent less than the over 7 million passengers transported in April 2017, RTL Nieuws reports.
At KLM the number of passengers increased by over 5 percent. But that was not enough to compensate for the nearly 9 percent decrease at Air France.
The Dutch government will not take any concrete measures to help Air France-KLM cope with the unrest on the French side of the airline, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Hugo de Jonge both said, in different words, on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
Air France employees are striking for a 5 percent wage increase. The strikes cost Air France 75 million euros so far, and resulted in the resignation of Air France-KLM's CEO last week.
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.