The names of the Rutte III cabinet's Ministers and State Secretaries were announced on Saturday. In addition to Prime Minster Mark Rutte, there wil be 15 Ministers and eight State Secretaries. Just over a third of the new government are women. The expectation is that the Rutte III cabinet will take office on October 26th, RTL Nieuws reports.
As the time for the Rutte III government to take office approaches, the names of more and more Ministers are leaking out. Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) will have three Deputy Prime Ministers, one from each of the other coalition partners. They will be Kasja Ollongren (D66), Carola Schouten (ChristenUnie) and Hugo de Jonge (CDA), newspaper AD reports.
The Rutte III cabinet plans to have two Ministers each at the ministries of Security Justice, Public Health, and Education, sources told newspaper AD. This is the first time that Ministries in the Netherlands will be headed by two ministers, according to the newspaper.
From this week the Dutch Ministry of Public Health is distributing iodine tablets in provinces located near nuclear plants. The pills are intended to protect against a certain type of radiation should there be a nuclear disaster. According to the Ministry, around 3 million people in large parts of the regions of Oost-Nederland, Noord-Nederland, Noord-Brabant, Zuid-Holland, Zeeland and Limburg will receive a packet of pills in the mail by the end of next week, the Volkskrant reports.
Interpol intercepted over 25 million illegal and potentially dangerous medicines in an international operation involving 123 countries. In the Netherlands, customs officers seized 50 thousand illegal medicines, the Healthcare Inspectorate said in a press release, RTL Nieuws reports.
The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie decided not to increase healthcare own-risk deductibles next year, government formation mediator Gerrit Zalm announced in a letter sent at the insistence of the Tweede Kamer. To compensate for that, health insurance premiums will increase by an extra 10 euros per year, RTL Nieuws reports.
The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie - the four parties currently negotiating forming a new Dutch government together - voted against permanently compensating the NIP-test for all pregnant women in the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, NOS reports. Those four parties together make up a majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament.
Whether the Dutch national football team will be able to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year, is a question that's on the mind of every sports lover in the Netherlands today, including the government. Almost all Dutch Ministers watched Oranje lose 4-0 against France in the qualifier on Thursday, according to broadcaster NOS.
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.
A tip the Dutch food safety authority NVWA received about the use of toxic fipronil on Dutch poultry farms in November last year, specifically mentioned Barneveld pest control company ChickFriend, Public Health Minister Edith Schippers confirmed in a letter to parliament, ANP 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.
Enormous budget cuts to elderly care done by the Rutte II cabinet saved no money, according to a study by newspaper AD, De Groene Amsterdammer and Investico. The Rutte II cabinet thought to save 1.88 billion euros by being less quick to send elderly people to nursing home, but eventually not a cent was left of that amount, according to the study.
Women forced to seek help from women's shelters in the Netherlands often leave with more money problems than they started with, according to a report by National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen. From the start these vulnerable women are faced with incomprehensible procedures, administrative red tape and a lack of adequate financial and debt counseling, the Ombudsman concludes, NOS and ANP report.
The Dutch government is expanding its anti-smoking policy, State Secretary Martin van Rijn of Public Health informed parliament on Wednesday. From 2020 supermarkets may no longer display cigarettes and tobacco products, with other retailers following two years later. Cigarette vending machines will also be banned in restaurants and bars.
Public Health Minister Edith Schippers is making 2.8 million euros available annually for breast implants for transgenders, she announced in a letter to the Tweede Kamer on Thursday, ANP reports.
Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health is calling on anonymous sperm donors to make themselves known so that the children they fathered can find them. "Did you donate sperm and see how incredibly it affects people's lives if they do not know who there father is?" the Minister said, according to ANP. "Then you can do a second incredibly good deed by just making yourself known."
From September 1st, teachers and other people who work with children and young people can call an especially established helpline for advice on how to deal with religious extremism and radicalization. The Dutch government is establishing the helpline based on advice from special reporter Naima Azough, AD reports.
Little will change around illegal cannabis cultivation, even if the government changes the current tolerance policy, according to officials from the Ministries of Public Health and Security and Justice. The Dutch government is considering three scenarios: regulating both cannabis sales and cultivation, extending the tolerance policy to include growers, or a total ban on both growing and selling weed, NU.nl reports.
At 8:00 p.m. on Thursday the Netherlands commemorated the victims of World War II with two minutes of silence. Eleven people were arrested at or around the Remembrance Day commemoration ceremony on Dam Square in Amsterdam. According to the police, most committed minor offenses, AD reports.
Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health wants to give the police and judiciary access to DNA material stored by hospitals for medical purposes, according to a proposal she posted online "for consultation". She wants the police to be able to use this DNA material to help solve serious crimes, the Volkskrant reports.
Union FNV Care and Welfare warns of a massive shortage in paramedics and ambulance staff in the near future. In the short term, the union is especially concerned about safety on King's Day. "Given the number of people on the move that day, it can lead to irresponsible situations", Fred Seifert of FNV said to broadcaster NOS.
The union sent a letter about the situation to Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health and the Healthcare Inspectorate, but so far got no response. Which is why FNV decided to sound the alarm in the media, Seifert said.
Mayor Eberhard van der Laan of Amsterdam wants medicinal marijuana to be more easily obtainable for people who need it, he wrote in a letter to the Dutch Senate and Ministers Stef Blok and Edith Schippers of Security and Justice and Public Health respectively, Het Parool reports.