Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs thinks its time for Europe to change, now that "America First is the motto" of the new U.S. president Donald Trump, he said in newspaper AD. "Not more Europe, not less. We need a different Europe."
While Britain's departure from the European Union is yet to be set in motion, the Brexit is already costing Dutch companies money, according to the interest group for Dutch exporters Evofenedex. The uncertainty about the future trade relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union already resulted in dozens of deals falling through, the group said to NOS.
The Netherlands, Belgium, France and United Kingdom reached an agreement on implementing passport controls on large international trains. A joint task force will be established to discuss this with Thalys and Eurostar, ANP reports.
The task force will also work on introducing better passenger lists for international high-speed trains. The intention behind this it so that security services can make sure no wanted criminals are on the train.
The European Union could face collapse if nationalist parties win the elections in the Netherlands and France this year, German Minister Sigmar Gabriel of Economic Affairs said tto the Bundestag lower house of parliament, Reuters reports.
"After the Brexit last year, if enemies of Europe manage again in the Netherlands or in France to get results then we face the threat that the largest civilization project of the 20th century, namely the European Union, could fall apart."
The Netherlands is among the top ten least corrupt countries in the world, according to the annual Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International. In 8th place with a score of 83 out of 100, the Netherlands stands above neighbors Germany (10th place) and Belgium (15th place).
The list consists of 176 countries. The average score was 43 out of 100.
As far as murders go, Drenthe and Zeeland are the safest provinces in the Netherlands, according to Elsevier's annual murder list. Over the past 25 years, the fewest murders were committed in those provinces. Zuid-Holland had the most murders in that period, NU.nl reports based on the Elsevier list.
The criminal underworld is increasingly mixing with daily life in the northern provinces of the Netherlands, Mayor Peter den Oudsten of Groningen, deputy chief prosecutor for northern Netherlands Gert Veurink and northern Tax office director Cor Zoontjies warn in Dagblad van het Noorden on Wednesday.
The National Reading Days in the Netherlands kicked off on Wednesday morning with numerous Dutch celebrities reading to kids at breakfast at schools, kindergartens, daycares and libraries across the country, Het Parool reports.
Minister Lilianne Ploumen of Development Cooperation is working to counteract one of the first decisions made by new United States president Donald Trump. On Monday he scrapped funding to organizations that help with family planning and offer safe abortions in developing countries. Ploumen is launching an international fund to make up for the about $600 million gap created by Trump's decision, ANP reports.
Amsterdam is in talks with numerous financial firms currently based in London about relocating to the Netherlands due to Britain's decision to leave the European Union, deputy mayor Kasja Ollongren confirmed, according to The Guardian. "They [financial institutions] are all preparing themselves. They don't know exactly what they have to prepare for because the situation is unclear and it will take some time until it is more clear. Financials and others are looking at possibilities and very often Amsterdam is on the shortlist", Ollongren said, according to the newspaper.
Since a law was passed in 2013 making integration the responsibility of immigrants themselves, only a third of immigrants passed the naturalization exam in time, according to a report by the Netherlands General Court of Audit. The exam is also taken at a lower level than before the law, NU.nl reports.
Some 20 percent of Dutch GP's sometimes give free medicine to patients who can not afford the high cost of healthcare, according to a survey AD did among 300 doctors and nearly 400 pharmacists. This usually involves medicine that was leftover from another patient and was supposed to be destroyed.
On Friday and Saturday the Koninklijke Marechaussee arrested seven suspects in connection with a diamond heist at Schiphol airport in 2005. The seven are suspected of involvement in the hijacking of an armored car carrying 67 million euros worth of diamonds, NOS reports.
The arrests were made in Amsterdam and Valencia, Spain. The suspects are five men and two women. All of them are Dutch.
On Saturday hundreds of thousands of mostly women, but also some men and children, gathered around the world to protest against intolerance and inequality after the inauguration of new United States president Donald Trump. In the Netherlands an estimated 3 thousand people gathered on the Museumplein. And in the Hague hundreds of people took part in a protest march.
Both Dutch Women's Marches happened without major incident, NU.nl reports.
Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert thinks that the world would do better to judge new American president Donald Trump on his actions and not on his tweets. Trump's twitter activity "causes a lot of debate and headlines and I don't think the world benefits from it", she said, according to newspaper AD.
In December home prices in the Netherlands were 6.7 percent higher than in December 2015, the biggest increase since May 2002, Statistics Netherlands and the Land Registry announced on Friday.
Throughout 2016 the prices of homes increased about 5 percent, continuing the upward trend of the past years. Compared to the low point in the housing market in June 2013, house prices in the Netherlands increased nearly 14 percent. The average price for an existing home is now back at the level of November 2005, but still 11 percent below the peak level of August 2008.
Dutch beer giant Heineken confirmed rumors that it is working on acquiring Brazilian brewery Kirin Brasil in a short press release on Friday. Should Heineken take over the Brazilian brewery, the Dutch brewer's market share in the country would double, BNR reports.
"In response to speculation in the media over Kirin, Heineken can confirm that it is in talks with Kirin about the Brazilian branch. These discussions are ongoing and it can not be said that there will actually be an agreement", the Dutch beer giant said in a press statement.
Nearly 659 thousand of the 4.2 million couples in the Netherlands are mixed race couples, according to Statistics Netherlands. That means that about one in six couples in the Netherlands consist of a Dutch partner and a partner from a different background.
The Netherlands came in 7th place on the Inclusive Development Index (IDI), which was presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Monday. The IDI was developed as an alternative to measuring a country's growth by only looking at its gross domestic product.
The Netherlands is one of the most economically stable countries in the world, according to a report published by consulting and accounting firm KPMG on Friday. KPMG ranks Netherlands in second place, after Switzerland in first place and before Luxembourg in third. Hong Kong and Norway make up the top five, ANP reports.
According to KPMG those are the five countries that are macro-economically the most stable - they have a good infrastructure and a highly educated population. They are above average on involvement in the world economy and have very strong public institutions.
The Dutch government made approximately 450 million euros by selling 20.4 million shares in former Fortis insurer ASR. The shares were sold for 22.15 euros each, NLFI announced on Friday, ANP reports.
The NLFI is the foundation that manages the Dutch government's shares in financial institutions.
With the sale of 20.4 million shares on Thursday, the government's share of ASR reduced from 63.7 percent to 50.1 percent. the government plans to further reduce its share in ASR, but has to wait at least 90 days before another transaction can happen.
Daan and Anna were the most popular baby names in the Netherlands in 2016, social insurance bank SVB announced on Friday. A total of 681 boys were named Daan last year, and 665 girls were named Tess.
The most popular baby girl name in 2015, Emma, dropped to a very close second place last year. Tess tied for second place with Emma, both names given to 664 girls. 2015's third place Julia dropped to fifth place in 2016.
Dutch residents went on vacation more often in 2016, though more of them stuck to vacationing in the Netherlands rather than going abroad, according to figures from NBTC NIPO Research. Dutch also paid closer attention to safety last year, avoiding places with terrorism threat or political unrest. Turkey in particular was a place to avoid for the Dutch last year, with visits there decreasing by 30 percent, NOS reports.
Startup company Siren Care won the TechCrunch Hardware Battlefield prize in Las Vegas with its high-tech "smart socks". The company, which has a Dutch man as co-founder and oen of its directors, received $50 thousand in prize money, or about 47,500 euros, the Telegraaf reports.
The smart socks are aimed at diebetics. Small electronic sensors measure temperature at different points of the foot, thereby predicting ulcers before they emerge. Ulcers are caused by inflammation, which gives off heat. Due to nerve damage, diabetics can't always feel this. Hence the smart socks.