"Extremists on both sides" of the Zwarte Piet issue caused problems at the Sinterklaas arrivals around the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday. Rutte conceded that the issues were "overwhelmingly" due to "pro-Zwarte Piet demonstrators."
On Wednesday the Netherlands voted "no" in the referendum on the association agreement between the EU and the Ukraine. According to preliminary results, the turnout was 32.2 percent, more than the minimum 30 percent for the referendum to be considered valid
Longtime Dutch politician Piet Steenkamp died on Friday at the age of 90. He is credited with founding the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) political party, serving as chairman at the very beginning of its development in 1973 through its formal establishment in 1980.
Dutch parliamentarian Stientje van Veldhoven called for an end to the phrase “by the grace of God,” used when bills are signed into law by King Willem-Alexander. The D66 MP calls it a clear violation of separation of church and state, and she thinks a majority of MPs agree with her.
MP’s from the Tweede Kamer, Lower House of Dutch Parliament, were warned via email about the potential dangers they may face when discussing issues related to asylum in public, according to AD. They were instructed to consult with security experts whenever scheduling an event regarding the topic.
Minister of Foreign Trade Lilianne Ploumen said the controversial arbitration clause of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is already "dead and buried." She made the comment about the Investor State Dispute Settlement after receiving a petition to boycott the TTIP, a far-reaching trade agreement between the United States and Europe, signed by 110 thousand people in the Netherlands.
VNL party leader Bram Moszkowicz is calling for the government to implement programs were asylum seekers have to perform manual labour in exchange for being granted refugee status. Moszkowicz, the disbarred former attorney of anti-Islamist Geert Wilders, suggested work programs for refugees like a park, ditch and garden cleaning service, reported AD.
A small contingency of Dutch soldiers were dispatched to Kunduz, Afghanistan, to advise that nation's army as it attempts a counter-offensive against the Taliban in the northern city. Speaking at the lower house of Parliament on Wednesday, Minister of Defense Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert emphasized that the Netherlands is not engaged in any fighting, but serving strictly as strategic counsel.
Sources speaking anonymously to newspaper De Telegraaf blame Dutch Minister of Culture, Jet Bussemaker, for not securing a deal that would bring two large Rembrandt portraits to the Netherlands in a 160 million euro deal with the Rothschild family in France. They accuse the minister of speaking bilaterally with her French counterpart about a joint purchase of the paintings in secret and on her own accord.
The Netherlands and France will jointly purchase two Rembrandt portraits for a combined total of 160 million euros, Dutch cultural minister Jet Bussemaker informed parliament on Wednesday. The two countries came to terms during a meeting between Prime Minister Mark Rutte and French President Francois Holland at the UN summit in New York this week.
After the Dutch cabinet gave its approval to a controversial half-billion euro plan to shut parliamentary buildings for 5.5 years for renovations, representatives of shopkeepers, hotel and catering, and museums all sounded alarm bells. Construction work could begin in 2020 effectively shutting down the Binnenhof parliament sqare.
Sources close to the secret cabinet negotiations on a package of tax reforms say that the government is planning to increase sales tax on many goods and services to generate an extra five billion euros in revenues, according to the NRC. The cabinet wants to raise the tax to balance out an effective cut in income tax for many living in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands owe even more money to the EU in additional tax than previously thought, reports Telegraaf. The amount due is estimated at 133 million euros, which comes on top of 1.1 billion euros already paid in additional taxes to the European Union last year.
Six weeks after the end of the Maagdenhuis occupation, the extent of damage to the University of Amsterdam is still not clear. UvA estimates the harm caused at half a million euros, but the damage evaluation is still in progress.
Dutch national railway NS withheld information from the Parliament and the Ministry of Transport during the Fyra bid, writes newspaper NRC. The company also used account manipulations to win the license. That follows from parliament questioning of Nol Döbken, the former general manager of the High Speed Alliance (HSA), a former subsidiary of NS.
The Netherlands Council of Ministers is expected to make a decision on whether or not to push forward with a sell-off of state-owned bank ABN Amro, sources inside parliament told newswire ANP. The government was supposed to make a decision about the sale two months ago, but it was sidetracked when the bank's executive board offered themselves a salary hike, causing a public uproar.
Though they were not actually selling drugs of any sort, the "ecstasy shop" opened by the youth wing of D66 in the center of Amsterdam represents a model of what the organization thinks such a shop should look like. A Young Democrats activist stood firm at the door checking the age of the entrants. People behind the counter selling packages with little pills, actually colorful candy, gave out leaflets with information on usage, doses and side effects.
GroenLinks leader Bram van Ojik resigned his roles as both leader of leftist party GroenLinks and his position as a Member of Parliament. He announced the decision in a letter to his fellow party members on Tuesday.
Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem still expects the Eurozone countries and Greece to reach an agreement, reports RTL Nieuws. However, parties in the parliament seem somewhat less optimistic about the deal.
The German anti-Islam movement Pegida expects to attract 30,000 people to the Monday rally in Dresden featuring the PVV leader Geert Wilders, reports the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. Wilders is currently visiting Germany in an attempt to strengthen ties with anti-Islamic forces outside of the Netherlands.
Former State Secretary of Security and Justice Fred Teeven was sworn back in as a member of Dutch parliament on Thursday, just over two weeks after resigning his office in scandal. The controversy dates back to 2001 when Teeven, then a public prosecutor, authorized a 4.7-million guilder (2.1-million euro) payout to alleged drug criminal Cees H.
A 34-year-old woman from Deventer was detained at a train station after throwing a debit card reader at the head of an NS employee on Wednesday, NU reports. The NS staff member managed to come away from the incident with just a sore jaw, police reported.
Former State Secretary of Security and Justice Fred Teeven (VVD) may be returning to parliament soon. Teeven, who resigned only last week, may soon be asked to take the place left vacant by Mark Verheijen's resignation late last month.
When three art students decide to prank the Netherlands by jokingly offer residents the chance to trade their votes in the upcoming provincial election for physical goods, they were surprised by the number of people who actually took up the offer. People using their RuilJeStempas (literally, “trade your vote”) Facebook page offered up their votes an Apple iPhone charger, pieces of fruit, and cheap household goods, Asja Keeman tells NL Times.