The parliamentary debate on the national budget on Thursday was apparently not exciting enough to keep the attention of all those present. Ministers Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management were caught watching football while Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke.
The Dutch Safety Board launched an exploratory investigation into the partial collapse of the AFAS stadium's roof during a storm in Alkmaar on Saturday. Football team AZ is also conducting an independent investigation. The stadium is currently inaccessible, which means that AZ can play no home matches at the stadium for the time being, NU.nl reports.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, currently has nearly 200 debates that still have to be held. New debates are added to the list almost daily. "I am a bit worried about that", Kamer president Khadija Arib said to RTL Nieuws.
Parliamentarians can request debates on topics that are in the news. "It is also an interaction between MPs and the media", Arib said. "If you request a debate, you as parliamentarian indicate that you think it is very important. A lot of debates are, of course, justified."
Minister Sander Dakker for Legal Protection acknowledged in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday that he bears political responsibility for mistakes made in the treatment of Michael P., the man who raped and murdered 25-year-old Anne Faber from Utrecht in 2017. At the same time he asked parliament to trust him to also solve the problems. He survived the debate, NU.nl reports.
"I feel the responsibility in my every fiber", Dekker said. "One of my most important tasks is to protect society from people like Michael P."
The police had to remove a man from the public gallery in the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday afternoon for disrupting the parliamentary debate. The man tried to start a discussion with State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations by screaming at him from the gallery. The elderly man seemed to be confused and could barely stand on his feet, AD reports.
Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure did not know which types of Stint cargo bikes were on the public road until she temporarily banned the vehicles following a fatal accident in Oss. "If you find that there is no supervision, then I can only confirm that", she said in a parliamentary debate on Thursday evening, NU.nl reports.
The government of Curacao released a statement distancing itself from statements Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs made about multicultural societies. The island's government "deeply regrets" the statements, because as foreign minister Blok also speaks on behalf of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. The Surinamese government would like Blok to apologize for his statements.
A visitor to the Tweede Kamer jumped off the public gallery during a parliamentary debate on organized crime on Thursday. Eyewitnesses claim it was an attempted suicide, though this has not yet been confirmed, NU.nl reports.
The parliamentary debate was halted and the meeting chamber evacuated. The man was taken to hospital, injured but alive, a spokesperson for the Hague police said to NU.nl.
The spokesperson confirmed that the man jumped off the gallery himself. Attempted suicide is one of the scenarios the police are investigating.
Minister Halbe Zijlstra of Foreign Affairs will face a critical Tweede Kamer on Tuesday. The lower house of Dutch parliament will discuss him lying about personally attending a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2006. Not only was he not at the meeting, but he also misinterpreted Putin's statements given to him by his source who was there, the source - former Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer told the Volkskrant.
A marathon debate akin to the American style filibuster is starting in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Tuesday. Parliamentarians asked for over 36 hours of talk time to debate the abolition of the so-called Hillen law - a law that gives tax credit to mortgages that have been repaid or almost repaid. The idea behind this marathon debate is to stall the abolition of this law, RTL Nieuws reports.
The PVV requested 1,200 minutes of speaking time, 50Plus wants 900 minutes. Other parties requested no more than 30 minutes.
An important department of the Dutch Tax Authority did not properly handle personal data of citizens and companies, according to several investigations into security in the Data & Analytics Department. As a result, the personal data of tens of thousands of Dutch leaked in various ways, including being sent to third parties or taken home by employees. The investigations also found that tax employees searched for information about individual tax payers, RTL Nieuws reports.
The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie presented its plans for the Netherlands for the coming years on Tuesday, 209 days after the parliamentary election In March. The Rutte III government is expected to take office in two weeks. Opposition parties have Wednesday to read through the agreement, and on Thursday they wil debate in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament, the Volkskrant reports.
Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of Defense will face the hardest parliamentary debate of her career on Tuesday afternoon. The Tweede Kamer will debate with her the conclusions of the Dutch Safety Board's investigation into a mortar grenade exploding during training in Mali last year, killing two Dutch soldiers. With parliamentarians being almost unanamously critical, the question is not only whether Hennis will survive this debate as Defense Minister, but also whether she will still have a position in the new Dutch government.
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.
The PVV wants the Tweede Kamer to cut its summer recess short and return for a parliamentary debate on the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, PVV leader Geert Wilders said in a message to the other party leaders, which he also posted on Twitter.
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.
VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte is "extremely disappointed" and "bewildered" that the government formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed again. A parliamentary debate on the matter is likely to be held before the end of Tuesday, the Telegraaf reports.
Around 11:00 p.m. on Thursday the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, finished its last debate before the parliamentary election on March 15th. For many parliamentarians who are not on their party's new list of candidates, this was their last time speaking in the Kamer. The next debate will be held with new parliamentarians, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch Public Prosecutor wants to prosecute jihadists before their return to the Netherlands, while they are still in Syria and Iraq, national coordinating prosecutor Ferry van Veghel said in Nieuwsuur. "Given the high risk of people who come back from this area, we do not want to wait until they come back before opening criminal investigations. We want it all to start now and continue in their absence", he said.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) more clearly expressed his rejection of Donald Trump closing the American borders to people from seven Muslim countries. He did so during a parliamentary debate on the entry ban and at the insistence of several other parties. Rutte called the entry ban discriminatory and "a gift to our opponents", according to AD.
Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice survived another debate without a vote of no confidence against him. In Wednesday's debate Van der Steur was under fire for a letter he helped former Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten write in the so-called Teeven deal while he was still a parliamentarian.
Fierce criticism and a motion of no confidence were what Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice faced on Wednesday in the parliamentary debate about his actions surrounding George Maat, the forensic scientist who was discredited after giving a lecture showing images of flight MH17 victims. The motion of no confidence did not get a majority vote, which means that Van der Steur can continue as Minister, if in a somewhat battered state, NU reports.
The parliamentary debate about the scandal surrounding the so-called Teeven deal with Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday may well put the Prime Minister on the defensive