After weeks of "only" being the VVD leader at the government formation talks, current Prime Minister Mark Rutte now seems to be taking the lead in attempting to pull the negotiations out of their current impasse. On Wednesday he had one-on-one meetings with D66 leader Alexander Pechtold and CDA leader Sybrand Buma, AD reports.
Edith Schipers, the mediator in the Dutch government formation talks, plans to contniue exploring to find the best way to form the new Dutch government, despite the current impasse. She asked the party leaders to keep themselves available for meetings on Friday, Schippers reported to Tweede Kamer presidend Khadija Arib on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold thinks that a coalition with the VVD, CDA, D66, SP and PvdA is a solid formation for the new Dutch government. He asked negotiation mediator Edith Schippers to invite the socialists and labour party to the negotiations, rather than Christian party ChristenUnie, NU.nl reports.
Pechtold believes that the VVD, CDA, D66, SP and PvdA will make a combination that can connect progressively and conservatively. Together the five parties also have a stable majority in both the lower house of parliament and the Senate.
While State Secretary of Security and Justice in the Rutte II cabinet, Fred Teeven (VVD) implemented budget cuts on legal aid after he realized that the PvdA would not make criminal stricter and implement minimum punishments, weekly newspaper De Groene Amsterdammer reports. "It's another way to achieve the same effect", the newspaper quotes him. Lawyers in the Netherlands are furious.
VVD leader Mark Rutte is carefully considering the next steps in the Dutch cabinet formation now that negotiations between his party, the CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed. He is clear on one thing however - the VVD still won't rule with anti-Islam nationalist Geert Wilders and his PVV, he said to RTL Nieuws.
On Thursday evening Edith Schippers announced that government formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed. The parties could not agree on a migration policy, and there were problems agreeing to issues concerning climate change, sustainability and income equality.
From a survey by Whooz regarding Dutch citizens' preferences for the current coalition formation among 9,500 respondents divided in 14 target groups, it appears a coalition between the 'core bloc' of VVD, D66 and CDA together with GroenLinks is most popular. This cabinet is slightly more desirable to Dutch citizens than a combination of the core bloc with the ChristenUnie. Third in line is a leftist coalition with CDA, D66, GroenLinks, SP, PvdA and PvdD.
Discount website Groupon recently started offering helicopter flights over Amsterdam by company Heliams.com. This week there is a significant discount on the offer, causing great annoyance in the PvdA faction in Amsterdam, Het Parool reports.
Heiliams.com offers a 20 minute flight over Amsterdam every Saturday for 299 euros. This offer is currently on Groupon at a discounted rate of 149 euros.
In a city center that is filled with co-working spaces, it is not particularly surprising that a new hub for sex workers in Amsterdam's famed Red Light District is using ideas like flexible room rental agreements, a website showing who is working at any given time and what their skills are, and a sort-of networking lounge like those seen in many of the city's shared working environments. My Red Light was unveiled to journalists on Friday, over two years after the city's mayor first floated the idea of a brothel completely managed and run by sex workers.
The PvdA in the Provincial States of Zuid-Holland thinks that the province should do more to facilitate sex in the outdoors. The party is concerned about the declining number of gay cruising spots in the province and thinks that the province should do more to protect them or create new ones, Anne Koning of the PvdA said to Omroep West.
Outraged reactions flooded social media after Christian party SGP revealed a poster invitation to a discussion event in Olderbroek, Gelderland. The poster shows a picture of a bomb and the words "Is Islam a threat to the Netherlands?" The poster was designed by the national office of the SGP youth division, according to Omroep Gelderland.
The poster sparked quite the discussion on social media. Dozens commented on the tweet containing the poster and on the Facebook event.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders expressed their congratulations to new French president Emmanuel Macron and congratulated the French population for choosing pro-Europe and anti-xenophobia. PVV leader Geert Wilders congratulated runner up nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen on getting the votes of "millions of patriots".
The University of Amsterdam is launching a test run in allowing part-time students to pay tuition per subject they take, instead of paying for a whole year. The University believes that this will be ideal for motivated students who don't have time to attend university full time because they also work, take care of a family member, have their own business or have to do an internship, Het Parool reports.
The Amsterdam Economic Board recently announced that taxi service Uber is one of its new partners. The PvdA and SP expressed criticism on this decision and will submit council questions, Het Parool reports.
Put environmental goals down in the law, reduce gas extraction in Groningen to almost zero, implement a road tax based on kilometers and emissions, ban the sale of fossil-fueled vehicles after 2025 and close all the coal plants in the Netherlands, the environmental committees of six political parties write in a proposal for the climate portion of the governance agreement, the Volkskrant reports.
The departing VVD and PvdA government reached an agreement to push an extra 200 million euros into nursing home care. This is on top of 100 million euros already pledged to solving the most pressing problems in nursing homes, NOS reports.
PvdA parliamentarians will no longer automatically boycott any proposal made by their PVV colleagues, but will instead assess each proposal's content before making a decision, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher announced. PVV leader Geert Wilders is pleased with this decision. "Good of Asscher this new road and as it should be: evaluate on content and nothing else", he said, ANP reports.
The European Parliament again called for Jeroen Dijsselbloem to resign as president of the Eurogroup on Monday after he refused to appear in Parliament to discuss the Eurogroup's role in solving the Greek crisis. Even his own PvdA faction in European Parliament (EP) is showing little support for him, RTL Nieuws reports.
The first formal and substantive negotiations for forming a government with the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks start at 9:30 this morning. The parties will try to find common ground and make agreements on a number of major issues, including employment, income distribution, the tax system, the energy transition and the environment, security and defense, immigration and integration, education and healthcare, NOS reports.
Khadija Arib (PvdA) will be the president of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, for the next governing period. Until 10:00 a.m. this morning parliamentarians could present themselves as candidate for the presidency, Arib was the only one to do so. She will be officially appointed on Wednesday, NOS reports.
Minister Lilianne Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation wants to make gender based wage gaps a punishable offense. If a company can not show that it pays men and women doing the same job the same salary, that employer should face criminal charges, the PvdA Minister believes, Het Parool reports.
Several PvdA Ministers are calling for calm and unity following a crushing defeat in the parliamentary election on Wednesday. According to the labor leaders, a reckoning now fixes nothing, Het Parool reports.
After a night of celebrations or condolences following the parliamentary election on Wednesday, the Dutch political party leaders are gathering in parliament to discuss the election results and start the massive task of creating a new government. GroenLinks party leader Jesse Klaver thinks it will be "difficult" to for his party to form a coalition party with the VVD, the biggest party after the election, but he is willing to consider it, the Telegraaf reports.
Former PvdA parliamentarian Rob Oudkerk thinks the labor party should disband after what he calls a "historic defeat" in this election. The PvdA lost 29 parliamentary seats, compared to what the party had after the 2012 election, NOS reports.