Trade unions are furious about the government's decision to scrap the so-called dismissal fine from the coronavirus aid package for businesses, warning that this will lead to mass layoffs. According to Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the cabinet is still discussing this matter with the unions. The scrapping of this fine is not set in stone, but at the same time it is "important that the dismissal fine does not continue in this form," Rutte said in a parliamentary debate on the coronavirus on Wednesday, the Telegraaf reports.
The VVD distanced itself from controversial pictures shared in a WhatsApp group group created in October last year to exchange ideas about the party's 70th anniversary celebrated at the time. The party will investigate which members of its youth organization JOVD shared these images, and if any VVD members are among them, action will be taken, NOS reports.
The lower house of Dutch parliament debated the current state of affairs around the coronavirus with the cabinet on Wednesday. Parliamentarians wanted to know whether more businesses can be opened before the extended "intelligent lockdown" date of May 20th, and called for more than medical experts to be on the government's Outbreak Management Team, NOS and NU.nl report.
Children play a negligible role in the transmission of Covid-19, Jaap van Dissel of public health agency RIVM told parliament during a debate on the government's response to the pandemic on Wednesday. According to Van Dissel, who directs the Center for Infectious Disease Control wing of the RIVM, there are several studies which indicate that children become ill from contracting the coronavirus very infrequently, and they seldom pass it along to adults when they do.
Several parties in the lower house of Dutch parliament are in favor of forcing pharmaceutical company Roche to release the manufacturing process and recipe of the coronavirus test they make, if this is necessary. This would make it possible for tests to be produced in the Netherlands, NOS reports.
Politicians in The Hague were surprised by Bruno Bruins' resignation as Minister for Medical Care. Many complimented him on his hard work and wished him well and good recovery.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte could count on praise from both opposition and coalition parties for his address to the nation on Monday. In his speech, the Prime Minister warned that coronavirus Covid-19 will be in the Netherlands for some time, and called on Netherlands residents to face this difficult time together.
Parliamentarians from both coalition and opposition parties are worried about the government's decision to keep schools open for the time being.
As the rate of coronavirus infections continues to grow in the Netherlands, the Dutch government imposed stricter advice to deal with the spread of the virus. The new rules call on anyone in the country to work from home as much as possible especially if they have any respiratory symptoms or a fever, for medical personnel, first responders, and essential workers to cancel travel to countries abroad, and a ban on all events where over a hundred people are to meet in one place.
Another 111 people in the Netherlands were diagnosed with coronavirus Covid-19, public health institute RIVM announced on Thursday. This brings the total diagnoses to 614, up from Wednesday's 503.
Noord-Brabant is still the most affected province in the Netherlands, with 273 of the Covid-19 patients living in the province. Utrecht is second most affected with 80 patients, followed by 68 patients in Zuid-Holland, 53 in Limburg, and 48 in Gelderland.
The number of patients in the Netherlands who tested positive for coronavirus jumped from 38 confirmed cases on Wednesday to 82 on Thursday, Dutch health authority RIVM said on Thursday.
The D66 wants to temporarily bring migrants from African countries to work in the Netherlands. According to the coalition party, this can help fill shortages on the labor market. And if there is a legal route to follow, migrant workers can come to the Netherlands without risking their lives by crossing the Mediterranean Sea in the "floating coffins" of people smugglers, D66 parliamentarian Maarten Groothuizen proposed, AD and NOS report.
ChristenUnie, the smallest party in the Rutte III coalition, seems to have the future of the CETA trade agreement between the European Union and Canada in its hands. If the party votes for, there is a small majority for the agreement. ChristenUnie voted against CETA in 2016, but now seems to be changing sides, was revealed in the debate on the trade agreement on Wednesday, NU.nl and RTL Nieuws report.
The Public Prosecutor and PVV leader Geert Wilders clashed hard in an appeal hearing on the hate speech trial against Wilders on Wednesday. Wilders said the advocates general on his case should be ashamed of how they damaged citizens' trust in the system. Advocate general Gerard Sta accused Wilders of an "undisguised attack" on the Public Prosecution Service (OM), NU.nl re ports.
In response to a drone attack by the United States on a Baghdad airport, killing an Iranian military leader, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the events unfolding in Iraq are "worrying and serious." The attack happened weeks before the Dutch military was to send a frigate and helicopter to help patrol the Strait of Hormuz, which the U.S. requested months ago.
A package of urgent measures to reduce the level of nitrogen emissions and ground contamination was approved during a Tuesday night vote by senators in the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch parliament. The bill allows for tighter nitrogen regulations on construction projects, the reduction of nitrogen emissions from livestock, and the accelerated improvement and restoration of Natura 2000 nature sites.
"The American people are constantly being lied to", is the conclusion of an institute that investigated whether American money for the war in Afghanistan is being well spent. Those involved knew from the start that the war could not be won. Dutch parliamentarians are flabbergasted and want to debate the matter with Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld, NOS reports.
State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice and Security is struggling to talk to Morocco about taking back Moroccan nationals whose asylum application in the Netherlands had failed. She wanted to visit the country to discuss this matter, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed her that she "would not speak to the right people", she said to parliament on Thursday, NOS reports.
Junaid I. was sentenced to 10 years in prison for threatening an attack on PVV leader Geert Wilders by the court in The Hague on Monday. The court convicted the 27-year-old Pakistani man of preparing for a murder with a terrorist purpose. The sentence is higher than the six years the Public Prosecutor demanded.
Activists seek personal protection: Protest organization Kick Out Zwarte Piet has scrapped its public schedule after a violent attack on its activists in Den Haag, wrote Nu.nl, and a threat of rioting at the group's planned roundtable discussion in Hengelo. The Hengelo event set for Monday was cancelled by city politicians at the last minute, according to Tubantia.
Two political parties in the Netherlands want to force the cabinet to take up the issue of making Liberation Day a paid day off from work for as many people as possible. Currently, many people in the country take the May 5 national holiday off from work once every five years.
The court has jurisdiction, the Public Prosecution Service is independent, there are ample grounds to convict PVV leader Geert Wilders of hate speech, and no reason to drop the case against him, the Advocate General said on Friday in the appeal in the hate speech trial against Wilders. The PVV leader himself was not present in the court room, Het Parool reports.
PVV senator Marjolein Faber responded to her tweet in which she unjustly said that the media was withholding the "North African appearance" of the perpetrator in a Groningen stabbing two weeks ago. She called it "awkward", but still hasn't removed the tweet from Twitter.
"Since I never reveal my source, I should have taken this into account before posting this tweet. With this in mind, I should not have sent the tweet. Was awkward", she said on Twitter on Monday night.
PVV Senator Marjolein Faber is under fire over a tweet in which she suggested that the media deliberately withheld the "North African" ethnicity of a man suspected of stabbing three people at a Groningen terrace last week. Days after two of the three victims refuted this claim, describing the suspect as having pale skin and gray hair, the populist politician's tweet is still online.