Kasja Ollongren is temporarily stepping down as Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations and Deputy Prime Minister for health reasons. Complications arose after surgery on her sinuses. Raymond Knops, State Secretary of the Home Affairs Ministry, will take over as Minister until at least the Christmas holidays.
Ruling party VVD and opposition party 50Plus want to change the constitution so that it is possible for municipalities to hold elections if their city council falls apart. Parliamentarians Jan Middendorp (VVD) and Henk Krol (50Plus) submitted an amendment proposal to this effect, AD reports.
State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs is very doubtful that the large-scale renovation of the Binnenhof in The Hague can start as planned next year, he said in a letter to parliament. He is considering postponing the major redo of the political heart of the Netherlands by one year, starting in the summer of 2021, NOS reports.
The executive committee of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, asked former D66 leader Alexander Pechtold to lead the renovation of the Binnenhof in The Hague, State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said in a letter on Wednesday evening. Pechtold was chosen to be "process chairman" due to his "knowledge and expertise", Knops said, NOS reports.
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.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer wants the government to promise that the Binnenhof in The Hague will be gas-free after the large-scale renovations set to start in 2020. State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations will do his best, but won't make any promises, he said in a parliamentary debate about the Binnenhof renovations on Wednesday, NOS reports.
Nearly seven months after hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on Sint Maarten, the first financial aid from the Netherlands is heading towards the island. 110 million euros for reconstruction will be released, State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations announced on Wednesday. The money comes from an aid fund of 550 million euros, which will be managed by the World Bank, NOS reports.
The Netherlands is taking over the governing of Sint Eustatius, an island that forms part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations announced on Monday. This decision was made based on a report from a committee that investigated the state of the island and concluded that there is a "gross neglect of duties" on Sint Eustatius.
Four dead bodies were found on the north-east shore of Curaçao on Wednesday. The coast guard identified the bodies as two men and two women from Venezuela who tried to emmigrate without permission and reach Curaçao by boat. A family relative of the victims told the news agency Reuters that the boat they were traveling on was carrying too many people, and a big wave broke the boat in two.
The population of Curaçao was forced to begin stockpiling food since neighboring country Venezuela announced a trade boycott with the Dutch Caribbean island on Friday. The trade ban also covered Aruba and Bonaire, all three of which rely heavily on the South American country's fruits and vegetables.
On Wednesday the Sint Maarten parliament adopted a law on establishing an Integrity Committee. The establishment of this authority is one of the conditions the Netherlands set to provide money for the island's reconstruction following the devastation left by Hurricane Irma in September, ANP reports.
State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations is currently paying a visit to Sint Maarten. "My commitment is focused on restoring relations with the Netherlands in order to ensure that the path is paved for reconstruction. The resignation of the prime minister ensured that we can moved forward and that we can help Sint Maarten further", he said to NU.nl from the island.
State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations is demanding that outgoing Sint Maarten's departing Prime Minister William Marlin resign. As long as Marlin is the Prime Minister of the island, the Dutch government can not make money available to start repairing the devastation Hurricane Irma left on the island in September, he said, according to NU.nl.
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations will arrange a meeting with mayors and local governments to discuss citizens' right to demonstrate and the considerations that should be taken into account when a demonstration is canceled, she said in response to parliamentary questions from DENK MP Tunahan Kuzu, AD reports
People protesting for keeping Zwarte Piet in blackface makeup, also have to comply with the law, State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said in WNL on Sunday. He was referring to a group of people blocking anti-Zwarte Piet protesters from reaching the Sinterklaas parade in Dokkum on Saturday, where they had permission to protest against racism.
"I understand the emotions on this subject, but I cannot approve of people stopping everything on a highway," Knops said. "Everyone must abide by the law, including these people."
The parliament of Sint Maarten, the States, passed a motion of no confidence against six of the seven minsters in its government, including Prime Minister William Marlin on Thursday. The government was disbanded and new elections will be held in January, governor Eugene Holiday announced in a statement. Until then, the island will be ruled by an interim government that still needs to be established, ANP reports.
The names of the Rutte III cabinet's Ministers and State Secretaries were announced on Saturday. In addition to Prime Minster Mark Rutte, there wil be 15 Ministers and eight State Secretaries. Just over a third of the new government are women. The expectation is that the Rutte III cabinet will take office on October 26th, RTL Nieuws reports.
Next week Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of Defense will face the Tweede Kamer in a debate about a faulty grenade that cost the lives of two Dutch soldiers, and seriously injured a third, in Mali last year.
A number of parliamentarians are calling on Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs to update travel advice for Turkey after a Dutch man was arrested there last week. The Dutch man was arrested for insulting president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on social media. He has since been released, but is still not allowed to leave the country.
The voting behavior of Dutch-Turks in the recent Turkish referendum breathed new life into debate on dual-nationality in the Netherlands. Of the Dutch-Turks who voted in the referendum, 71 percent voted pro-Erdogan. This resulted in new calls from Dutch parliament to stop or at least restrict dual passports, AD reports.
The PVV and CDA are most vehement about these calls. Both parties want to get rid of dual nationality.
Parties in the Tweede Kamer - the lower house of Dutch parliament - are furious about statements the Turkish ambassador to the Netherlands made pressuring the Dutch government to help hunt down supporters of the Gulen-movement. Numerous parliamentarians expressed their annoyance to NU.nl.