In an effort to relieve housing pressure in Amsterdam, ruling parties CDA and D66 want to build thousands of new homes in Almere, as well as a tunnel or bridge to improve the connection to the capital. They want Almere Pampus to consist of 25 thousand homes that can house between 50 thousand and 60 thousand people, RTL Nieuws reports.
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.
Coalition party D66 wants to legalize soft drugs and ecstasy in order to reduce health risk and drug crime. The party is approaching Dutch celebrities to support a national drug manifesto it is working on, newspaper AD reports based on a message D66 leader Rob Jetten sent to crime journalist Peter R. de Vries, actress Anna Drijver, and criminal lawyer Gerard Spong, among others.
The provinces of Gelderland, Overijssel and Drenthe followed Friesland's example and announced on Monday that they are reversing the nitrogen measures they announced last week. This happened as hundreds of farmers took their tractors to protest at eight provincial governments. "This is asking for further actions", Jan Brouwer, director of the Center for Public Order and Safety, said to NOS.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte, MPs and lawyers are shocked by the murder of criminal law attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam on Wednesday morning, calling it an attack on the rule of law. "Very disturbing reports", Rutte said to reporters in response to the lawyer's death. Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus is currently being informed about what the authorities know so far. "As soon as any announcements can be made, that will happen", the Prime Minister said.
The coalition parties in the Rutte III government reached broad agreements on the focus of the Netherlands' tax plans for next year. Low- and middle-income households must see an improvement in their purchasing power. And it must become easier for people starting out on the housing market to find a home, NOS reports.
"We have taken further steps on our way to Prinsjesdag", Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte said after an hours long meeting between the coalition parties and the Ministry of Finance, which ended at around midnight on Thursday.
Twitter temporarily suspended the account of PVV leader Geert Wilders, due to a tweet he posted about the D66, according to screenshots tweeted by other PVV members. The company informed the anti-Islam, populist politician that he violated their "rules against hateful conduct".
Wilders is outraged. "Unbelievable, a Twitter block for criticizing [D66 leader Rob] Jetten", Wilders said to NOS. "Temporarily with the threat added that it can be made permanent. Senders of death threats to me are often tolerated by Twitter, but a factual tweet from me about a colleague is not. Madness."
The political composition of the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch parliament, was made clear on Monday, with both the right wing VVD and far right nationalists FvD holding 12 seats. The ruling coalition parties, CDA, D66, ChristenUnie and Prime Minister Mark Rutte's VVD, kept 32 of their 38 seats.
There are 75 seats in the Eerste Kamer, making 38 the number to reach in order to claim a simple majority.
FvD leader Thierry Baudet is facing criticism from other party leaders over a video he posted on Twitter. The video features women telling how they were sexually assaulted or raped by migrants and blaming politicians who "refuse to protect our borders", showing photos of GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver, VVD leader Mark Rutte and D66 leader Rob Jetten at the end.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver believes that the government will opt for cooperation with the left-wing opposition in the new Senate. "The cabinet must choose: is it about the right or about the left? I assume it will opt for the Paris climate goals. That means that cooperation on the right is not an option", Klaver said, ANP reports.
FvD leader Thierry Baudet believes that his party's victory in the Provincial States election is punishment for the "arrogance and stupidity" of the Netherlands' current leaders. In his victory speech he emphasized that FvD is now one of the largest parties in the country, and that a change has been set in motion. "Economic and political capitulation is coming to an end", he said, NOS reports.
On Tuesday evening the 13 political party leaders responded to the shooting in Utrecht, in which three people were killed and three seriously injured, at the start of the last political debate before the Provincial States elections on Wednesday. PVV leader Geert Wilders and FvD leader Thierry Baudet decided to use their moment to blame the attack on Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) and CDA leader Sybrand Buma, linking the shooting to the Netherlands' immigration and integration policy, NOS reports.
The first debate for the Provincial State elections of 20 March, which will ultimately also determine the composition of the Senate, happened on RTL on Thursday. The climate was one of the main points that the leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66, PVV, SP, PvdA and FvD debated, NU.nl reports.
D66 party leader Rob Jetten wants Dutch people who have more than a million euros to pay more tax on their wealth, and for the tax rate for small savers to be lowered, he said in his Kerdijk lecture at Sociëteit De Witte in The Hague, AD reports.
The four coalition parties reached a compromise on the children's pardon, a topic that caused conflict among the parties for the past two weeks. The rules will be relaxed for the "existing cases" of asylum children and their parents who are rooted in the Netherlands, like the CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie wanted. And after that the children's pardon will be abolished, like the VVD wanted, NOS reports.
The deportation of an Armenian family, including three kids aged 8, 5 and 3 years, will happen as scheduled on Monday, despite political talks about easing the children's pardon for asylum kids who are rooted in the Netherlands. Emergency procedures to keep the family in the Netherlands were all rejected, the family's lawyer confirmed to RTL Nieuws.
Ruling party VVD is putting a brake on the climate measures in the climate agreement, which was signed in December. Party leader Klaas Dijkhoff does not want "ordinary people" to carry the bill for the climate measures. "It is not my agreement", VVD leader Klaas Dijkhoff said in an interview with the Telegraaf on Saturday. "I'm not going to do it."
Several parties in the lower house of Dutch parliament voiced strong criticism on Prime Minister Mark Rutte's response to disturbances around various Sinterklaas celebrations in the Netherlands over the weekend. The Prime Minister's call for no demonstrations in the three weeks that Sinterklaas is in the Netherlands in particular led to bewilderment from the D66, GroenLinks, SP, PvdA, ChristenUnie, PvdD and DENK, among others, NU.nl reports.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, supports a proposal by ruling party VVD to build more nuclear power plants in the Netherlands. Opponents worry about nuclear waste and what it will mean for future generations, NOS reports.
The VVD proposal was supported by the VVD, PVV, CDA and FvD. Proponents believe that the Netherlands can not afford to outright reject nuclear energy. But they also point out the disadvantages - nuclear waste, the construction of a nuclear plant is a long process, and it is an expensive source of energy.
Former Prime Minister Wim Kok (PvdA) passed away after a long illness, his family revealed on Saturday. Over the weekend King Willem-Alexander and various politicians responded to his death. Kok was a well respected man to whom the Netherlands owes a great deal of gratitude, was the general theme of their reactions.
Rob Jetten is the new leader of the D66. The parliamentary faction chose the 31-year-old unanimously on Tuesday. Jetten is succeeding Alexander Pechtold, who announced on Saturday that he is leaving the party and politics, NU.nl reports.
"I'm really looking forward to working with this faction", Jetten said, according to the newspaper. "We have 19 talented parliamentarians, we work well together and will continue to do so."
Dutch parliamentarians were shocked by reports that the number of runway incursions at Schiphol airport is significantly higher than at other airports of similar size. They demand an explanation from responsible State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and Environment, AD reports.