The Rutte III government is more popular than ever, with 47 percent of Dutch saying they are satisfied with the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie coalition, according to a poll by I&O Research. That is the highest satisfaction percentage the government had since it took office in October 2017. At the start of this year, only 33 percent of Dutch were satisfied with Rutte III, AD reports.
After months of negotiations, the coalition parties reached an agreement on how to arrange custody for families with more than two parents and surrogacy by law. Dutch kids will soon be able to legally have up to four parents, and the rights of surrogates and the parents who use them will be laid down in law, RTL Nieuws reports based on a draft letter to parliament in its possession.
The Council of Ministers will discuss the proposal on Friday.
On Friday the Dutch government will announce a nationwide ban on the strongest consumer fireworks - fireworks that fall in the so-called third category like strips and rolls of firecrackers, sources in The Hague told broadcaster NOS. Both the fireworks sector and the police are dissatisfied with the ban.
The ban will take effect from New Year's 2020-2021, according to the broadcaster. Category three fireworks, which form only a small share of the Dutch market, are already banned in Belgium and Germany.
Left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks and PvdA are demanding some changes to the Climate Agreement before they will support it in the Senate. "If you think that we are applauding, then you are wrong", PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher said during the first parliamentary debate on the Agreement on Wednesday, NOS reports. "If there are no concrete solutions, you can forget our support."
The Climate Agreement that the Dutch government is presenting on Friday afternoon is insufficient for fair and effective climate policy, according to environmental organizations Greenpeace and Milieudefensie and trade union FNV. "A few crucial improvements are needed to ensure that we achieve the right breakthroughs for the Netherlands and the world", Greenpeace director Joris Thijssen said at a press conference just hours before the government presented its plans, NOS reports.
Collaboration with China is of great importance to the Netherlands, but with that cooperation the Netherlands must pay attention to the ideological differences that exist between the two countries, the Dutch government said in its new 'China strategy'. The 100-page long document outlines economic opportunities, but also concerns, NOS reports.
The government will push a total of 920 million euros extra into youth care over the next four years, is stated the Spring Memorandum that will be presented later his month, sources in The Hague told newspaper AD.
This year the Dutch municipalities will receive an extra 350 million euros for youth care, followed by 190 million euros per year in the next three years. The government hopes that municipalities will be able to eliminate the deficits they have with this extra money.
Changing the names of Ministries and redistributing tasks between the different government departments is costing the Rutte III government an estimated 31.7 million euros, the Volkskrant reports based on a report by the Central Audit Service, which forms part of the Ministry of Finance.
Voter turnout was up substantially in the country's provincial election on Wednesday, compared with turnout in 2015. Some 57.9 percent of eligible voters showed up at polling places, up from 47.8 percent four years earlier, according to RTL Nieuws.
The ruling coalition that forms the Cabinet in The Netherlands was projected to lose seven seats and its majority in the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch parliament. Eerste Kamer relative newcomer Forum voor Democratie (FvD), a nationalist right wing party, was projected to secure ten seats in the Dutch Senate, and left wing GroenLinks was expected to take eight seats. There are 75 seats in the chamber, with the coalition currently holding 38 for a razor thin majority.
Employees of various sectors are striking for better pensions and to freeze the retirement age at 66 throughout the Netherlands on Monday. The first and most disrupting strike was in public transit between 6:00 a.m. and 7:06 a.m. During that time no NS trains were running, as well as no trams, subways and buses in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam.
The vast majority of Dutch are worried about the disappearance of flowers, insects and birds in the countryside, according to the National Landscape Survey by nature conservation service Natuurmonumenten. The service calls on the government to make protecting the landscape a priority when making spatial plans, ANP reprots.
Almost a third of Dutch voters want to punish the Rutte III government for its policy during the Provincial States election on March 20th, according to the latest poll by research bureau I&O. A quarter of voters want to support the cabinet with his or her vote. And almost half said that they won't take into account whether or not the government coalition will get a majority in the Senate when they cast their vote, AD reports.
Aid organization Red Cross and peace organization PAX are calling on the Dutch government to sign the United Nations nuclear weapons ban, a treaty adopted by the UN in July 2017. The Netherlands then abstained from voting on the ban - all the countries with nuclear weapons and almost all NATO countries boycotted the vote, NOS reports.
While the majority of the opposition parties in parliament is pleased with the expansion of the children's pardon, the government parties still faced strong criticism during a parliamentary debate on the matter on Wednesday. Opposition parties are particularly dissatisfied about the decision to take in fewer recognized asylum seekers from the United Nations, NU.nl 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 coalition parties' talks on relaxing the children's pardon seems to be at a stalemate. After two meetings with State Secretary Mark Harbers of Justice and Security on Monday, the parliamentary leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie still have not come to a solution. CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie want the rules on the deportation of child asylum seekers to be broadened, the VVD is refusing, NOS reports.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver is demanding that the coalition parties support his legislative proposal for a CO2 tax, in exchange for his party's support on new cabinet plans. "The question is not whether we will help the government to a majority, but whether the coalition will help our plans to a majority", he said at a meetup in The Hague on Monday evening, 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.
Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer is urgently calling on the government to bring Dutch children still in Syria back to the Netherlands. "There has been talk for almost a year, but not much has happened. The children are a year older and live under poor conditions. That is bad for their development", she said in a letter to Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Dutch government wants to implement a flight tax of 7 euros per plane ticket, regardless of the destination. The government previously considered a tax of 3.80 euros for flights within Europe and 22 euros for intercontinental flights, but opted for a fixed amount to make the Tax Authority's job easier, sources in The Hague confirmed to NU.nl after reports in RTL Nieuws.
The Dutch government is planning to launch a campaign against fake news in the run-up to the elections for the Provincial State and European Parliament. In a letter to parliament, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said that the government wants to make citizens more aware of misinformation around the elections, NOS report.
The Rutte III government has too little regard for the thousands of vulnerable people in the Netherlands who do not receive the care that they need, the National Ombudsman, the Netherlands Court of Auditors and social and cultural planning office SCP said in a joint statement on Wednesday. The Tweede Kamer, lower house of Dutch parliament, is discussing the healthcare budget on Wednesday afternoon, NU.nl reports.
The new plans of the Rutte III government now that dividend tax will not be abolished, can not count on the support of the opposition parties, was revealed during a parliamentary debate on Tuesday evening. The opposition parties were all clearly irritated, NU.nl reports.