Three of the five remaining coal-fired power plants in the Netherlands will see either their production scale back dramatically or their facilities close altogether in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the country. The Cabinet agreed to the measure on Friday, undisclosed sources told broadcaster NOS nearly a week later.
Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam wants the government to give municipalities more resources to enforce government measures and advice against the spread of coronavirus Covid-19, he said on Nieuwsuur on Sunday. A contact ban - a prohibition on more than two people being outside together - could be on the table, the mayor said. "It would be a horrendous measure, but if these kinds of calls and measures do not work, this could come into the picture."
Martin van Rijn from opposition party PvdA was appointed to take over as Minister for Medical Care, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Friday, NOS reports.
Van Rijn, who was a State Secretary of Public Health in the previous Rutte government, will take over from Bruno Bruins. He resigned on Thursday after collapsing from exhaustion during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte addressed the nation on Monday evening regarding the state of affairs around coronavirus Covid-19. He said that the reality is that the coronavirus is among us, and will remain among us for the time being. Below find the full text of his speech, translated from Dutch by NL Times.
In the country's first national address by a prime minister in over 40 years, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte laid out three possible scenarios that affect how the coronavirus pandemic will impact the Netherlands, pledged his support for workers and all business owners, and asked that the country unite to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. The preference, he said, is a scenario where the country spreads out the rate of infection as much as possible, and he emphasized that the country must take action together to prevent two more-dangerous scenarios from occurring.
The Netherlands will contribute to a mission to protect the important oil shipping routes in the Strait of Hormuz. A navy ship will be deployed to the Persian Gulf for six months, to take part in a mission led by France that is set to start in January, sources in The Hague confirmed to RTL Nieuws after reports by ANP.
The mission is expected to cost between 10 million and 15 million euros. The Netherland's role will mainly be an 'observing' one, according to the broadcaster's sources. The mission's headquarters will be a French naval base in Abu Dhabi.
The Dutch government is allocating 30 million euros for the purchase of electric shock weapons for the police. Equipping cops with tasers has been high on the police's wish list for some time, and they are now getting their way, RTL Nieuws reports.
Around 17 thousand police officers who may find themselves in a situation in which they have to defend themselves against violence will be equipped with a taser. Part of the 30 million euros will go towards purchasing these weapons, and part will go towards training police officers how to handle and use them.
Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok came out against his fellow conservative VVD party members on Friday, saying he was opposed to any suggestion that Dutch people who joined ISIS should receive capital punishment in Iraq. Some MPs in the party, which is led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, said that Dutch enemy combatants should face trial in Iraq where they would be eligible for the death penalty.
"That can be the ultimate consequence," said Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, a VVD parliamentarian, according to the ANP newswire.
The Dutch cabinet is considering a reversal of its policy of decentralizing youth care services following a harshly critical report from the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate. The report, produced with the Ministry of Justice and Security, said that staffing levels in the sector are far too low making it difficult or impossible for families to get help in dealing with either complex issues, or a multitude of issues.
The Dutch government is currently investigating a list of around 20 unorthodox and unpopular measures for reducing nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These measures include banning car traffic on one Sunday a month, and lowering the speed limit on all highways to 100 kilometers per hour, AD reports based on sources in The Hague.
A new forecast by Statistics Netherlands on the life expectancy of 65-year-old Netherlands residents shows that in 2025 they will still have around 20.75 years to live, half a week more than the previous forecast. The life expectancy is a month more in 2025 than in 2024.
The state retirement age is linked to these life expectancy figures. As the difference between the life expectancy in 2024 and 2025 is small at only a month, it seems unlikely that the retirement age will increase in 2025, according to NRC. Retirement age will reach the age of 67 for the first time in 2024.
Christine Lagarde, who will soon be president of the European Central Bank (ECB), lashed out at euro countries like the Netherlands and Germany for not spending their budget surplus to stimulate the European economy. "Why not use that budget surplus and invest in infrastructure? Why not invest in education and why not invest in innovation?" she said, according to NU.nl.
The Public Prosecutor submitted a list of 29 suspected Dutch jihadists that it wants to bring back from Syria to the Netherlands to face justice, the Ministry of Justice and Security confirmed to NRC. That is a significant increase from the 10 requests submitted earlier this year.
Millions of tourists visit the Netherlands every year and this number only continues to grow. The government must do more to address the problems caused by tourism and reduce its strain on popular Dutch destinations, a majority of the parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, said to NOS op 3.
The Dutch government is establishing a fund next year where homeowners can borrow money to remove and replace their asbestos roof, State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure announced. She hopes that the fund will tempt homeowners to deal with this health risk in the short term, NOS reports
If millions of euros aren't invested into upgrading railways and stations between Haarlem and Zandvoort, trains will no longer run to big events in Zandvoort like the Formula 1, NS and ProRail indicated according to a letter Haarlem alderman Robert Berkhout sent to the city council. According to a ProRail spokesperson, this is not an ultimatum, just an explanation of the actual situation, RTL Nieuws reports.
The government must allocate extra money to combat the teacher shortage and implement tax reductions for the elderly and people with a low income, according to the PvdA. If that does not happen, the party will vote against the government's tax plan and education budget, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher said to NOS.
The VVD expelled parliamentarian Wybren van Haga on Tuesday. According to party leader Klaas Dijkhoff, he cannot remain in the party now that he is again under fire over his activities as a property manager and landlord, NOS reports.
Increase corporate income tax and the tax on the wealthy to pay for higher wages and a lower workloads in the public sector, left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks, SP and PvdA proposed in a counter-budget to the national budget the Rutte III government presented on Tuesday. "We show that you can make different choices with the same money", SP leader Lilian Marijnessen said to NOS.
The ruling cabinet in the Netherlands outlined a plan for 2020 that includes an extra 350 million euros to respond to problems on the housing market, 300 million euros to tackle issues related to youth care, and 134 million euros on asylum procedures and migration. Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance presented the Rutte III government's budget for next year to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Tuesday.
Any money left over in the government's budget should first be spent on raising the salaries of people in the public sector, addressing the housing shortage and getting more police officers on the street, according to a poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of NOS for Budget Day 2019. Only once all that is done, should budget surpluses be used to pay off State debt, the respondents said.
Another five political parties joined the call of youth movement Coalitie-Y to abolish the student loan system. The manifesto to this effect will be handed to Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday evening, the night before Budget Day, the Volkskrant reports.
The PvdA also wants to get rid of the student loan system and reintroduce the basic study grant, joining the call of Coalitie-Y - an initiative of the ChristenUnie and youth organization who want to take measures to give more certainty to the next generation of young people. A vast majority in parliament now supports this plan, NU.nl reports.
Early next year coalition party D66 will submit a legislative proposal to make assisted suicide possible at the end of a "full" and "completed" life, parliamentarian Pia Dijkstra said in an interview with newspaper AD. The bill is a sensitive topic for Christian parties and coalition partners CDA and ChristenUnie, according to the newspaper.