The Netherlands is nearing the point where the country will not be able to take in any more refugees, according to VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra. Exactly what the maximum number of refugees in the Netherlands is, he would not say.
After antagonizing most of the faction leaders during the general budget debate on Wednesday, PVV leader Geert Wilders has now turned his attentions to Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Wilders and Rutte spoke some harsh words in their clash over the refugee crisis, with Wilders telling Rutte that "he's only Prime Minister on paper", and Rutte accusing Wilders of "illusion politics".
The Netherlands is emerging from the crisis stronger. Things are going better than expected, but still not good enough, according to Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem while presenting the Budget Memorandum to the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament. As per tradition, Dijsselbloem presented the Budget in the same briefcase his predecessor Lieftinck used to present the budget in 1946 after World War II. Dijsselbloem called the briefcase "a small symbol of recovery".
Nearly a third of Dutch residents believe that the Netherlands should close the borders for all forms of immigration, including workers from other European countries. Almost half of the Dutch population believe that the refugees will have a negative effect on the Dutch economy.
State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff denies reports that an agreement was reached regarding the redistribution of all 160 thousand refugees across European Union States.
The Dutch government's plan to radically change the European asylum policy has gotten a chilly reception in the European Commission. VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra defended the plan in the parliamentary refugee debate with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Justice State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff on Thursday. The opposition parties in the Tweede Kamer are very critical.