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.
Alexander Pechtold is resigning as leader of the parliamentary faction of the D66, he announced at the party congress in Den Bosch on Saturday. The party will choose a successor on Tuesday. It is "time for a new generation", Pechtold said n his farewell speech, NU.nl reports.
The VVD's proposal to punish law breakers in problem neighborhoods twice as harshly as someone from another neighborhood, led to sharp accusations during the first day of the General Political Considerations, the parliamentary debate on the government's budget and plans for next year, on Wednesday.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs is facing the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday on statements he made about multicultural societies. He faced fierce criticism from the parliamentarians, including from coalition parties D66, CDA and ChristenUnie. Only populist parties PVV and FvD outright supported his remarks, NOS reports.
The government parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie reached an agreement on the budget for 2019 and agreements were made about how dividend tax will be abolished, the parties said after a final meeting on Thursday evening. The parties would give no details about their agreements. That will be presented on Budget Day, the third Thursday in September, NOS reports.
The Fidesz party of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban broke ties with the CDA. Over the weekend the CDA adopted a motion to remove its Hungarian sister party from the European People's Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, which both parties belong to, if the Hungarians do not keep to European standards and values. The Hungarians now accuse the CDA of spreading lies, the Volkskrant reports.
The entire opposition, with the exception of the SGP, supported a motion of censure against Prime Minister Mark Rutte in a parliamentary debate about secret memos surrounding the Rutte III government's decision to abolish dividend tax, NU.nl reports.
With 97 percent of votes counted, it is clear that local parties received the most votes in the municipal elections on Wednesday. The VVD and CDA are neck-on-neck to become the biggest national party, with the liberals leading by a hair, according to ANP's election service.
The results for 7,500 council seats are known so far, NU.nl reports. 55 percent of voters voted in the municipal election, a slightly higher turnout compared to 54 percent in the previous municipal elections four years ago.
Former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers passed away on Wednesday. He was in poor health for some time, a spokesperson for the 78-year-old CDA politician said. While other politicians knew that Lubbers was not doing well, they are still shocked by his death.
Everyone who took part in the discussion on social media about the Mauritshuis Museum removing its namesake's bust from the foyer over the past days, can visit the museum in The Hague for free on Sunday, January 28th, museum director Emilie Gordenker announced on television program Buitenhof on Sunday.
The Tweede Kamer is shocked and outraged by reports from Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations that Russia and other countries are using fake news to try and influence public opinion in the Netherlands. "That fake accounts influence our democracy is life threateningly dangerous", CDA leader Sybrand Buma said to broadcaster NOS. The CDA and D66 are presenting a set of measures in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Wednesday to prevent this from happening.
Fake news is a deep concern for the new Netherlands cabinet, and its suppression is a priority in the Dutch cabinet, a new letter sent to parliamentarians shows. Russia deserves much of the blame for a disinformation campaign in the Netherlands, Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongrenhas clearly states in a brief to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.
The Dutch government is postponing the implementation of the new data mining law for the intelligence and security services. Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations will send a letter to the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday to inform them that it will not be possible to appoint a supervisory committee before the law was set to take effect on January 1st, NOS reports.
The new coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are debating their new government agreement with the opposition parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Thursday. As far as Prime Minister Mark Rutte is concerned, the government agreement is not set in stone and the coalition is open to discussing changes with the opposition parties, NU.nl reports.
After the longest formation process ever in Dutch history, the new Dutch government of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie presented their government agreement to the Tweede Kamer and released it to the public. "The coalition agreement is ambitious and balanced", Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte said at a press conference after the agreement was handed to the Tweede Kamer, the Volkskrant reports.
After 208 days of negotiations, the new Dutch government coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie can almost take office. On Monday the negotiators of the four parties presented their new government agreement to their parliamentary factions, and all four parties approved it. It will be presented to the press and the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, later today, according to RTL Nieuws.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold will not be a Minister in the new Dutch government, he confirmed to RTL Nieuws. He is staying as D66 leader in the Tweede Kamer, because that is better for "the stability of the new coalition" and being party leader in parliament gives him a bit more room on the home front, he said.
The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are now really very almost done with their government agreement, ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers said to NOS on Friday afternoon. But he thinks the four parties will have to meet again on Monday.
There will be no meetings over the weekend. The ChristenUnie respects the Sunday rest. "And on Saturday I have other plans", Segers said to the broadcaster.
Nearly seven months after the parliamentary elections, the negotiators of the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are finally done with their new government agreement, formation mediator Gerrit Zalm announced on Monday. The agreement was sent to the four parties' parliamentary factions, which have the rest of Monday to read through it, ask questions and make comments, NU.nl reports.
After over 200 days of government formation talks, the Rutte III cabinet's government agreement is as good as done. The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie reached agreements on the last major issues and the agreement is expected to be presented next week. The new government plans to invest more in education, defense, police and sustainability, the Volkskrant reported on Wednesday night.
The Rutte III cabinet will have 16 Ministers and 9 State Secretaries, bringing the total up to 25, sources told newspaper AD. This is quite the turnaround for Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte, who with his past to cabinets repeatedly spoke about a "smaller and powerful government".
Shocked and sad reactions met Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan's announcement that he is stepping down due to his metastasized lung cancer. Van der Laan (PvdA) announced on Monday afternoon that he is resigning, based on the advice of his doctors. One Amsterdam city council member described the news as "a punch to the face", RTL Nieuws reports.
People are often unfairly depicted as "angry citizens", CDA leader Sybrand Buma said in the annual HJ Schoo lecture in Amsterdam on Monday. According to him, you can also call the angry citizen an ordinary, frustrated Dutch person who keeps running into walls, RTL Nieuws reports.
Months long talks between the unions and employers about new rules for flexible work and dismissal law, failed. No agreement could be reached. This means that the parties on the government formation table - the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie - will have to come up with reforms themselves, possibly without the support of the employers and employees, which could cause delays in the government formation, AD reports.