The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie presented its plans for the Netherlands for the coming years on Tuesday, 209 days after the parliamentary election In March. The Rutte III government is expected to take office in two weeks. Opposition parties have Wednesday to read through the agreement, and on Thursday they wil debate in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament, the Volkskrant reports.
Departing Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem is giving up his parliamentary seat and leaving politics, he announced in a letter to Tweede Kamer president Khadija Arib on Tuesday evening. According to Dijsselbloem, he lacks the "firepower" the PvdA needs to function well as opposition party with only 9 seats, NU.nl reports.
Government formation mediator Gerrit Zalm is delivering the new Dutch government agreement to Tweede Kamer president Khadija Arib at around 1:00 p.m. Some time after that, the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie will present their plans to the press and parliamentarians, the Volkskrant reports.
The government agreement contains the new coalition's plans for the coming years. A summary of leaked details can be seen here.
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.
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.
Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of Defense will face the hardest parliamentary debate of her career on Tuesday afternoon. The Tweede Kamer will debate with her the conclusions of the Dutch Safety Board's investigation into a mortar grenade exploding during training in Mali last year, killing two Dutch soldiers. With parliamentarians being almost unanamously critical, the question is not only whether Hennis will survive this debate as Defense Minister, but also whether she will still have a position in the new Dutch government.
Next week Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of Defense will face the Tweede Kamer in a debate about a faulty grenade that cost the lives of two Dutch soldiers, and seriously injured a third, in Mali last year.
All school children in the Netherlands must visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Tweede Kamer in The Hague at least once in their school career, according to agreements the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie made in their government formation talks, sources told the Telegraaf. The parties want to make it mandatory for schools to arrange these trips.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer voted on Tuesday for an emergency legislative proposal to freeze the amount of healthcare own-risk deductibles at 385 euros next year. The Eerste Kamer also voted in the bill later on Tuesday, NU.nl reports.
From next year, identity checks will be mandatory on all flights within the Schengen area, Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice said, according to BNR. Earlier this week, the broadcaster reported that at least 10 airlines don't do ID checks when passenger check-in on a flight within the Schengen area, making it easy for criminals and terrorists to fly around Europe anonymously.
The Dutch government is trying to find shelter for 25 Sint Maarten residents. They flew to the Netherlands and asked for help after Hurricane Irma destroyed their homes, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Binnenhof in The Hague was evacuated on Wednesday afternoon after the discovery of a suspicious package. All entrances to the square that holds the Netherlands' government and parliament buildings were blocked by police officers and Koninklijke Marechaussee. According to AD reporter Lex de Jonge, it was a false alarm.
Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem of Finance thinks that there should be an emergency procedure in politics that will allow parliament to reassess unexpected additional costs above a certain amount, even if they are of a compulsory nature, he said in an interview with Financieele Dagblad, specifically referring to additional costs for nursing home care.
Twelve year old Haci Nuh stole the show in his role as Mini-Minister of Finance when Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem delivered the suitcase with next year's budget to the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday. Shrouded in a suit and black sneakers, Haci from Rotterdam shadowed Dijsselbloem throughout the entire Budget Day. He was in the Ridderzaal for the King's speech, went on interviews with the Minister and to the Tweede Kamer to discuss te budget, the Telegraaf reports.
State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and Environment plans to reduce noise pollution on the Veluwe after Lelystad Airport's expansion with a different flight route and by making planes fly at a higher altitude, she told the Tweede Kamer, NU.nl reports.
Non-existent supervision on police expenses from the police leadership and the Ministry of Security and Justice was one of the main factors that resulted in exorbitant spending by the National Police's Central Works Council (CWC), a committee led by Maarten Ruys concluded. For years the police leadership acted "insufficiently" against overruns on the CWC's budget, ANP reports.
KLM CEO Pieter Elbers wants budget airlines out of Schiphol. The Amsterdam airport is at risk of losing its position as an international flight junction due to all the space given to cheap airlines, he said in an interview with the Volkskrant.
The PVV wants the Tweede Kamer to cut its summer recess short and return for a parliamentary debate on the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, PVV leader Geert Wilders said in a message to the other party leaders, which he also posted on Twitter.
The Tweede Kamer is cutting its summer holiday short in order to debate the fipronil contamination of eggs from Dutch poultry farms with Public Health Minister Edith Schippers and State Secretary Martijn van Dam of Economic Affairs, NU.nl reports.
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.
A tip the Dutch food safety authority NVWA received about the use of toxic fipronil on Dutch poultry farms in November last year, specifically mentioned Barneveld pest control company ChickFriend, Public Health Minister Edith Schippers confirmed in a letter to parliament, ANP reports.
State Secretary Martijn van Dam of Economic Affairs is stepping down on September 1st to go to his new job at NPO, whether or not there's a new cabinet. His decision to go through with his planned departure despite the raging fipronil contaminated egg crisis, for which he partially carries responsibility, is leading to criticism from other politicians. Though the poultry sector itself is not sad to see him go, AD reports.
Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA denies that it first learned that eggs were maybe contaminated by toxic fipronil in November last year. The authority did receive a report about fipronil in that month, but that report only stated that it had been used to clean stables - there was no reason to believe that it could end up in eggs and pose a potential health risk, inspector general Rob van Lint said on Wednesday, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Netherlands can close all its coal plants, but only if a national law to that effect is implemented, according to advice the Council of State sent to Economic Minister Henk Kamp on Wednesday, ANP reports.
The Tweede Kamer called on Kamp last week to close all the coal plants by making the efficiency requirements so high that they can't be met by any coal plant. The council of state investigated whether this was possible.