A man who jumped off the public gallery in the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday, was trying to commit suicide in an attempt to "shake politicians awake", the 65-year-old cannabis activist from Groenlo said in a suicide note posted on Facebook, the Telegraaf reports.
The man survived his attempted suicide and is currently in hospital.
A visitor to the Tweede Kamer jumped off the public gallery during a parliamentary debate on organized crime on Thursday. Eyewitnesses claim it was an attempted suicide, though this has not yet been confirmed, NU.nl reports.
The parliamentary debate was halted and the meeting chamber evacuated. The man was taken to hospital, injured but alive, a spokesperson for the Hague police said to NU.nl.
The spokesperson confirmed that the man jumped off the gallery himself. Attempted suicide is one of the scenarios the police are investigating.
An exit poll published on Wednesday night showed that roughly 48 percent of the Netherlands population turned out to vote in a referendum on a law that would give intelligence services authority to collect and access a massive amount of data. With a five percent margin of error, the Ipsos/NOS poll said that 49 percent voted in favor of the law, and 48 percent against, with three percent registering no-votes.
Stef Blok, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, wants to make safety "the backbone of Dutch foreign policy". He particularly plans to focus on cybersecurity, he said in a memo on his strategy for the coming years sent to the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, NOS reports.
ING Bank raised the salary of CEO Ralph Hamers by more than half this year, to over 3 million euros, NOS reports. Parliamentarians are furious and demand an explanation. Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance is "not amused", according to newspaper AD.
Dutch tax money was paid to the British branch of Oxfam Novib in 2010 and 2011, Minister Sigrid Kaag of Development Cooperation said in a letter to parliament. Members of that branch of the charity are accused of having sex parties with possibly underage prostitutes on Haiti in 2011, while providing aid in the aftermath of a massive earthquake, RTL Nieuws reports.
A member of the Dutch cabinet will attend the commemoration of the Armenian genocide in Yerevan in April. But that does not mean that the government is making a statement about whether what happened in 1915 was or was not a genocide, Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Affairs said in the Tweede Kamer on Thursday, NOS reports.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, voted for abolishing the advisory referendum on Thursday. With 76 votes for and 69 votes against, the law that arranges the abolition was adopted, NOS reports.
Every parliamentarian voted individually on the law to abolish the referendum, as well as motions made by opposition parties.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, approved two motions regarding the Armenian genocide of 1915 on Thursday. One states that the Tweede Kamer "recognizes the Armenian genocide", the other that a Dutch Minister or State Secretary should attend the commemoration of this genocide in Armenia in April. This decision is expected to further sour the relationship between Turkey and the Netherlands, ANP reports.
Both motions were submitted by ChristenUnie parliamentarian Joel Voordewind. All four coalition parties supported the motions.
Dutch foreign affairs minister Halbe Zijlstra is leaving his role in the Prime Minister Mark Rutte's cabinet following the revelation that he lied about attending a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Minister Halbe Zijlstra of Foreign Affairs will face a critical Tweede Kamer on Tuesday. The lower house of Dutch parliament will discuss him lying about personally attending a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2006. Not only was he not at the meeting, but he also misinterpreted Putin's statements given to him by his source who was there, the source - former Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer told the Volkskrant.
Minister Halbe Zijlstra of Foreign Affairs admitting that he lied about having a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, was met by fierce criticism from opposition parties in the Tweede Kamer. The coalition parties call his actions mainly "unwise", NOS reports.
Deputy Prime Minister Kasja Ollongren did not cross a line in her statements about new nationalist party FvD, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a letter to the Tweede Kamer on Thursday, AD reports.
The Dutch cabinet appears poised to cut the cost to attend universities by half in a bid to make higher education more affordable for the first year of study. If approved tuition for public universities and hogeschools, or applied sciences universities, will fall to €1,030 for the freshman year starting in September.
Those wanting to become teachers can get the discounted price for two years, which the government hopes will address the current teacher shortage in the Netherlands.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Financie is looking into whether banning certain cryptocurrency exchanges is desirable and possible. He hopes to give the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, information about this in the next few weeks, AD reports.
According to Hoekstra, the government would like to ban bitcoin derived products such as binary options - where people basically gamble on whether an asset like Bitcoin will rise to a specific price, or fall below a certain amount. But he added that this must first be properly investigated.
The Dutch government is looking into whether airlines that fly with quieter and cleaner planes can in future be given priority on landing rights at Schiphol airport, Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management promised in the Tweede Kamer on Thursday, Het Parool reports.
The Dutch government wants to start building new houses without a connection to the gas network starting this year.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, already agreed that new homes should not be connected to the gas network. But the government thinks that this can be started sooner than the four years planned. On Thursday the coalition wants to arrange that average new homes are built without this connection, RTL Nieuws reports.
Politicians, cryptocurrency companies and regulators appearing in parliament on Wednesday all agreed that clearer policy and regulations are needed around the developing cryptocurrency sphere.
Last year a total of 1.7 million people rented accommodation in the Netherlands through Airbnb, compared to 1.4 million in 2016 and only 75 thousand in 2012, the company announced. Almost half of the rentals were in Amsterdam, NOS reports.
The number of rentals listed on the house sharing site also increased, from 31 thousand in 2016 to 36 thousand last year. Around 19 percent of Airbnb guests came from the Netherlands itself, the rest were foreign visitors.
Schiphol can expand with takeoff and landing strips on the coast, residents living around the Amsterdam airport state in a report that will be handed to Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management on Tuesday. They hope that this report will prompt the minister to investigate alternatives to growing the airport in its current location, BNR reports.
The Public Prosecutor launched an investigation into Dutch soldier Marco Kroon using violence during a secret operation in Afghanistan in 2007, Kroon's lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops announced on Wednesday. Kroon was awarded the Militaire Willems-Orde, the highest military award in the Netherlands, in 2009 for his efforts in Afghanistan, newspaper AD reports.
Kroon says he reported the incident to Defense last year. Defense gave it through to the Public Prosecutor last week, which now launched an investigation.
Almost all parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, demanded that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate come up with a protocol for handling earthquake damage caused by gas extraction in Groningen within two weeks. Wiebes will make haste on such a protocol, but can not give a time frame for when it will be ready, he said in a parliamentary debate on the matter on Tuesday, NOS reports.
The Dutch association of hotels KHN is calling for strict, national measures to regulate house sharing through sites like Airbnb and other forms of private rentals to tourists. Platforms like Airbnb are increasingly gaining ground in the Netherlands and often involve illegal rentals by homeowners who work without a license, do not pay taxes and do not comply with the legal regulations, KHN said in a press statement.