Dutch food safety authority NVWA is facing fierce criticism in the Tweede Kamer on Thursday. The parliamentarians have nothing good to say about the NVWA's actions in dealing with millions of Dutch eggs being contaminated by toxic insecticide fipronil. In summary, the MPs accused the NVWA of not communicating well, not responding adequately to an anonymous tip about the contamination and having an inadequate setup to deal with such a crisis, NU.nl reports.
The negotiations on forming a new Dutch government will happen outside The Hague on Thursday and Friday. The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie will be meeting on De Zwaluwenberg in Hilversum, the workplace of the Inspector General of the Armed Forces, for those two days, NOS reports.
Former State Secretary Robin Linschoten (VVD) is suspected of tax fraud, ANP reports. He must appear in the court of Amsterdam on September 1st. The Public Prosecutor would not confirm that the case involves Linschoten, only saying that the suspect is a 60-year-old man from Eemnes - Linschoten's age and hometown, NOS reports.
The Rutte II cabinet is now officially the longest serving Dutch government since the Second World War. On Sunday the VVD-PvdA coalition served a total of 1,749 days - one day more than the previous record holder, the Lubbers III cabinet, NOS reports.
The terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on Thursday and Friday emphasize the need to hurry with the government formation, VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra said at the start of the formation talks on Friday morning. "A country without a government is really something you should not have for too long, certainly not in this time", he said to newspaper AD.
Zijlstra called the attacks terrible.
Spain was hit by two terrorist attacks. The first in Barcelona on Thursday afternoon, the second in Cambrils during the early hours of Friday morning. Thirteen people were killed and over 100 others were injured, including three Dutch, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed. Their condition is not life threatening, NOS reports.
The attack in Barcelona happened around 5:00 p.m. A van drove onto the Ramblas, crashing into dozens of people. Thirteen people were killed and over 100 ended up in hospital, including the three Dutch. The perpetrators fled.
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.
The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie - the four parties currently negotiating forming a new Dutch government together - want to take several measures to strengthen the position of LGBTI people in the Netherlands, AD reports based on a draft government agreement the newspaper managed to get hold of.
The four parties currently negotiating forming a new Dutch government together want to obligate schools to teach their students the text, meaning and melody of the Wilhelmus, the Dutch national anthem, AD reports based on a draft text of the government agreement the newspaper managed to get hold of.
The four parties negotiating forming a new Dutch government together reached a compromise on medical ethics issues, AD reports based on a draft text for the government agreement. It says that the government will not make any proposals to expand the euthanasia law to allow assisted suicide for elderly people at the end of a full life, but will make more stem cell research possible, according to the newspaper.
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.
Negotiators for the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie seem increasingly optimistic that the four parties will be able to form a government together, from the statements they gave before the start of the talks on Friday, NU.nl reports.
The VVD and PvdA's squabble over increasing teachers' salaries in the budget for next year, has the teachers themselves furious. According to primary school teacher action group PO in Actie, the parties are playing "political games" with their livelihoods and more protest actions will follow this fall, Thijs Roovers of the group said to RTL Nieuws.
The VVD and PvdA are butting heads over teacher salaries. The PvdA stated that they will not sign next year's budget if it doesn't contain higher wages for teachers. The VVD is digging in their heels, according to the Telegraaf.
With government formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie still ongoing, and with no end in sight, it is up to the departing VVD-PvdA government to come up with the 2018 budget.
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.
After a break of almost three weeks, the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are meeting today to continue negotiating forming a government together. It's now been 144 days since the government formation talks began. On average, formation talks last 90 days, RTL Nieuws reports.
A number of parliamentarians are calling on Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs to update travel advice for Turkey after a Dutch man was arrested there last week. The Dutch man was arrested for insulting president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on social media. He has since been released, but is still not allowed to leave the country.
The Dutch government is against a parliamentary proposal to only allow police officers in videos and photos if their faces and other identifying features have been blurred out. Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice called the proposal "undesirable" and "unnecessary" in a letter to the Tweede Kamer on Thursday, NU.nl reports.
Negotiators for the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie seemed carefully optimistic that the government formation talks will come to a good conclusion when they pick up again after the summer break. There is good hope, mediator Gerrit Zalm said after the negotiators parted ways for a two week long break on Wednesday, AD reports.
Today is the 126th day of government formation talks in the Netherlands. And while the formation still seems to be far from over, progress is being made. The financial part of the formation is going so well, that mediator Gerrit Zalm hopes to have this phase finished today, BNR reports.
Once the financial part is complete, the documents can be sent to central planning office CPB to be checked over and credited, and the negotiators can break for summer holiday.
After a week and a half of negotiations, the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie have made little progress in forming a new Dutch government together, according to D66 leader Alexander Pechtold. The talks moved by centimeters, rather than meters, he said after Tuesday's negotiations in the Johan de Witthuis in The Hague, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch government formation talks are continuing this week, but not on the Binnenhof. On Monday and Tuesday the leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie, and their seconds, will be negotiating in the Johan de Witthuis, a few hundred meters away from their regular meeting place, AD reports.
Mediator Gerrit Zalm hopes that a change of scenery wil bring some new inspiration.
Political parties in Utrecht are fighting over which snacks to serve in the city hall. A proposal was recently accepted to serve at least 50 percent vegetarian or vegan snacks during meetings. The local VVD is now fighting to keep their bitterballen - a deep fried, meat based Dutch snack.