On Thursday evening Edith Schippers announced that government formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed. The parties could not agree on a migration policy, and there were problems agreeing to issues concerning climate change, sustainability and income equality.
After 61 days of negotiations, talks to form a new Dutch ruling cabinet fell apart on Monday, according to a press release from Edith Schippers. "It has not worked out; the talks have ended," Schippers said at the beginning of a press conference announcing the news.
Nearly nine weeks after the election, the parties differences were simply too great, she added. Attempts at forming a policy to handle migrants to the Netherlands proved to be the last straw. The parties were also far apart on issues related to climate change, energy sustainability and income she said.
From a survey by Whooz regarding Dutch citizens' preferences for the current coalition formation among 9,500 respondents divided in 14 target groups, it appears a coalition between the 'core bloc' of VVD, D66 and CDA together with GroenLinks is most popular. This cabinet is slightly more desirable to Dutch citizens than a combination of the core bloc with the ChristenUnie. Third in line is a leftist coalition with CDA, D66, GroenLinks, SP, PvdA and PvdD.
A Polish driver convicted of killing a toddler and her grandparents in a hit-and-run accident in Meije, Limburg four years ago, was given early release so he could return to Poland to be there when his girlfriend gives birth. PVV, SP, CDA and VVD parliamentarians are outraged by the man's release. They call for the system for early release to be changed, NOS reports.
In a city center that is filled with co-working spaces, it is not particularly surprising that a new hub for sex workers in Amsterdam's famed Red Light District is using ideas like flexible room rental agreements, a website showing who is working at any given time and what their skills are, and a sort-of networking lounge like those seen in many of the city's shared working environments. My Red Light was unveiled to journalists on Friday, over two years after the city's mayor first floated the idea of a brothel completely managed and run by sex workers.
Amsterdam coalition parties D66, VVD and SP plan to help shopkeepers in the city center in their fight against high rent increases. They want the municipality to investigate how these small business owners can be assisted legally. They are also planning a campaign to inform these business owners about their tenant's rights and legal options when their property manager increases their rent, Het Parool reports.
The CDA is causing annoyance at the government formation negotiation table because party leader Sybrand Buma is saying 'no' to almost every proposed climate measure, sources around the negotiations told newspaper AD.
Opposition parties PVV and SP want clarity from Edith Schippers on the status of the government formation. Schippers is leading negotiations between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks on the four parties forming a government together.
On Wednesday afternoon European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is visiting the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. He can expect to be met with hostility and demands for the ECB to stop pushing billions of euros into the European economy in an effort to boost growth, NU.nl reports after speaking with numerous parliamentarians.
Make it cheaper for employers to take on permanent workers, and more expensive to hire temporary workers, new FNV chairman Han Busker said in an interview with AD. If this does not happen, there will be labor actions, he said as a message to the parties currently negotiating forming the new Dutch government together.
"I assume that the new minister of Social Affairs, whoever it may be, will listen well to FNV. And if they don't listen in The Hague, we will make our sound elsewhere. If necessary, the FNV will simply take action. With a full Museumplein if it must", Busker said.
"Day by day we struggle on", current Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte said about the negotiations between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks on forming a new government together. He added that no one is trying to drag the negotiations out. After seven weeks of talks, the atmosphere is still pleasant, but forming a government is also "hard work", he said after the latest negotiation session on Monday, the Telegraaf reports.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders expressed their congratulations to new French president Emmanuel Macron and congratulated the French population for choosing pro-Europe and anti-xenophobia. PVV leader Geert Wilders congratulated runner up nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen on getting the votes of "millions of patriots".
Henry Keizer is temporarily stepping down as chairman of the VVD while the party's Integrity Committee investigates a seemingly shady business deal he was involved in in 2012. The VVD stands behind Keizer as he awaits the outcome of the investigation, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, BNR reports.
After a nearly two week long break, negotiators of the VVD, D66, CDA and GroenLinks are getting together today to resume talks on forming the next Dutch government together. Edith Schippers will lead the negotiations as usual, Het Parool reports.
The University of Amsterdam is launching a test run in allowing part-time students to pay tuition per subject they take, instead of paying for a whole year. The University believes that this will be ideal for motivated students who don't have time to attend university full time because they also work, take care of a family member, have their own business or have to do an internship, Het Parool reports.
VVD chairman Henry Keizer is under fire for a seemingly shady business deal dating from 2012. According to research journalists Follow the Money, Keizer and his business partners bought funeral home De Facultatieve for far below market price. And at the time of the sale, Keizer was not only the buyer, but also the advisor and chairman of the funeral home he eventually bought. Keizer insists he acted with integrity and that "nobody was favored and disadvantaged" in the deal, he said to the press on Friday, NU.nl reports.
Put environmental goals down in the law, reduce gas extraction in Groningen to almost zero, implement a road tax based on kilometers and emissions, ban the sale of fossil-fueled vehicles after 2025 and close all the coal plants in the Netherlands, the environmental committees of six political parties write in a proposal for the climate portion of the governance agreement, the Volkskrant reports.
A "senior manager" at the Public Prosecution's Office was suspended on suspicion of having paid sex with a teenager, the Public Prosecutor announced on Thursday. According to newspaper AD, the prosecutor in question is 44-year-old Vincent L. - second in charge at the National Office in Amsterdam.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold hopes that by the end of today's government formation negotiations - the last session before the May recess - there will be more clarity on the status of forming a government between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks, he said before entering the talks on Thursday, NU.nl reports.
"We should get an idea today about where we stand", Pechtold said. "This past week was important and useful. Sometimes very tough, but still with good steps."
The departing VVD and PvdA government reached an agreement to push an extra 200 million euros into nursing home care. This is on top of 100 million euros already pledged to solving the most pressing problems in nursing homes, NOS reports.
Negotiations between the VVD, D66, CDA and GroenLinks on forming a new Dutch government together will resume today. Talks were suspended last week after GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver's mother was hospitalized. Her condition is still worrying, but Klaver will be back at the negotiation table on Tuesday, his spokesperson said to ANP.
With Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan claiming a narrow victory in a referendum designed to give his office more power, several politicians in the Netherlands expressed disdain for the vote results. Erdogan opponents in Turkey questioned the veracity of the vote count, with Turkish state media claiming that 70 percent of Turkish passport holders in the Netherlands voting to give Erdogan greater authority.
A majority of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, is in favor of a legislative amendment that would extend confidentiality to also apply to parliamentarians' digital communications, such as WhatsApp messages and emails. The government submitted the proposed amendment in 2014, and the Tweede Kamer debated it on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.