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.
Several parliamentarians are praising Weert mayor Jos Heijmans for his persistence in getting six North-African asylum seekers prosecuted for breaking curfew over New Year's. On Thursday Heijmans announced that he is turning to court after the Public Prosecutor decided not to prosecute these men.
On Tuesday a majority in the Tweede Kamer voted against a proposal to keep the Netherlands' strict cap on bankers' bonuses in place. While the parliamentary vote is not binding, it does suggest that if the new government decides to scrap te cap, or make the rules around it more lenient, the decision will be met with approval.
PVV leader Geert Wilders' legislative proposal to give intelligence service AIVD the power to detain potential terrorists for six months as a precaution, was met with criticism by other parliamentary parties. Human rights organization Amnesty called the PVV proposal a "frontal attack on the rule of law", according to NOS.
Herman Tjeenk Willink is resigning as mediator in the Dutch government formation negotiations, sources reported to De Telegraaf on Monday. It is believed that Gerrit Zalm, former VVD Finance Minister and former CEO at ABN Amro, will succeed him, according to the newspaper.
PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher officially made his party unavailable for government formation talks. "We are not available to help the engine to a majority", he said after speaking with mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink on Tuesday, according to AD. If the 'engine' of VVD, CDA and D66 still want to rule in a four party majority coalition, the ChristenUnie is the only option left to them.
The leaders of the VVD, CDA and D66 want the next cabinet to bind "left and right" together, VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday afternoon after the three leaders spoke with formation mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink, AD reports.
The VVD and CDA again firmly stated that they will not work with anti-Islam party PVV and its leader Geert Wilders. Formation negotiator Herman Tjeenk Willink asked VVD leader Mark Rutte and CDA leader Sybrand Buma to put in writing why they will not form a government with Wilders. They dismissed Wilders as untrustworthy and "increasingly radical", the Volkskrant reports
VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte does not see a breakthrough happening in the government formation talks any time soon. In fact, he worries that new elections may be necessary, he said in a live session the VVD hosted on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon, NU.nl reports.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver had to defend himself from all sides in a parliamentary debate about the stalled government formation talks between his party and the VVD, CDA and D66. "We will not send anyone back to countries where it is unsafe", Klaver said in the Tweede Kamer. But the other party leaders did not seem to be buying it, NU.nl reports.