On Tuesday evening the 13 political party leaders responded to the shooting in Utrecht, in which three people were killed and three seriously injured, at the start of the last political debate before the Provincial States elections on Wednesday. PVV leader Geert Wilders and FvD leader Thierry Baudet decided to use their moment to blame the attack on Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) and CDA leader Sybrand Buma, linking the shooting to the Netherlands' immigration and integration policy, NOS reports.
The latest poll by Maurice de Hond shows right-wing party FvD gaining massive support compared to the votes the party got in the 2017 parliamentary election. Ruling party VVD, on the other hand, is losing support. The Provincial States elections are on Wednesday, March 20th.
In the parliamentary election, the FVD got 2 parliamentary seats. If that election was held again today, the party would get 18 seats, according to the poll. The VVD would see its seats drop from 33 to 22. That puts only a two seat difference between the two parties.
The first debate for the Provincial State elections of 20 March, which will ultimately also determine the composition of the Senate, happened on RTL on Thursday. The climate was one of the main points that the leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66, PVV, SP, PvdA and FvD debated, NU.nl reports.
Almost a third of Dutch voters want to punish the Rutte III government for its policy during the Provincial States election on March 20th, according to the latest poll by research bureau I&O. A quarter of voters want to support the cabinet with his or her vote. And almost half said that they won't take into account whether or not the government coalition will get a majority in the Senate when they cast their vote, AD reports.
While the majority of the opposition parties in parliament is pleased with the expansion of the children's pardon, the government parties still faced strong criticism during a parliamentary debate on the matter on Wednesday. Opposition parties are particularly dissatisfied about the decision to take in fewer recognized asylum seekers from the United Nations, NU.nl reports.
The four coalition parties reached a compromise on the children's pardon, a topic that caused conflict among the parties for the past two weeks. The rules will be relaxed for the "existing cases" of asylum children and their parents who are rooted in the Netherlands, like the CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie wanted. And after that the children's pardon will be abolished, like the VVD wanted, NOS reports.
The coalition parties' talks on relaxing the children's pardon seems to be at a stalemate. After two meetings with State Secretary Mark Harbers of Justice and Security on Monday, the parliamentary leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie still have not come to a solution. CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie want the rules on the deportation of child asylum seekers to be broadened, the VVD is refusing, NOS reports.
This year five large political parties will participate in the Pride Amsterdam canal parade in one boat. In this way the VVD, CDA, D66, SP and PvdA want to show that they stand together to support the LGBTQ community, NU.nl reports.
The deportation of an Armenian family, including three kids aged 8, 5 and 3 years, will happen as scheduled on Monday, despite political talks about easing the children's pardon for asylum kids who are rooted in the Netherlands. Emergency procedures to keep the family in the Netherlands were all rejected, the family's lawyer confirmed to RTL Nieuws.
On Saturday coalition party CDA announced that the party wants to extend the children's pardon, joining the D66 and ChristenUnie who have been calling for this for some time. The VVD is now the only one of the four coalition parties who wants to stick to the agreement made in the Rutte III coalition agreement, which states that the previous government's children's pardon will remain unchanged, the Volkskrant reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte made a number of thinly veiled insults aimed at Amsterdam while speaking on television program Buitenhof on Sunday. While speaking about the climate agreement, which the government and business community signed in December, Rutte mentioned the "Amsterdam elite" and later also the "white wine sipping elite", Het Parool reports.
Ruling party VVD is putting a brake on the climate measures in the climate agreement, which was signed in December. Party leader Klaas Dijkhoff does not want "ordinary people" to carry the bill for the climate measures. "It is not my agreement", VVD leader Klaas Dijkhoff said in an interview with the Telegraaf on Saturday. "I'm not going to do it."
Hundreds of Dutch Protestant pastors, prominent people in the church, as well as the party leader and a senator of Christian party SGP, signed a manifesto against LGBTQ people. The manifesto argues that marriage is meant to only be a covenant between one man and one woman, and that good Christians should always reject homosexuality. It also suggests that your sexual identity is something you can be healed of.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte kicked off the VVD's campaign for the Provincial States elections with an open letter published in multiple newspapers. In the letter, addressed to "all the ordinary normal people", Rutte calls on the Dutch to protect the Netherlands. Remarkably, the VVD is not mentioned once, AD reports.
Almost all parties in the Tweede Kamer want the government to amend Article 10 of a special emergency law for the Brexit. The 'Brexit Collective Law' will be implemented if the United Kingdom breaks with the European Union with no agreements in place. But the parliamentarians feel the law gives too much power to one minister and uncontrollable powers to the government, NOS reports.
The Den Bosch city council decided on Tuesday night to ban the release of helium balloons in the municipality. The balloons pollute nature and are dangerous for animals, the council parties who supported the ban said, NU.nl reports.
A large majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament supports the government's intention to sign the United Nations' new migration pact next week, was revealed in a debate on the matter on Tuesday.
In addition to coalition parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie, the pact is also supported by GroenLinks, PvdA and DENK, NU.nl reports PVV, 50Plus, SGP and FvD are against the pact. They fear that migrants may derive new rights form the pact. PvdD and SP are still considering.
Animal party PvdD will press charges against VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff on Tuesday for environmental pollution. Dijkhoff released 500 balloons at a VVD congress in Den Bosch on Saturday, AD reports.
With the release of the balloons, Dijkhoff responded to accusations that he released too many "test balloons" in his political work. He asked the the attendees of the congress to write down political ideas, which were attached to the balloons and released into the air.
A majority of the lower house of Dutch parliament is very concerned about the communication system for the emergency services and police C2000, which is provided by a Chinese company. "Our communication systems must never be unnecessarily vulnerable", the VVD said. The ruling party and opposition parties GroenLinks, SP and PVV therefore call for the Netherlands to stop using Chinese software for vital infrastructure, RTL Nieuws reports.
Several parties in the lower house of Dutch parliament voiced strong criticism on Prime Minister Mark Rutte's response to disturbances around various Sinterklaas celebrations in the Netherlands over the weekend. The Prime Minister's call for no demonstrations in the three weeks that Sinterklaas is in the Netherlands in particular led to bewilderment from the D66, GroenLinks, SP, PvdA, ChristenUnie, PvdD and DENK, among others, NU.nl reports.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, supports a proposal by ruling party VVD to build more nuclear power plants in the Netherlands. Opponents worry about nuclear waste and what it will mean for future generations, NOS reports.
The VVD proposal was supported by the VVD, PVV, CDA and FvD. Proponents believe that the Netherlands can not afford to outright reject nuclear energy. But they also point out the disadvantages - nuclear waste, the construction of a nuclear plant is a long process, and it is an expensive source of energy.
VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff is facing furious reactions on the way he responded to a 9-year-old boy telling him how afraid he was to be deported to Iraq. When the child told him that he thinks death waits in Iraq, the Liberal parliamentarian said: "Yes, well", RTL Nieuws reports.
Former Prime Minister Wim Kok (PvdA) passed away after a long illness, his family revealed on Saturday. Over the weekend King Willem-Alexander and various politicians responded to his death. Kok was a well respected man to whom the Netherlands owes a great deal of gratitude, was the general theme of their reactions.
Former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok has died at the age of 80 years old after fighting a lengthy illness. He became the country's leader following the election in 1994, when he led Labour (PvdA) into a coalition with the conservative VVD and centrist D66 parties.
"Wim Kok was a man worth looking up to," said current Prime Minister Mark Rutte. "Completely reliable, perfectly honest and always focused on a solution," Rutte said of Kok. "He was a man with a great sense of responsibility who placed high demands on himself and on those people who worked with him."