The executive committee of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, asked former D66 leader Alexander Pechtold to lead the renovation of the Binnenhof in The Hague, State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said in a letter on Wednesday evening. Pechtold was chosen to be "process chairman" due to his "knowledge and expertise", Knops said, NOS reports.
The appeal in the hate speech case against PVV leader Geert Wilders will continue. The court in The Hague saw no reason to declare the Public Prosecutor inadmissible, as Wilders had requested. The court will, however, allow the defense to call former Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten, former head of the Public Prosecution Service Herman Bolhaar and a number of senior officials to testify as witnesses, NOS reports.
Rob Jetten is the new leader of the D66. The parliamentary faction chose the 31-year-old unanimously on Tuesday. Jetten is succeeding Alexander Pechtold, who announced on Saturday that he is leaving the party and politics, NU.nl reports.
"I'm really looking forward to working with this faction", Jetten said, according to the newspaper. "We have 19 talented parliamentarians, we work well together and will continue to do so."
Alexander Pechtold is resigning as leader of the parliamentary faction of the D66, he announced at the party congress in Den Bosch on Saturday. The party will choose a successor on Tuesday. It is "time for a new generation", Pechtold said n his farewell speech, NU.nl reports.
PVV leader Geert Wilders put forward a proposal to ban all forms of Islamic expressions in the Netherlands during the first day of the General Considerations, the parliamentary debate on the government's plans and budget for the next year, on Wednesday. The proposal was immediately shot down by the other parties, NU.nl reports.
The VVD's proposal to punish law breakers in problem neighborhoods twice as harshly as someone from another neighborhood, led to sharp accusations during the first day of the General Political Considerations, the parliamentary debate on the government's budget and plans for next year, on Wednesday.
D66 councilor in Meppel Anne Lok resigned from the city council and left the party over a relationship she had with D66 leader Alexander Pechtold. In her resignation letter she made strong accusations against Pechtold, including of abuse of power and misconduct, AD reports.
"As you undoubtedly know from the popular weekly magazines, I had an affective relationship with the leader of my party, Alexander Pechtold. You will also have learned that this relationship ended in a very painful way for me", Lok wrote in her resignation letter, according to the newspaper.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs is facing the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday on statements he made about multicultural societies. He faced fierce criticism from the parliamentarians, including from coalition parties D66, CDA and ChristenUnie. Only populist parties PVV and FvD outright supported his remarks, NOS reports.
The government parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie reached an agreement on the budget for 2019 and agreements were made about how dividend tax will be abolished, the parties said after a final meeting on Thursday evening. The parties would give no details about their agreements. That will be presented on Budget Day, the third Thursday in September, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte refused to answer substantive questions about a tax deal between Shell and the Tax Authority in the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, leaving parliamentarians furious.
The entire opposition, with the exception of the SGP, supported a motion of censure against Prime Minister Mark Rutte in a parliamentary debate about secret memos surrounding the Rutte III government's decision to abolish dividend tax, NU.nl reports.
During the government formation, documents were drawn up about the controversial abolition of the dividend tax - tax companies pay on profits paid out to shareholders, the Ministry of Finance confirmed to Trouw. Previously Prime Minster Mark Rutte said that the party leaders do not recall the existence of such documents, NU.nl reports.
The Ministry of Finances refuses to make the documents public, Trouw writes.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold will not be prosecuted for a remark he made about Russians. His remark does not constitute group insult and is not punishable, the Public Prosecutor announced on Wednesday.
Geert Wilders and his lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops want the appeal in the hate speech trial against the PVV leader postponed until after the Public Prosecutor decided what to do with discrimination charges pressed against D66 leader Alexander Pechtold over a remark he made about Russians.
Wilders and Knoops sent the request for postponement to the Court of Appeal in The Hague on March 1st, the PVV confirmed to RTL Nieuws.
GroenLinks won big in the municipal elections and is now the largest party in cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht. With all votes in 325 out of 335 municipalities counted, it seems almost certain that the CDA will remain the biggest party in the Netherlands, RTL Nieuws reports.
In the final debate before the municipal elections, the national party leaders of all parties represented in parliament had a final chance to convince voters to vote for their party on Wednesday. While the debate was for the municipal elections, the party leaders mainly focused on national issues on Tuesday evening, NU.nl reports.
The Public Prosecutor in Arnhem is investigating charges filed against D66 leader Alexander Pechtold after it was revealed that he received an apartment in Scheveningen from a former Canadian diplomat as a gift and dit not report it to parliament's gift register, Omroep Gelderland reports.
A half-Russian Tilburg man pressed discrimination charges against D66 leader Alexander Pechtold over is reaction to the affair around Foreign Affairs Minister Halbe Zijlstra lying about a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
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.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold responded defensively to a commotion that arose around a beach home apartment in Scheveningen, The Hague that he received as a gift from a former Canadian diplomat. According to Pechtold, the apartment, worth 135 thousand euros, was a private gift from an old family friend and therefore does not have to be registered with the Tweede Kamer gift register, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Dutch government is postponing the implementation of the new data mining law for the intelligence and security services. Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations will send a letter to the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday to inform them that it will not be possible to appoint a supervisory committee before the law was set to take effect on January 1st, NOS reports.
The new coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are debating their new government agreement with the opposition parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Thursday. As far as Prime Minister Mark Rutte is concerned, the government agreement is not set in stone and the coalition is open to discussing changes with the opposition parties, NU.nl reports.
After the longest formation process ever in Dutch history, the new Dutch government of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie presented their government agreement to the Tweede Kamer and released it to the public. "The coalition agreement is ambitious and balanced", Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte said at a press conference after the agreement was handed to the Tweede Kamer, the Volkskrant reports.
After 208 days of negotiations, the new Dutch government coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie can almost take office. On Monday the negotiators of the four parties presented their new government agreement to their parliamentary factions, and all four parties approved it. It will be presented to the press and the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, later today, according to RTL Nieuws.