Cabinet crisis talks enter third day, negotiators more optimistic (update)

Dutch luxury car maker Spyker is bankrupt

Talks aimed at averting a cabinet crisis after three Labour senators voted down controversial health insurance reforms, continued on Thursday, with both sides showing more optimism that a solution will be found. Prime minister Mark Rutte cancelled plans to attend an EU summit because of the crisis. Rutte has asked Luxemburg's prime minister to speak at the conference on his behalf and foreign minister...  More >

Wilders to be prosecuted for hate crimes

Dutch luxury car maker Spyker is bankrupt The public prosecution department is to take anti-Islam party leader Geert Wilders to court for discrimination and encouraging hatred after he led supporters in an anti-Moroccan chant at a post-election meeting. ‘Politicians can go far in what they say, that is part of freedom of speech. But the freedom is limited by the ban on discrimination,’ the short prosecution department statement said. The department said in October it was investigating Wilders and formally questioned him on December 8. Wilders said in a statement at the time he would not take back his words and that he did want ‘fewer Moroccans’ and ‘less Islam’ in the Netherlands. Wilders also said he would not allow himself to be silenced. The investigation dates back to a post-vote meeting with supporters in The Hague in March, when Wilders asked the crowd ‘and do you want more or fewer Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands?’ To which the crowd chanted ‘fewer, fewer, fewer’. ‘We’ll...  More >

Airbnb to collect Amsterdam tourist tax

Airbnb to start collecting tourist tax for Amsterdam city council Holiday accommodation booking site Airbnb is to start collecting tourist tax on behalf of Amsterdam city council, news agency ANP says on Thursday. The site is also to give more information about the city’s rules for approving Airbnb letting and work together with officials to combat abuse, ANP reports. Some 10,000 city apartments are currently let out via Airbnb, leading to a surge in complaints from neighbours. Until now, landlords themselves have been charged with collecting the tax but many failed to do so. Tourists have to pay 5% for every night they stay in the city. The new agreement between the city council and Airbnb means the online booking service will keep 5% of every booking made for holiday housing in Amsterdam from February. Hotels in particular had complained that their guests have to pay tourist tax but many Airbnb landlords avoided it. Airbnb already collects tourist tax on behalf of San Fransisco, where the company first started its operations.  More >

Dutch luxury car maker Spyker is bankrupt

Dutch luxury car maker Spyker is bankrupt Dutch luxury car company Spyker has been declared bankrupt after failing to find a bridging loan while it refinanced and restructured. Spyker, which was launched 15 years ago, filed for court protection from its creditors at the beginning of December to address ‘short-term operational and liquidity challenges’. ‘In 2000 we launched efforts to get a super sports car brand off the ground with a worldwide distribution network and that is what we have achieved,’ the Financieele Dagblad quotes chief executive Victor Muller as saying. ‘As far as I am concerned, this is not the end nor the beginning of the end,’ Muller said. Muller hopes to relaunch the brand as soon as possible, the FD says. Spyker was briefly owner of Sweden's Saab in 2011 and also operated a Formula One racing team for a time.  More >

MP wants Muslim job ban at Schiphol

Dutch MP calls for ban on Muslims working in Schiphol security zone An MP for the anti-Islam PVV has attempted to get parliament to vote on a motion which would have effectively barred Muslims from working inside the Schiphol airport security zone, broadcaster Nos says on Thursday. Dion Graus, who normally champions animal rights on behalf of the PVV, did not gather enough support from other MPs to have the motion debated. According to broadcaster Nos, this is extremely rare because MPs usually agree all motions should be debated as a democratic right. Graus criticised MPs for failing to back his calls for a debate and said they would be jointly responsible if there was a terrorist attack at the airport. VVD MP Ton Elias said Graus had overstepped ‘important boundaries’ with his statements. If he had made such comments outside parliament, they would have been a criminal offence, Elias said. Graus’ action and statement came on the same day that the public prosecution department said it would be taking PVV leader Geert Wilders to court...  More >