PVV attack home affairs minister over Amsterdam republic comments

PVV attack home affairs minister over Amsterdam republic comments

Home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren should be jailed for 30 years for calling on Amsterdam to break away and form a republic if the PVV came to power, party MP Martin Bosma said on Wednesday. In a 20 minute speech during the debate on the home affairs ministry budget, Bosma referred to comments made by Ollongren when she was deputy mayor of Amsterdam. 'Time after time, she has called for an independent Amsterdam,' Bosma said. 'She is making a fool of democracy.' D66 supporters, he said, consider PVV voters to be anti-social elements and want nothing to do with them. In accordance with the law, Bosma said Ollongren should either be jailed for life, or for 30 years for encouraging the capital to go it alone. The PVV has already put forward a motion of no confidence in Ollongren because she is a dual national. According to the Parool, Ollongren replied by accusing Bosma of spreading fake news. 'Bosma shows a lot of interest in me personally but not in my portfolio,' she said. 'I really can't take this seriously'.  More >



CDA MP safe, despite MH17 witness claim

CDA MP does not have to resign, despite role in priming fake MH17 witness Christian Democrat MP Pieter Omtzigt can remain in his job as a parliamentarian, despite his role in priming a fake witness to the MH17 disaster at a meeting with relatives, his party has decided. Omtzigt stepped down as the party’s spokesman on the MH17 crash on Monday, two days after the NRC reported he had helped a man, Aleksandr R, attend the meeting. During the gathering, R claimed to have seen other aircraft in the sky near the Malaysian Airlines plane at the time it was shot down in July 2014, The NRC reported at the weekend that Omtizgt met R before the meeting and helped script his question. But it quickly emerged that R had not been at home on the night of the crash and he had already been interviewed by officials who had discounted him as a witness. Omtzigt wrote in a tweet on Saturday that he regretted his intervention. ‘In my determination to get answers on this subject I behaved inappropriately at this meeting,’ he said. CDA leader Sybrand Buma said on Tuesday afternoon after a meeting involving all 19 CDA MPs that the party accepted his explanation of what happened. The party has ‘great respect’ for the way Omtzigt has acted since the NRC published the revelations, Buma said. ‘He can continue to contribute fully through his other positions and the rest of the party has urged him to do this.’ Sacking Omtzigt, who is a popular MP and had nearly 100,000 preference votes at the last election, could have caused problems for the new coalition alliance, which  only has a majority of one in the lower house of parliament.  More >


VVD wants to scrap pop music subsidies

VVD wants to call time on subsidies for popular music He who pays the piper calls the tune, but if VVD MP Arno Rutte has his way, the government will no longer foot the bill for touring pop musicians after this year. Rutte, who in his spare time sings with spoof rockabilly band Harige Harry & The Ladyshavers, said he wanted to cut subsidies for pop music in the next budget. 'If you can't live from your work, you're not a pop musician,' he told a debate on culture in parliament. In the MPs' register of outside interests in 2014 Rutte declared earnings of around €300 a year from his musical performances. Opposition politicians defended the subsidies as a lifeline for bands starting out on their careers. 'Pop music isn't just Kane and Kensington,' said Socialist MP Peter Kwint. Rutte said he was prepared to consider funding for 'infrastructure' to help rising musicians, but 'we no longer want to see direct and substantial subsidies for pop music.' Rutte tabled a motion in 2014 to scrap government funding for popular music, but only managed to secure the backing of his own party, the PVV and the SGP.  More >


Belgium hits back at Rutte economy claims

PVV attack home affairs minister over Amsterdam republic comments Belgium's finance minister has rebuked Mark Rutte for using his country as an example of what could go wrong if the Netherlands goes back on plans to scrap dividend tax. The abolition of the tax, which will cost the treasury €1.4 billion, is one of the most controversial policies in the new coalition's programme for government, partly because none of the four parties included it in their election manifesto. Rutte has maintained that the move is necessary to keep multinational firms in the Netherlands after Brexit. Analysts expect the UK to try to lure companies away from the EU by undercutting its corporate tax rates. In his weekly TV interview with NOS on Friday Rutte cited Belgium as an example of what could happen if the government failed to take pre-emptive action. 'In Belgium there are no international companies left, with one exception. That has a huge effect on jobs.' The Belgian government said Rutte was ill-informed and had gone too far with his insinuation that the Netherlands' southern neighbour was an 'economic desert'. 'Our economy is currently very different and a lot better than the Dutch prime minister would have people believe,' said finance minister Johan Van Overtveldt. A spokesman for Belgian prime minister Charles Michel described Rutte's comments as 'very clumsy' and called on him to phone Michel to clear the air.  More >


Omtzigt attacked over MH17 'fake witness'

Omtzigt faces calls to quit over ‘fake witness’ who spoke at MH17 meeting Christian Democrat MP Pieter Omtzigt has come under fire over claims that he helped a fake witness to the MH17 disaster over Ukraine infiltrate a briefing attended by victims' relatives. The man, Aleksandr R., told a meeting in May that he had seen other aircraft in the sky near the Malaysian Airlines plane at the time it was shot down in July 2014, and asked who he should approach. Omtzigt, who was on the panel, replied that he should submit his testimony to the Joint Investigation Team. NRC reported at the weekend that Omtizgt had met R. before the meeting and helped script his question. But it quickly emerged that R. had not been at home on the night of the crash and he had already been interviewed by officials who had discounted him as a witness. Omtzigt wrote in a tweet on Saturday that he regretted his intervention. 'In my determination to get answers on this subject I behaved inappropriately at this meeting,' he said. In mijn gedrevenheid op dit dossier om vragen beantwoord te krijgen heb ik op deze bijeenkomst onzorgvuldig gehandeld. Dat betreur ik. — Pieter Omtzigt (@PieterOmtzigt) November 11, 2017 NRC said it had a tape recording of the private meeting between Omtzigt, Aleksandr R. and an amateur investigator of the MH17 crash who introduced them. It also published details of SMS messages in which Omtzigt advised the Ukrainian's interpreter on how he should phrase his question at the end of the session. The suggestion that other planes were in the air at around the time of the crash has been repeatedly put forward by Russia as an alternative theory to the official investigation's conclusions that MH17 was shot down by a Buk missile fired from territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Omtzigt's tenacious campaigning on the MH17 investigation has won a mixture of praise and criticism. Prime minister Mark Rutte has accused him of making 'below the belt insinuations' about the disaster and last May told him to choose between 'continuing to make political capital out of MH17 or wanting us to reach a conclusion and hopefully convict the bad guys.' However, with the CDA now one of the junior partners in Rutte's new coalition, any action against Omtzigt could have unwanted consequences for a government with a one-seat majority in Parliament. Omtzigt's party did not respond to the allegations at the weekend, though CDA leader Sybrand Buma said that removing him from his role as MH17 spokesman was 'not on the agenda'. Buma later said he would spend the next few days considering Omtzigt's position, while issuing a qualified defence of the MP: 'I'm convinced Omtzigt only has one aim: to bring the truth about the circumstances of the disaster to light.' VVD elder statesman Frans Weisglas, a former chair of the Lower House, said the allegations against Omtzigt, if proven, 'justified his departure from Parliament'. Het aanzetten tot een valse getuigenis inzake #MH17 door @PieterOmtzigt rechtvaardigt alleszins diens vertrek uit de Kamer. @sybrandbuma @cdavandaag @nrc — frans weisglas (@fransweisglas) November 11, 2017 Relatives of those who died also vented their anger at the weekend's revelations. 'If this is true, it's very serious,' Evert van Zijtveld, chair of Stichting Vliegramp MH17 told AD. 'He needs to be held responsible.' Hella Hueck, who chaired the meeting in May, said she did not feel at the time that Omtzigt had tried to influence the discussion. 'He helped me and the organisers prevent the man from delivering a half-hour tirade,' she told WNL. 'It's not the case that he arranged speaking time for him, because it was an open meeting.'  More >