DutchNews podcast – The Blackface Barbies and Bonnetjes Edition – Week 41

Photomontage with a removal van driven by Willem Holleder with the slogan 'We aren't moving' and trailing a cardboard box containing Dick Advocaat in a party hat and a number of expenses receipts.

It's been a week of comings and goings after Russian spies were ejected from The Hague, Pim Fortuyn's assassin was allowed to emigrate, and Zwarte Piet got a last-minute reprieve. Ajax returned from Germany with a point in the Champions League and Unilever looked poised to stay in Brexit Britain despite the Dutch government's offer of a tax sweetener. In our discussion we try to bring you up to speed on the national soap opera that is the Willem Holleeder trial. TOP STORY Russia condemned for foiled cyberhack at OPCW headquarters Dutch did not arrest Russian spies 'to avoid damaging relations' NEWS Unilever ditches plan to consolidate headquarter operations in Rotterdam Children's daycare centre plans legal action to stop ban on electric wagons Broadcaster clarifies stance on Zwarte Piet: 'Some will be black' Judges say killer of Pim Fortuyn can emigrate Dutch MEPs want to open up expenses claims SPORT Ajax 'deserved to win' Champions League encounter with Bayern PSV still seeking first CL point after succumbing to canny Inter (Volkskrant, Dutch) Dutch women face Denmark in World Cup play-offs  More >

NL foreign minister welcomes Brexit deal

News that the British cabinet has agreed to support Wednesday's agreement on Britain's withdrawal from the EU has been welcomed by Dutch foreign affairs minister Stef Blok as ‘a good step’. ‘The Netherlands and the other 27 members states will study the concept text, including the political declaration, very carefully,’ Blok said. ‘The way the deal over customs union as a back stop demands close examination.’ The Dutch government, he said, will also look at the documents from the perspective of the Dutch interest, and ‘extra attention will be paid to agreements on the level playing field and fishing.’ The Netherlands has been particularly concerned about the impact of Britain's withdrawal on the Dutch fishing industry, much of which is based in the UK. Agreement on the deal, which still has to be approved by European leaders, the European parliament and the British parliament, has led to sharply divided reactions in both the Netherlands and Britain. ‘The mindf*ck is that many are now relieved that there is initial agreement, while of course the entire #Brexit affairs is a lose-lose that we will long remember,’ said Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake on Twitter. Businessman Stephen Huyton, who has lived in the Netherlands for 23 years, says the deal avoids the 'cliff edge' scenario but still has a long way to go. 'Since the document was published last night and is almost 600 pages long, it’s going to be a case of the devil in the detail. Until the experts have read the documents in full I will reserve judgement,' he told DutchNews.nl. 'On a personal note, as I understand it, a UK national will cease to be an EU resident as from end March so will be obliged to use non EU passport lines like somebody from, say, Australia. This is going to be a challenge at Schiphol.' Citizens' rights The parts of the withdrawal agreement on citizens rights were agreed in March and have not changed since then despite a Europe-wide campaign for change. This means British nationals will be able to stay, work and use the healthcare services in the Netherlands but will lose their right to move to another EU country. Some 87,000 people in the Netherlands currently hold British nationality, according to the latest figures from national statistics office CBS. Blok said last month the Netherlands will ensure a ‘decent solution‘ for British citizens in the Netherlands if there is a no-deal Brexit. ‘We will not abandon these people,’ Blok said. ‘Even in a no-deal scenario we will make sure there is a decent solution so that British nationals can stay in our country after March 30, 2019.’ DutchNews.nl has asked both the foreign affairs ministry and the immigration service IND for comment. More to follow You can comment on this story using the section below.  More >

PVV will not join Steve Bannon's movement

The Dutch anti-Islam party PVV will not join the far right European political movement launched by US president Trump's former advisor Steve Bannon. Marcel de Graaff, who leads the PVV in the European parliament, told broadcaster NOS in an interview that the project involves people whom 'we absolutely do not want to work with'. 'That is why we are explicitly distancing ourselves from The Movement,' he said. In particular, Belgian politician Mischael Modrikamen 'is making all sorts of political statements which we do not support,' De Graaff said. The launch of The Movement has twice been postponed and is now scheduled to take place in January.  According to broadcaster NOS, other right-wing populist parties, including the Front Nationale and Sweden Democrats, have also said they do not support the plan.   More >