Cigarettes become more expensive, cigarette packs get a neutral appearance and the range of soft drinks with less sugar is expanded. These are a few measures that are presented in the National Prevention Agreement presented in the Friday. According to the RIVM, the plans are ambitious, but “sharper measures” are needed.
“This is the start of a movement”, said Prime Minister Mark Rutte Friday after the Council of Ministers. Secretary of State Paul Blokhuis: “We live in a very prosperous country, many people suffer from affluent diseases in the Netherlands, we want to help those people.”
In the coalition agreement it has been agreed that the health of the Dutch person must be promoted by means of a National Prevention Agreement. The agreement drawn up by the Cabinet, the business community, the healthcare sector and civil society organizations is aimed at tackling smoking, overweight and problem drinking.
No smoking areas, cigarettes to 10 euros, no stunt prices
In addition to the aforementioned measures, the government wants to reduce the number of smoking areas. In the catering industry, the smokehouses must have disappeared before 2022. The smoking rooms at companies must be gone no later than one year later.
Contrary to earlier reports, the price of cigarettes does not immediately rise to 10 euros. Instead, the Cabinet will carry out an evaluation in 2021, after which the prices may increase to a decade in 2023. In addition, smokers who want to stop receive help from the health insurers, without this being at the expense of their own risk.
To prevent alcohol abuse, it has been agreed that alcohol offers are limited to a discount of 25 percent. With the measures, the government hopes that by 2040, less than 5 percent of adults will still smoke and that young people and pregnant women will no longer reach for a cigarette or consume alcohol.
There would also be a tax on sugar to prevent obesity, but that measure did not meet the National Prevention Agreement. Instead, the aim is for producers to market soft drinks with 30 percent less sugar on the market.
RIVM argues for sharper measures
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) sees that the measures taken by the government are ambitious and have a beneficial effect on the approach to tobacco use, alcohol abuse and obesity, but warns that the targets are unlikely to be met.
According to the RIVM, the tobacco agreements will be effective, but the measures to combat overweight and alcohol abuse are less effective. That requires “sharper measures”, according to the institute.
Thanks to the House of Representatives’s invitation by Ryanair chief executive O’Leary
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary does not think about joining a roundtable discussion with the Lower House about safety and working conditions in aviation.
He thinks the other speakers are not sufficiently competent and fears that the meeting is intended as ” a non-factual publicity campaign against Ryanair ”.
That is what O’Leary writes in a letter to the Parliamentary Committee for Infrastructure and Water Management, which the airline had invited for the interview.
He also writes that he finds it unjustified that MPs accuse him of paying his staff too little. According to him, allegations about short rest periods for staff are also pertinent false.
Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Public Works) recently told another top official of Ryanair in an interview “explicitly advised” to come to the hearing so that the company could give its vision there, she said in the Lower House.
She also highlighted the concerns of MPs about the working conditions of the company during the conversation.
Revenge for strike action Dutch pilots
Ryanair recently closed its base at Eindhoven Airport. The company had been struggling for some time with the staff there, which required to be paid and treated according to Dutch standards.
The Dutch judge previously concluded that the decision to close the base was taken unlawfully and probably served as revenge for earlier strikes by Dutch pilots. In the same judgment, it was ruled that Ryanair should not force a group of Dutch pilots to move and not be allowed to dismiss.
GroenLinks wins in Groningen as low attendance of municipal elections
The attendance at the municipal elections on Wednesday was low. Due to municipal reclassifications on 1 January, people in 37 municipalities could go to the polls to choose a new city council.
Largest parties per municipality
- Groningen: GroenLinks (11), PvdA (6), D66 (5), SP (5)
- Haarlemmermeer: VVD (7), HAP (7), CDA (5), Forza (5)
- Northeast Friesland: CDA (7), FNP (5), CU (4), S! N (4)
- Beekdaelen: CDA (7), Renovation group (6), Beekdaelen Lokaal (5), VVD (4)
- Westerkwartier: VZ Westerkwartier (6), CU (6), CDA (5), GroenLinks (5)
- Het Hogeland: Municipal interests (8), CDA (6), PvdA (4), CU (4)
- Altena: CDA (8), Altena Local (6), SGP (5), CU (4), Progressive Altena (4)
- West Betuwe: Village interests (5), SGP (5), CDA (4), VVD (3), CU (3), LLBWB (3)
- Hoeksche Waard: CDA (8), De Lokalen (6), SGP (6), VVD (4)Five-league countries, results are not yet known
- Noordwijk: NZLocal (5), VVD (5), CDA (5), PUUR Noordwijk (4), Lijst Salman Noordwijk (4)
- Molenlanden: Do Mee! (7), CDA (6), SGP (5), CU (5)
GroenLinks has won a monster victory in Groningen, Haren and Ten Boer. With 11 of the 45 seats, the party is almost twice as big as the other largest parties. On January 1, 2019, the three municipalities will be merged.
The second largest party in Groningen is the PvdA, which has won six seats. Then follow D66 and SP with five seats each. In 2014, D66 became the largest in both Groningen & Haren.
The turnout was 44.1 %, much lower than four years ago in Groningen (54.5 %), in Haren (75.5 %) & Ten Boer (64.4 %)
VVD in Haarlemmermeer the largest
At the municipal elections in Haarlemmermeer, Haarlemmerliede and Spaarnwoude, the VVD has won seven seats, making the party the largest. On 1 January, the three municipalities will merge to the municipality of Haarlemmermeer.
The local party HAP also won seven seats, although this party received slightly fewer votes than the VVD. Next CDA (5), Forza (5), GroenLinks (4) and D66 (3) follow.
It is a preliminary result. 39 seats could be divided into Haarlemmermeer. The turnout percentage was 34.9 %. In total more than 118,000 were allowed to vote.
CDA wins in Northeast Friesland and Beekdaelen
In the new municipalities of Northeast Friesland (Friesland) and Beekdaelen (Limburg) the CDA will become the largest party.
The CDA has seven seats in the municipal council of Northeast Friesland, in which the current municipalities of Dongeradeel, Ferwerdaradiel and Kollumerland are merged. After this, the local party FNP follows with five seats and the ChristenUnie with four.
The other five parties that sit on the board are S! N (4), VVD (3), PvdA (3), ICs (2) and ELP-NEF (1). The turnout was 46.37 %.
In the future municipality of Beekdaelen (Limburg), a merger of the municipalities of Nuth, Onderbanken and Schinnen, the CDA also won seven seats. Next are Renewal Group (6) and Beekdaelen Lokaal (5).
The VVD gets three seats, GroenLinks two and the PvdA and D66 each receive one. Slightly more than 50 % of voters have cast their vote in Beekdaelen.
Profit to local parties in Westerkwartier and Het Hogeland
Local parties have won victories in the municipalities of Westerkwartier (Groningen) & Het Hogeland (Groningen). These are preliminary results. The preference votes will be counted on Thursday.
In Westerkwartier, a merger of the municipalities of Leek, Zuidhorn, Grootegast and Marum, VZ Westerkwartier & ChristenUnie each with six seats.
Next CDA & GroenLinks followed with five seats. The PvdA takes place on the council with four seats, the VVD with three and the new party Sterk Westerkwartier with two. D66 and 50Plus each have one seat. The turnout of 50 % is lower than in 2014.
Municipal interests have become the largest in Het Hogeland with eight seats. Bedum, Eemsmond, De Marne and Winsum merged on 1 January. Furthermore, the distribution of seats is as follows: CDA (6), PvdA (4), ChristenUnie (4), GroenLinks (3), SP (2) & VVD (2). 52.5 % of voters have cast their vote.
CDA biggest in Altena, Village interests and SGP winners in West Betuwe
In the future municipality of Altena (North Brabant) the CDA has become the largest party with eight seats. The local party Altena Lokaal ended in second place with six seats.
Furthermore, the SGP won five seats and the VVD three. ChristenUnie and Progressive Altena each ended with four seats. Finally, Burgerstem Altena has a seat on the board. The turnout was 52.15 percent. The municipality is created by the merger of the Land van Heusden and Altena: Aalburg, Werkendam and Woudrichem.
In the Gelderland town of West Betuwe, in which Geldermalsen, Neerijnen & Lingewaal merge, Village interests & the SGP have become the largest parties with both five seats. The CDA won four seats and the VVD, ChristenUnie and the local party LLBWB gained three.
United West Betuwe, D66, PvdA and GroenLinks all four with two seats on the council. The attendance percentage has stuck at 52.5 %.
In the South Holland region CDA is a big winner
In the fusion municipality Hoeksche Waard (South Holland), where 37 seats were to be divided, the CDA has achieved the profit. The party takes place in the council with eight seats. The Lokalen and the SGP follow with six seats & the VVD won four. Furthermore, three seats go to D66 and two to both the PvdA & the ChristenUnie.
The turnout came just above 46 %. Strijen, Cromstrijen, Oud-Beijerland, Korendijk and Binnenmaas join forces in the merged municipality.
Also in Vijfheerenlanden the CDA received the most votes in the municipal elections. The municipality will be formed on 1 January by Leerdam (South Holland), Zederik (South Holland) and Vianen (Utrecht) and will become part of the province of Utrecht.
How many seats the parties have won there is not yet known. The distribution of seats will not take place until after Thursday the preferential votes have been made. The SGP and VHL Lokaal seem to be number two and number three, respectively. In total, 46 percent in the turnout in the new municipality.
As of 1 January, Noordwijk, Noordwijkerhout and De Zilk will be operating in the new municipality of Noordwijk (South Holland). The distribution of seats is as follows: NZLocal (5), VVD (5), CDA (5), List Salman (4), PUUR Noordwijk (4), GroenLinks (2), D66 (1) & PvdA (1).
Profit for local party in Molenlanden
In the new South Holland municipality of Molenlanden the local party Doe Mee! the winner. The party got 4,485 votes and gained seven seats. Second was the CDA with six seats. SGP and ChristenUnie each won five seats and the VVD three. Finally, Progressief Molenlanden takes place with one seat on the board.
Mayor Assen says VVD membership out of dissatisfaction about party course
Mayor Marco Out van Assen has canceled his membership of the VVD on Thursday, because he can not find himself in the current course of the party.
Out, who says goodbye to the party after 25 years, writes in a message on Facebook on Thursday that the VVD’s positions have recently come more and more from his “values and opinion”.
“More and more often I caught up with the fact that I felt uncomfortable when the letters VVD were connected to my name or function as mayor,” says Out. The mayor states that he no longer feels represented by the elected representatives who were also elected by him.
According to the mayor, the reason for the cancellation was a sum of events. Among other things, it concerned several controversial pilot balloons from the VVD faction in the House of Representatives.
Constraint demonstration right was a drop
The proverbial drop was the appeal made by VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff to restrict the right of demonstration, the day after the disturbances surrounding the Sinterklaas tour.
Out also refers to Dijkhoff’s controversial idea of distributing harsher sentences in certain districts. The plan “goes completely in” against his sense of justice, writes Out.
In addition, the call of the VVD to abolish the discretionary authority of the Secretary of State of Asylum has led to “great amazement and disbelief” at Out. “I am convinced that a strict and stringent asylum policy is necessary”, according to the mayor.
“At the same time, partly because of my own experiences, I am convinced that it is necessary to have a procedure that makes sensible exceptions to the rules in force, and I do not feel for a society where rules are placed beyond reason.”
Out accuses party of ‘political handjeklap’
He also criticizes the way in which the Senate with the help of the VVD this week has removed the Crown Appointment of the mayor from the Constitution. Out speaks of “political handjeklap”.
“The Senate as party political body, rather than as the place where careful review of decision-making takes place“, says Out.
Out has been Burgervader van Assen since 2014. He says he will continue as a party-free mayor.
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