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Country profile for Netherlands

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

Unselected
Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Unselected
Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Green (Low Risk)
Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Amsterdam
  • Major Languages: Dutch, English
  • Currency: Euro
  • Timezone: GMT +1:00

Country Map

Map of Netherlands

The Netherlands is a stable and well-developed modern European democracy with limited security concerns. As in most western countries, there is a moderate threat of terrorism in the country. Terrorist cells are believed to operate in some areas of the Netherlands. In September 2018, seven people were detained in Arnhem and Weert for suspicious of plotting a massive terrorist attack. The operation happened in conjunction with Danish authorities. In March 2019, three people were killed after a gunman opened fire in a tram in Utrecht. A 37-year-old Turkish national was detained in the attack. Police launched an investigation to assess the motives of the incident, while terrorism has not been ruled out.

In the 2017 general election, Mark Rutte was elected the country’s prime minister after his People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) secured 33 seats in the House of Representatives. Despite falling short of a majority, the VVD managed to reach an agreement with three other parties to form a government. However, the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) of Geert Wilders also secured strong results, coming in a close second place. VVD’s dominance in Dutch politics was short-lived. In the 2019 Senate election, the VVD lost its majority after notorious results of the new-born populist Forum for Democracy (FvD). Additionally, in October 2019, the VVD has also lost its majority in the lower house of parliament after one of their MPs chose to stand as an independent following an internal grievance.

Levels of crime in the Netherlands are similar to those in most European countries. Petty crimes, such as pickpocketing and mugging, are the most likely to affect visitors to the country. The risk is heightened in major urban areas and tourist sites. Although incidents of violent crime are sporadically reports, they rarely affect tourists as most of them are linked to organised crime or retaliation between rival gangs. Standard precautions should be undertaken.

Located in western Europe, the Netherlands typically enjoys a temperate climate with minimal associated risks. Although rare, incidences of extreme weather cannot be ruled out altogether and can occur unexpectedly. In July 2021, widespread devastation and disruption was caused when a bout of unusually heavy rainfall caused rivers across western Europe to overflow, leading to significant flash floods across parts of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. 

The Netherlands is among a number of countries worldwide which have been hit by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The latest case figures can be viewed here.

News articles

By The Guardian

Dutch crime reporter dies nine days after shooting

The Dutch crime reporter Peter R de Vries has died just over a week after he was shot in the head in central Amsterdam, the veteran journalist’s family said in a statement released to local media.

View all articles for Netherlands

Alerts for Netherlands

LGBT protest to take place in Rotterdam

An LGTB protest is set to take place in Rotterdam over the coming weekend. The demonstration has been scheduled for Saturday 25 September and will begin in the Stadhuis area, where participants will gather for an 11:00 local time start before making their way towards the Parkkade area by 14:00, where a further demonstration will then be staged. The protest has been organised by several LGBT organisations to demonstrate against recent cases of hate crime and violence towards members of the LGBT community.

Foreign minister quits over Afghan chaos

Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag has announced her decision to stand down form the role over her handling of the Afghan evacuation last month. Kaag came under heavy criticism for failing during the crisis and has accepted the government acted irresponsibly. She is the first Western government official to resign over the chaos in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover. Dutch MPS passed a motion of censure against her, saying the government was too slow to response and as a result, had left behind many Afghans who should have been able to flee.

Climate protest planned for Amsterdam

A climate change protest is due to take place in Amsterdam in early November. The demonstration is set to take place on Saturday 6 November and will coincide with the UN climate conference being hosted in Glasgow, UK. The protest has been organised by a group of climate change activists and environmental organisations, including Greenpeace, Fridays for Future, Oxfam, and Extinction Rebellion, among others, in a bid to highlight the impact of climate change.

Man killed in Boelenslaan altercation with police

A man has been killed following an altercation with police officers in Boelenslaan, Friesland. The incident occurred on Thursday, during the early hours of the morning at around 01:15 local time in Boelenslaan's De Fjouwer Roeden. It's understood the male suspect had attempted to ram police officers with his car following a brief chase, prompting an armed response from police personnel. The man was shot and seriously injured, dying at the scene. No other casualties were incurred.

Protest held against Covid-19 passes in The Hague

A protest has been held in The Hague against Covid-19 restrictions, including a planned health pass. The demonstration took place on Tuesday in the Turfmarkt area and coincided with a press conference which was being held by the outgoing cabinet. The protesters reportedly chanted slogans against the implementation of the so-called 'coronapass' - a health pass which is set to come into effect in the country from Saturday 25 September. Protesters are also alleged to have set off fireworks as part of the demonstration.

Rotterdam shooting kills one

One person has reportedly been confirmed dead following a recent shooting incident which occurred in Rotterdam, South Holland. The shooting apparently took place late in the evening on Monday 13 September in the Laantjesweg area of the city, shortly after 22:30 local time. The motive behind the shooting has yet to be determined and no suspects have been identified thus far as police continue to investigate.

Protest scheduled for Rotterdam

A protest has been scheduled to take place in Rotterdam next month. The demonstration is set to be held on Sunday 17 October and has been organised by a group called 'Woonopstand' to protest against a worsening housing crisis in the country. Protests aim to put pressure on the government to draft new housing policy. 

Utrecht to stage Fridays for Future protest

A Fridays for Future demonstration for climate change is set to take place in Utrecht later this month. The protest has been scheduled for Friday 24 September. The event will start at 14:00 local time in the Jaarbeursplein area. Some generalised disruption throughout the immediate and surrounding area should be anticipated for the duration of the protest.

Protest held at Ede migrant centre

A protest has been staged at an Afghan migrant reception centre in Ede, Gelderland. The demonstration was held on Tuesday at the Harskamp military camp, where a migrant reception centre has been established for Afghan refugees. According to reports, the protesters were rallying to demonstrate their opposition to the arrival of the migrants. Several protesters allegedly set tyres alight whilst shouting anti-Afghan chants directed at the refugees.

One killed in Rotterdam stabbing

One person has been killed and two others have also been injured following a stabbing which recently occurred in Rotterdam. The incident was reported over the weekend, when several victims are understood to have sustained stab wounds during an altercation in the Jongkindstraat area. The police were called to the scene shortly after midnight on Saturday and have since confirmed the casualties. Three arrests have been made in connection with the incident.

Crime reporter shot in Amsterdam dies

A prominent Dutch crime journalist has died, nine days after he was shot in Amsterdam. Peter R de Vries was targeted outside a TV studio on 6 July on the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat. "Peter fought to the end, but was unable to win the battle," said his family in a statement. Two suspects were arrested in connection with the attack.

Floods cause disruption in Limburg

Floods in the Netherlands have led to significant widespread disruption throughout the southern province of Limburg. A large number of houses have been damaged by floodwaters, while care homes in the region have also been evacuated as a precaution. No deaths or major casualties have been reported in the Netherlands so far. The floods have been caused by heavy downpours, which have caused major rivers across parts of western Europe to burst their banks. In neighbouring parts of western Germany, 42 people have died and dozens more remain missing amid severe flooding. Six deaths have also been reported amid floods in Belgium, where evacuation orders have been issued to residents in Liege.

PM apologises for lockdown easing

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has issued an apology for easing Covid-19 lockdowns too soon. Following the recent rise in infection figures, Rutte called the move - which saw the government scrap most Covid-19 restrictions nationwide last month - "an error of judgement", as transmission levels surge to their highest so far this year. The spike in cases has led to restrictions and curbs being reimposed on bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. Rutte had previously stood by the relaxation of measures, calling it the "logical step", but has since gone back on this after more than 10,000 new virus cases were reported on Saturday - the highest in a single day since December 2020.

Farmers protest nitrogen policy

Demonstrations have been launched across parts of the country by groups of farmers opposed to the government's nitrogen policy. Protests have been held at multiple locations, including in Arnheim, Assen, Den Bosch, The Hague, and Zwolle. In The Hague, protesting farmers reportedly congregating on Wednesday in the Malieveld area, leading to traffic disruption.

Crime journalist wounded in Amsterdam shooting

Prominent crime journalist, Peter R de Vries, has been wounded in a shooting incident which has occurred in the capital, Amsterdam, on Tuesday evening. The investigative journalist was allegedly targeted by a gunman just minutes after leaving a TV studio on the Lange Leidsedwarrsstraat in central Amsterdam. Three suspects have been detained in connection with the attack, including a suspect thought to be the shooter. De Vries is well known for expose pieces targeting drug lords and mobsters, and has helped police solve several high-profile cases. The journalist has received multiple threats in recent years and has at times been granted police protection. According to reports, five close range shots were fired at de Vries, who was hit in the head and has sustained serious injuries.

Three wounded in knife fight, Amsterdam

Three people were wounded in a knife fight in Amsterdam on Thursday night. Police said four people had been arrested in connection with the incident, which took place in the Rembrandtpark in the Nieuw-West district. Weapons were recovered from the scene and investigations are ongoing.

Extinction Rebellion protests to be held in Amsterdam

Extinction Rebellion activists are due to stage demonstrations in the capital city of Amsterdam over the weekend. The protest event is called 'Rebellion of One' and will see multiple rallies take place throughout the city on Saturday 12 June. Protests are due to start from midday onwards, with demonstrators reportedly planning to block roads in some places- likely leading to road disruption. Travel delays should be anticipated in affected areas.

Protesters demand release of Belarusian prisoners

Protesters in Amsterdam have held a demonstration in the capital to call for the release of political prisoners being held by the Belarusian government. The demonstration was held over the weekend in Dam Square - a popular protest point. The protest against the Belarusian government comes after journalist Roman Protasevich's controversial arrest by the Belarusian authorities, which made the arrest after forcing Protasevich's plane to divert whilst en route from Greece to Lithuania due to a bomb threat which turned out to be false.

One killed in Amsterdam stabbing

One person has been killed and four others wounded in a stabbing in Amsterdam. Police said the incident occurred on Ferdinand Bolstraat at around 23:00 local time on Friday. A 29-year-old man has been detained in connection with the incident.

Pro-Palestine protests scheduled

Various pro-Palestine protests have been scheduled across the Netherlands over the coming weekend. Demonstrations are due to take place on Saturday 22 May in Amsterdam, Almere, and Leeuwarden. In Amsterdam, the protest will take place in Dam Square at 14:00 local time. In Almere, demonstrators are due to meet from 15:00 - 17:00 in the Esplanade area. In Leeuwarden, the protest will be held in the Oldehoofsterkerkhof area from 14:00. The protests come in solidarity with the Palestinian people amid the recent flare up in the Israel-Gaza conflict. Some general disruption should be anticipated.

Armed suspect shot dead in Amsterdam police shootout

An armed suspect has allegedly been shot dead while six others have also been arrested following a police shootout near Amsterdam. The shootout occurred on Wednesday afternoon at around 14:15 local time following a car chase. Dutch police reportedly chased the suspects along roads and across a meadow towards the village of Broek, north of Amsterdam, before apprehending the suspects - who were allegedly armed with automatic weapons and opened fire on police, triggering a fatal gunfight. The car chase was prompted by the suspects attempting to carry out a robbery on a vehicle transporting up to $60m worth of gold and diamonds. Of the six suspects arrested, at least two were also injured in the firefight.

Climate change protests to be held in Heerlen and Arnhem

Groups of climate change activists have organised protests to be held in Arnhem, Gelderland, and in Heerlen, Limburg, on Tuesday 18 May. The demonstrations are due to be staged outside the front of the Shell oil power plant in the Driepoortenweg area of Arnhem, and in front of the ABP pension fund building on Oude Lindestraat in Heerlen. Both Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace activists are known to be taking part in the protests, along with activists from Fossil-free NL. General disruption should be anticipated around both areas.

Police detain 100 protesters in Utrecht

Over the weekend, around 100 protesters were reportedly detained by police in Utrecht. The arrests were made during a pro-Palestine demonstration which was being held in the city on Saturday afternoon. The protest was being staged in the Jaarbuersplein area but overran its agreed finishing time, prompting police to take action in an attempt to disperse the crowds. Further pro-Palestine protests are likely to take place in most towns and cities nationwide over the course of the coming week.

Fatal stabbing reported in Zwolle

A fatal stabbing incident has been reported in Zwolle, Overijssel, leaving one person dead. The incident allegedly happened on Friday morning in the Bitterstraat area of Zwolle, where the emergency services were called to the scene after witnesses reported a stabbing. The police have cordoned off the area between Bitterstraat and Pannenkoekendijk as investigations are carried out. It's understood the suspect remains at large. Police say they are looking for a white man with blond hair, estimated to be about 1.8 metres tall, wearing a black jacket and dark-coloured trousers.

Protests planned in Amsterdam and The Hague

Pro-Palestine demonstrations are due to be held in Amsterdam and The Hague over the coming weekend. Two protests have been scheduled for Saturday 15 May in The Hague - the first of which will be held at Hofplaats from 14:00 to 16:00 local time. The second protest will be staged in the Malieveld are from 14:00 to 18:00. In Amsterdam, protesters are expected to congregate in Dam Square at 14:00 on Sunday 16 May. The protest is due to last for approximately three hours, finishing by 17:00. 

Minor killed in The Hague stabbing

A minor has reportedly been killed in a recent stabbing incident which occurred on Thursday in The Hague, South Holland. Reports indicate the victim was fatally attacked by an unknown armed assailant at around 20:20 local time in the Rijswijkseweg area. The police have launched an investigation into the killing; however, no arrests have been made so far and the motive behind the attack has yet to be determined.

Extinction Rebellion protest held in Amsterdam

An Extinction Rebellion demonstration is reportedly being staged in the city of Amsterdam, North Holland. The protest is being held at a roundabout in the Amstelveenseweg area on Friday morning. The event will see participants cycle laps around the roundabout in a bid to raise awareness for climate change issues. Those taking part in the protest began to gather from 08:00 local time onwards this morning for an 08:30 start time. The demonstration is expected to continue until 11:00, but could overrun. Disruption to traffic throughout the immediate and surrounding area should be anticipated. 

Stabbing reported at Utrecht station

A stabbing incident has been reported at Utrecht Central train station in Utrecht. The incident allegedly occurred on Wednesday afternoon on the Jaarbeurs side of the station. Police were dispatched in response to the incident, which reportedly left one person injured. Three arrests have been made in connection with the stabbing - the motive behind which has yet to be publicly confirmed. The incident is thought to have been an isolated event and is not being treated as terror-related.

Temporary travel ban issued for all fights from India

A temporary travel ban has been issued by the Dutch government for all passenger flights arriving from India. The ban is to be in effect from Monday 26 April and will remain in place until Saturday 1 May at the earliest, subject to continual review. The measure comes in response to rapidly rising Covid-19 cases in India, which is currently struggling to cope with a major second wave of the virus.

Lockdown measures to last until 28 April

The Dutch government has announced that the curfew and other restrictions will remain in place until at least 28 April. An ANP spokesperson said that the earlier 21 April date "is still too early." On Sunday health authorities reported 8,218 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the highest daily increase in more than two weeks.

Netherlands temporarily halts AZ vaccinations

Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge has announced a temporary halt to AstraZeneca vaccinations as a precautionary measure. This comes after a Dutch organisation that monitors vaccine side effects said on Friday that it had received five reports of blood clots with low blood platelet counts following vaccinations. DPA news agency further reported that one person died. All the cases occurred between seven and 10 days after the vaccinations and all the people affected were women aged between 25 and 65. De Jonge said, “I think it is very important that the Dutch reports are also properly investigated."

Police fire water cannons to disperse protesters

Dutch police used water cannons to disperse anti-lockdown protesters in Amsterdam on Saturday. A crowd of around 250 people refused police orders to end the protest before officers deployed water cannons. A lockdown has been in place since 15 December 2020 and the protest on Saturday followed similar outbreaks of public anger at the restrictions.

Anti-lockdown protest to be held in Amsterdam

An anti-lockdown protest is due to be staged in the capital city of Amsterdam this weekend. The protest comes as the Netherlands remains in a strict lockdown amid the continued Covid-19 pandemic. The demonstration has been organised to protest against coronavirus restrictions and is expected to take place in the capital on Saturday 20 March. Those participating in the event are likely to begin gathering at protest locations from 11:00 local time onwards, with the protest due to start at midday, lasting until 16:00. General disruption should be anticipated throughout much of central Amsterdam.

PM Mark Rutte claims fourth election victory

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has claimed victory in the country's general election, securing his fourth term in office. Rutte's centre-right liberal VVD party is understood to have won the most seats in parliamentary elections, winning 35 out of 150 seats, while centre-left liberal D66 won 24 seats. The results provide Rutte with a mandate to form a new coalition government. Rutte's win comes despite his last government resigning in January over a child welfare fraud scandal. Turnout for the election was high, at 82.6 percent. The election was widely seen as a referendum on the Dutch government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dutch head to polls for general election

Dutch citizens are heading to the polls on Wednesday 16 March to vote in a key general election. Prime Minister Mark Rutte is the favourite to win the election, which would see him secure his fourth term in office. Some 37 different political parties are competing in the election, which will be the first "Covid election" in the EU this year as the Netherlands remains under a strict lockdown. Rutte's predicted win comes despite a turbulent year following a governmental racial profiling scandal and the delayed roll-out of the country's vaccination programme. Vulnerable voters were allowed to submit their ballots on 15 March, with general voting getting underway tomorrow.

Use of AstraZeneca vaccine suspended

The Netherlands has suspended use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine amid fears surrounding a potential link to an increased risk of blood clotting among recipients. The country joins several other European countries in suspending use of the jab over the concerns, despite recent evidence suggesting there is no indication of any link between the vaccination and reports of blood clots. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency have both backed the vaccine made by AstraZeneca, which also conducted an extensive review over the weekend finding no direct correlation. In a statement, the Dutch government said it was taking precautionary action in temporarily suspending the jab following reports of potential side effects. The suspension will cause delays in the country's vaccination programme.

Police fire water cannons at anti-lockdown protest

Police have fired water cannons at anti-lockdown protesters in The Hague. Around 2,000 people gathered at a park in the city to complain against Covid-19 restrictions. Officers also used batons and dogs as they tried to disperse the crowds, who gathered a day before the country holds general elections. Several people were arrested at the event.

Protest held outside US Embassy

A protest is being held outside the US Embassy in The Hague. The demonstration started at 13:30 local time on Friday and is set to continue until 16:00 this afternoon. According to reports, the protest has been organised to demonstrate support for the detained leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, whose democratically-elected government was overthrown by a military coup last month. Disruption should be expected throughout the immediate and surrounding area.

Covid-19 curfew extended

The Dutch government has confirmed plans to extend the night time curfew amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The curfew will now remain in place until the end of the month, with a provisional expiry date of 31 March - although this is subject to review and possible further extensions. The decision to extend the measure came as the rate of infection in the Netherlands remains high. With the national election due to be held from 15-17 March, Prime Minister Mark Rutte has confirmed that temporary curfew exceptions will be made for voters.

Blast occurs near Bovenkarspel Covid-19 test centre

An explosion has reportedly occurred near a Covid-19 test centre in Bovenkarspel, North Holland According to initial reports, the blast happened on Wednesday morning. Police have responded to the scene and are carrying out full investigations to determine the cause of the explosion. No casualties have been reported as a result of the blast.

Two injured in North Brabant stabbing

Two people have been wounded following a stabbing incident which occurred in Schijf, North Brabant. The stabbing reportedly occurred on Wednesday evening near a camping site in the Molendreef area of Schijf. According to reports, three men and two women were arrested in connection with the incident later that same evening. It's believed the incident came about as a result of an argument which escalated violently.

Covid-19 curfew extended

 A curfew which has been enforced in the Netherlands as part of nationwide Covi-19 restrictions is now set to be extended. According to reports, the Dutch government confirmed plans to continue the coronavirus curfew, which will now remain in place until 02 March. The extension comes as the country's Covid-19 death toll hits 14,428, while the national caseload surpassed the one-million mark over the weekend.

Storm Darcy causes major travel disruption

Widespread travel disruption has been reported across the Netherlands due to the impact of Storm Darcy. Rail connections with Germany have been suspended, Eindhoven airport has closed and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has warned of potential delays. A "Code Red" weather warning has been issued across the country in response to heavy snowfall, strong winds and freezing temperatures.

Dozens detained as anti-curfew protests enter third day

Dozens of people have been arrested as the Netherlands entered its third day of anti-curfew protests. Civil unrest broke out across major cities after Prime Minister Mark Rutte imposed a curfew - enforced between 21:00 and 04:30 local time - to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Stores were vandalised and barricades sent on fire when riot police were deployed to disperse the crowds. Incidents were reported in Den Bosch, Tilburg, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and other cities. This is the first time that a curfew has been imposed in the Netherlands since the Second World War.

Police arrest notorious international drug-trafficker in Amsterdam

Police have arrested a notorious international drug-trafficker in Amsterdam. Tse Chi Lop was known as one of the most prominent drug-traffickers in Asia. He is responsible for running a multi-million-dollar drug empire known as 'The Company' or the 'Sam Gor Syndicate'. According to reports, his organisation dealt more than $70bn in illegal drugs in Asia. In the Netherlands, he is claimed to be responsible for 70 percent of all drugs entering the country. He was arrested at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. Tse has been on the Interpol's most wanted list since 2019. His arrest was part of a major international multi-agency operation led by the Australian authorities.

Police clash with anti-lockdown protesters

Police clashed with demonstrators staging a protest in the southern city of Eindhoven. Dozens of people took to the streets to protest new coronavirus restrictions that were implemented in the Netherlands. Demonstrations also took place in Amsterdam, where several shops were looted. According to the police, a local testing centre in the northern town of Urk was set on fire. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge condemned the incident. A night curfew has been imposed in the Netherlands between 21:00 and 04:30 local time. Coronavirus cases in the Netherlands are dropping in the last few weeks. The country has reported nearly 1m cases and 13,000 deaths.

National lockdown to be implemented across the Netherlands

A nationwide lockdown is expected to be imposed across the Netherlands as the country has detected a new variant of the coronavirus. RTL reported that the government is set to announce the new restrictions that will include a curfew enforced between 20:30 and 04:30. Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the restrictions will remain in place until at least 09 February. Rutte resigned last Friday but will continue to act as the caretaker PM in the interim, with a new government expected to be formed in mid-March after new elections are held. In recent weeks, coronavirus cases in the country have decreased. However, the country is quickly approaching the one-million-case mark.

Protest held against Covid-19 restrictions in Goes

A protest has been held against coronavirus restrictions in Goes, Zeeland. According to recent local reports, the demonstration was staged on Tuesday in the city centre, with approximately 50 people in attendance. The protest was apparently organised in response to plans to enforce a local night-time curfew in line with nationwide measures to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 amid the ongoing pandemic. 

Thousands stage anti-lockdown protest in Amsterdam

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Amsterdam as part of an unauthorised demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands. Police officers clashed with protesters around the Museum Square after 2,000 people gathered to demonstrate. Police fired water cannons at protesters to disperse the crowds. For several weeks, the Netherlands has been facing stringent restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus. The government has recently announced the extension of the coronavirus lockdown until at least the end of January.

Over 1,000kg of cocaine seized at Rotterdam port

More than 1,000kg of cocaine has been seized by the authorities at a port in Rotterdam, South-Holland. The seizure was made over the weekend, with the first consignment of drugs estimated to weigh just shy of 840kg, while the second weighed in at around 230kg. The drugs were discovered in a shipping container with two vintage Volkswagen campervans and a load of beer. The drugs reportedly came from Brazil. Preliminary reports indicate the recipient of the cars is not thought to be involved with the smuggling as the smugglers had most likely switched the drugs with the original goods from containers.

Government resigns over benefits scandal

The Dutch government has resigned over a benefits scandal surrounding childcare subsidy. Mark Rutte's government stepped down on Friday after thousands of families were wrongfully accused of committing child welfare fraud and ordered to pay the money back to the state. Pressure on the government to resign increased after an opposition leader stepped down on Thursday. Rutte submitted the cabinet's resignation to the king saying "innocent people have been criminalised and their lives ruined". Many of those affected by the scandal were from an immigrant background and were subsequently plunged into financial hardship as a result of the severe governmental mishap.

PM Rutte's coalition could collapse over childcare benefits scandal

A political crisis has emerged in the Netherlands which could lead to the collapse of the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The leader of the Labour party opposition, Lodewijk Asscher, has handed over his resignation after a scandal related to childcare benefits emerged - Asscher was the Dutch social affairs minister at the time. The case concerns wrongful allegations made by the tax authority that parents engaged in fraud. As many as 20,000 families were accused of receiving childcare benefits fraudulently and were ordered to repay them to the government. In addition, the scandal also highlighted the conduct of the tax authority towards alleged social profiling. Several current ministers are involved in the case, including the health, justice and social affairs ministers. Rutte leads a four-party coalition that could collapse on Friday or face a vote of confidence next week. 

EMA recommends approval of Moderna vaccine

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended the authorisation of the use of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the US-based Moderna. Countries in the EU have already kicked off their vaccination campaign last week after the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The European Commission is expected to meet in order to approve the second vaccine that was already approved in the US. The EU has ordered around 160m doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Anti-lockdown protest held in Haarlem

A protest against lockdown measures has been held in the Haarlem area of North-Holland. The demonstration took place in the Vlooienveld area on Sunday, from morning till mid-afternoon, with several hundred in attendance according to local reports. It's been reported that no public health measures were installed or enforced by the coordinators of the event, which was organised to protest against government-imposed Covid-19 health and safety measures aimed at preventing the further spread of Covid-19 during the ongoing pandemic.

EMA approves use of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the EU

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the use of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the European Union (EU). A so-called conditional authorisation has been granted for the vaccine to be administered to those aged 16 and over. EU member states are expected to start their vaccination campaign next week. The same vaccine has already been approved in the UK and the US. Full authorisation to distribute the vaccine still has to be supported by the European Commission.

Documents of Moderna vaccine accessed in EMA cyberattack

Documents of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the US-based Moderna have been accessed in a recent cyberattack targeting the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Last week, EMA confirmed to be the target of a cyberattack that also led to access to documents of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Moderna said that personal data from trial participants were not compromised. EMA confirmed that investigations are ongoing. It said that data has been breached and "a limited number of documents belonging to third parties were unlawfully accessed."

Five anti-lockdown protesters arrested

Five anti-lockdown protesters have been arrested by police amid demonstrations in Rotterdam and the Hague. The arrests were made on Monday after two protests were convened against coronavirus lockdown measures. Both demonstrations were held in the evening and were both in violation of government-imposed lockdown restrictions on public gatherings.

Two alleged Russian spies expelled

The Netherlands has expelled two Russian nationals accused of working for Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service. The alleged Russian spies were reportedly in the country as diplomats but have been accused of targeting the high-tech sector and building a "substantial network of sources" within the industry. Moscow has responded to the allegations and subsequent expulsions, calling the move "unfounded" and "provocative". Both diplomats have been declared persona non grata and must now leave the Netherlands.

FVD leader will not lead party in upcoming parliamentary vote

The head of the far-right Forum for Democracy (FVD) has said that he will not lead the party in the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2021. Thierry Baudet's decision came after reports emerged that members of the FVD's youth wing exchanged far-right and anti-Semitic messages in online chats. The party said that investigations were launched. The FVD was considered as an emerging populist power in the Netherlands after the party won two seats in parliament. Preliminary polls suggest that the FVD could double or triple its seats in the next vote.

Protest reported in Maastricht

A protest has taken place in Maastricht over the weekend. Clashes broke out during the Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) demonstration, which was staged in the Mosae Forum on Sunday. Police intervention came about when protesters clashed with counter-protesters, leading to projectiles being thrown. At least one person has been injured while five arrests have been made.

PM Rutte condemns threats against teacher in Rotterdam

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has condemned threats made against a teacher after an incident in Rotterdam. According to the police, a teenager was arrested after posting a threatening message on social media against her school and teacher. The alleged threats came after a discussion about a political cartoon during a class earlier this week. Lawmakers in the Netherlands also condemned the threats and raised questions on freedom of expression. The situation echoed the case in France where a teacher was killed after presenting cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad at a school near Paris.

Dutch hospitals to request assistance from German counterparts

Hospitals in the Netherlands will be prepared to request assistance from their German counterparts due to a rise in hospitalisation amid the coronavirus crisis. The hospital association LNAZ said: “We are about to ask for the transfer of patients to hospitals in Germany again". Last week, the number of people hospitalised in the Netherlands has surpassed 1,500. The country has currently entered into a partial lockdown as several areas are reporting a record daily increase in coronavirus cases.

Partial lockdown measures imposed in the Netherlands

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said that partial lockdown measures will be introduced in the Netherlands to control the spread of the coronavirus. From Wednesday, new rules will be implemented across the country. The new measures will include limits on social gatherings, alcohol sales will be banned during the evenings and the use of face masks indoors will be mandatory. In the last two weeks, the Netherlands has reported one of the highest infection rates in Europe. Since March, the country has reported more than 181,000 cases and around 6,500 deaths.

Elderly woman dies after coronavirus reinfection

An 89-year-old woman has become the first known coronavirus patient to have died of the virus after contracting it twice. In a report published by the Oxford University Press, it shows that the patient was reinfected with coronavirus nearly two months after being discharged from the hospital. New symptoms started to develop after she was submitted to new chemotherapy treatment. Cases of coronavirus reinfection are rare, but more than 20 of them were reported worldwide. According to the report, the woman was suffering from a condition known as Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia.

More than 3,000 coronavirus cases confirmed in 24 hours

The Netherlands has reported a record-high increase in daily coronavirus cases after more than 3,000 new cases were confirmed on Tuesday. According to the National Institute for Health (RIVM), this is the highest daily increase reported since the pandemic hit the country. The RIVM said that in all regions the number of cases has increased significantly. Similar to other European countries, the Netherlands is feared to be facing a second wave of coronavirus infections. So far, the country has reported more than 114,000 coronavirus cases and around 6,400 deaths.

New Covid-19 measures introduced

New coronavirus restrictions are to be introduced in the Netherlands as Covid-19 cases continue to rise amid the country's second wave. On Monday, the daily increase in cases neared the country's record increase of infections diagnosed within a single 24-hour period - marking a concerning trend which could see rises of of 5,000 new cases per day by next week. Among the new rules imposed in the Netherlands include the mandatory wearing of a face mask in shops, while restaurants and bars will be required to close by 22:00 local time. People will be advised to work from home; social gatherings inside homes must not exceed three people, and fans will not be able to attend sports events. Unlike its European neighbours, the Netherlands had largely avoided strict measures until now. The measures will start on Tuesday and last for three weeks.

Travel restrictions between major cities could be imposed in the Netherlands

Travel restrictions could be imposed across major cities in the Netherlands due to a rise in coronavirus cases. NOS reported that the government may impose enhanced measures in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam ahead of a potential second wave of infections. Prime Minister Mark Rutte said last week that he will allow regional measures to be introduced. Official data shows that nearly 3,000 new coronavirus cases were reported on Monday.

Covid-19 rebellion supporters criticised

High profile figures have been criticised for lending their support to a movement against efforts to combat Covid-19. The rebellion campaign is being led by a group called 'Virus Truth' and has received the backing of celebrities and influencers using the hashtag "I'm out" and encouraging their followers to abandon measures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. The group promotes the conspiracy theory that the virus risk has been exaggerated in order for governments to violate public freedoms and fundamental rights. The campaign comes as Covid-19 numbers have increased in the Netherlands, with infection rates increasing by 60 percent this week.

Extinction Rebellion protesters block main road in Amsterdam

A protest by Extinction Rebellion activists has caused traffic disruption along the A10 road in Amsterdam. The demonstration has been taking place on Monday as part of a larger protest over climate change. The road was blocked at around 07:30 local time, when around 250 protesters reportedly chained themselves together to block off the road. The police have responded to the scene and have peacefully removed the protesters in accordance with Covid-19 social guidelines.

Deadly shooting incident reported in South Holland

Van rams police vehicle in Amsterdam

Two people have been injured following an incident in Amsterdam, where a van rammed a police vehicle several times on Friday morning. The incident occurred at around 04:30 local time on Muntplein and left one police officer injured as well as the driver of the van. The suspect also drove over two police motorcycles, which did not have any officers on at the time. According to reports, the motorbikes had been set up along the street as part of a roadblock meant to stop the man. When the suspect drove over the bikes, several warning shots were then fired the van driver. The police then used pepper spray to get the suspect under control before arresting him. The van he was driving also caught on fire. The circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear as investigations get underway.

Coronavirus cases in the Netherlands increase drastically

Coronavirus cases in the Netherlands have suffered a significant spike, reaching the highest levels since the end of April. Official data shows that last week more than 5,400 cases were confirmed in the country, a 50 percent increase when compared with the previous week. The Netherlands has so far reported more than 76,000 coronavirus cases and 6,200 deaths.

Protests detained in The Hague

Dutch police have detained more protesters following recent demonstrations in The Hague. Several arrests were made on Thursday after protesters gathered to rally near the Binnenhof outside the parliamentary complex. According to reports, the arrest were made on the basis that the group had violated the government's Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings. A police officer was also allegedly injured whilst making arrests after clashes broke out between protesters and the police at the Plein, where a group of around 200 had gathered.

Blast reported at local officials home in Castricum

An explosion has been reported at a property belonging to a local official in Castricum, North Holland. Initial reports indicate the blast occurred in the home of Castricum city councillor Ralph Castricum during the early hours of Wednesday morning in the Kortenaerplantsoen area. While the front of the house was damaged, no casualties have been reported and the police are investigating the incident. It's believed unidentified individuals aimed fireworks at the property; however, the police have not confirmed this report and no arrests have been made thus far. It's possible the attack was motivated by the councillor's involvement with right-wing nationalist party, 'Forza!'.

Five detained amid unrest in Rotterdam

Five arrests have been made amid violent unrest in Rotterdam, South Holland. According to reports, the unrest escalated overnight in the Vuurplaat and Tweebosstraat areas of the Feijenoord district. Riot police were allegedly called in to assist efforts to disperse the crowds after rioters began vandalising and setting fire to trees, vehicles, and waste. Among those arrested include three minors. Another five arrests were also made in Utrecht in connection to unrest there.

Police granted emergency powers amid unrest

The police have been granted emergency powers amid unrest in Utrecht and Amersfoort. The decision comes following incidence of civil unrest which occurred overnight. In Utrecht, the unrest was mainly centred in the Hoograven, Ondiep, and Zuilen areas. Meanwhile in Amersfoort, unrest was reported near the statue De Stier in the city centre, where police detained at least one person. According to reports, after responding to reports of a disturbance in Utrecht, the police were pelted with stones and fireworks. The decree gives police officers more powers to intervene, including dispersing crowds and making arrests. The unrest has been ongoing for several days now, with dozens arrested elsewhere in Utrecht over the weekend.

France, Malta and Netherlands removed from UK 'quarantine-free' list

France, Malta and the Netherlands have been removed from the UK's quarantine-free list. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the change, which also affects Monaco, Turks and Caicos and Aruba. The UK government said the change was necessary due to rising cases of coronavirus in those countries. There are estimated to be as many as 500,000 UK tourists at France, and the new rules are set to start from 04:00 on Saturday morning. All routes from France to the UK are expected to see a surge in passengers as people attempt to beat the deadline.

Significant increase in coronavirus cases reported in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has confirmed a massive increase in coronavirus cases. According to the Netherlands Institute for Public Health (RIVM), more than 4,000 coronavirus cases were confirmed last week, a 55 percent increase when compared with the previous week. In total, nearly 60,000 coronavirus cases and 6,100 deaths have been confirmed in the Netherlands. In late-July, the government imposed the mandatory use of face masks. A full list of coronavirus recommendations for tourists can be found on the government's website.

Police dismantle major cocaine lab in Nijeveen

Police have dismantled a massive cocaine lab in the north-eastern town of Nijeveen. AP reported that thousands of litres of chemicals and crack were seized during an operation on Friday. Police said on Tuesday that the lab was able to produce up to 200 kilos of cocaine a day. More than a dozen suspects were arrested, all of them of Colombian origin. This has been considered one of the largest drug labs ever dismantled in the Netherlands. The country is considered a major destination for drugs from South America, which mainly arrive through its port of Rotterdam.

PM Rutte advise tourists to avoid busy areas in Amsterdam

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has advised tourists to avoid busy areas of Amsterdam to curb the spread of coronavirus. The National Institute for Health (RIVM) has reported a gradual increase in coronavirus cases in the country, with more than 600 new cases confirmed on Thursday. Local authorities in Amsterdam are currently enforcing some restrictions, such as the mandatory use of face masks in several high-risk areas. A similar measure was also imposed in the port city of Rotterdam. The advice came just as the RIVM identified a spike in cases in the 20-40 demographic. Coronavirus cases in the country are nearing 60,000 with more than 6,100 deaths.

Face coverings mandatory in Amsterdam and Rotterdam

The wearing of face coverings has been made mandatory for the public in Amsterdam and Rotterdam amid the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. The new rule came into effect from 09:00 local time on Wednesday 05 August and applies in public places. Those under the age of 13 are exempt. Those not abiding to the rule could face a fine of up to 95 euros. The rule will be subject to review before the end of the month. Over the course of the last week, a total of six new covid-19 deaths and 2,588 new cases of infection have been recorded - marking a 95 percent increase from the week before. Over 200 active clusters of the virus have also been identified - the majority of which were located in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, or The Hague. Overall, the national total number of confirmed cases stands at 55,955 and the country's death toll is 6,150.

Six arrested in Wouwse Plantage torture chamber case

Six men have been arrested by police in connection with a case relating to the discovery of torture chambers in Wouwse Plantage, south of Rotterdam. An investigation was launched after seven shipping containers were discovered in April, which appeared to have been converted into cells and torture chambers. The containers hadn't been used yet and were linked to a criminal group, which are thought to have been using a building in Rotterdam as a base. According to reports, potential victims were identified by the police and are now in hiding. The suspects were detained last month following a joint operation by French and Dutch police during which an encrypted phone system (EncroChat) used by the criminals was infiltrated, leading to their arrests. The arrests are among 800 made across Europe following the intercepting and decoding of EncroChat messages between criminal groups.

Government to inject €3.4bn into KLM

Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra has announced that the government will inject up to 3.4bn euros intp the national airline KLM. Hoekstra said that the grant will be divided into two different parts, with an initial direct injection of one billion euros. A similar package worth 7bn euros has also been announced in France to assist Air France. Since 2004, KLM and Air France have been part of the same group. Several other airlines across Europe have also received government grants to assist a financial crisis in the aviation sector. According to Eurocontrol, flights in Europe have reduced by 78 percent so far this month when compared with the previous year. In April, flights fell by 93 percent.

Agriculture minister confirms four coronavirus cases in animals

Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten has confirmed that four animals in the country have tested positive for coronavirus. In a statement, Schouten said that one of the animals, a dog, is believed to have been infected by its owner. Similar cases have been reported across the world. The Netherlands' National Institute for Health has said that the risk of animal to human transmission is low. She confirmed that the dog was an American Bulldog, who was put down in late-April.

Coronavirus death toll rises to 5,643

The coronavirus death toll in the Netherlands has risen to 5,643 following a daily increase of 53 new virus-related deaths. The total number of confirmed covid-19 cases has also gone up and now stands at 43,681, after 200 new cases of infection were reported over the last 24 hours.

Five surfers killed off The Hague

At least five surfers have been killed when strong winds hit the coastal areas near The Hague. Reuters reported that rough sea conditions hit a group of surfers off the beach of Scheveningen. Rescue operations started on Monday evening and ended the next morning. No alerts have been issued by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI).

Covid-19 death toll up by 84

The total number of covid-19 deaths in the Netherlands has risen to 5,288 after 84 new virus-related deaths were registered in the past 24 hours, along with 455 new cases of infection - bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 41,774. The country's overall trajectory for the outbreak has been steadily declining in recent weeks, indicating they have passed the peak of the outbreak there.

Anti-lockdown protests held in The Hague

Anti-lockdown protests have been held in The Hague, South Holland, prompting police to make dozens of arrests. According to local reports, the protesters had gathered on Tuesday on the Koekamp near the Central Station to protest against coronavirus lockdown measures, which were introduced earlier this year in response to the global covid-19 pandemic. Arrests were made when the gathering became too large for social distancing measures to be observed in a safe capacity. At least 41,087 cases of infection have been reported in the Netherlands, including 5,168 deaths.

Coronavirus cases in the Netherlands tops 40,000

Coronavirus cases in the Netherlands have reached 40,000 after 199 new cases were confirmed on Monday. According to the Netherlands Institute for Health (RIVM), the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the country has surpassed 5,000. Reports show that the counties with the highest incidence of cases are located in the southern provinces, especially those in Noord Brabant. The government is expected to start to relax some coronavirus measures from 15 May.

Eighty-four new coronavirus deaths reported

At least 84 new coronavirus deaths have been reported in the Netherlands - taking the death toll there up to 4,795. An additional 514 new cases of infection have also been registered, bringing the national total number of confirmed coronavirus cases up to 39,316.

Coronavirus death toll up by 48

The death toll for the coronavirus in the Netherlands has risen by 48 over the last 24 hours, increasing to 4,566. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has also risen by 171 to 38,416. The latest daily figures from the Netherlands mark another fall in case numbers, compared to 400 new cases confirmed the day previously. The increase to the death toll has gone up by eight; however, the country continues to see an overall downward trend.

Two shootings reported in Dordrecht

Two shootings have been reported in the Dordrecht areas of South Holland, one of which was fatal. Both incidents occurred over the weekend, just hours apart. The first happened shortly before midnight on the night of 24 April, on Jacob van Heemskerkstraat, leaving one person dead. The second incident occurred barely an hour later at around 01:15 local time in the nearby Spirea area, leaving one person wounded. It's unclear if the incidents could be connected as police continue to investigate. No suspects have been identified thus far.

Over 100 new coronavirus deaths reported

More than 100 new coronavirus deaths have been reported in the Netherlands throughout the last 24 hours. On Friday it was confirmed that another 112 new fatalities had been registered - raising the covid-19 death toll to 4,289. Another 806 cases of infection have also been diagnosed, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Netherlands to 36,535.

Coronavirus death toll rises by 123

The death toll for coronavirus in the Netherlands has risen by 123 new confirmed fatalities over the last 24 hours, putting the total at 4,177. The country's national total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has also risen to 35,720, after an additional 887 new cases of infection were diagnosed.

Thousands evacuated due to forest fire near Herkenbosch, Limburg

More than 4,000 people have been evacuated after a forest fire broke out near the southern town of Herkenbosch, Limburg. All residents were forced to leave their homes due to risks associated with toxic fumes. The fire broke out on Tuesday evening at De Meinweg Nature Reserve. Local authorities said that people were transferred to shelters in the towns of Roermond and Urmond. The evacuation orders were issued as people remain indoors due to coronavirus restrictions.

Daily covid-19 increase of 729 new cases

The daily increase in the number of confirmed covid-19 cases in the Netherlands has raised the total number of cases to 34,134. The increase comes after 729 new cases of infection were diagnosed over the last 24 hours. At least 165 new deaths have also been confirmed in that same period - taking the national coronavirus death toll to 3,916.

Covid-19 death toll rises by 67

The death toll for covid-19 in the Netherlands has risen again after 67 new fatalities were confirmed over the last 24 hours. The latest daily increase has taken the country's death toll to 3,751, while an additional 750 newly diagnosed coronavirus cases bring the national total number of infections to 33,405.

Confirmed coronavirus cases pass 30,000

The confirmed number of coronavirus cases in the Netherlands has risen to surpass the 30,000-mark. Over the last 24 hours, at least 1,235 new cases of infection have been diagnosed across the country, taking the total to 30,449. An additional 144 new deaths have also been recorded, bringing the death toll there to 3,259.

Coronavirus deaths in the Netherlands reach 3,000

The Netherlands' Institute for Public Health (RIVM) has confirmed that the number of coronavirus deaths in the country has reached 3,000. According to the latest reports released on Thursday, the Netherlands have already reported more than 3,300 deaths. RIVM added that in total, more than 29,000 cases were confirmed nationwide. Counties located in the southern parts of the country have a higher incidence of hospitalisation. Most of them are located in Limburg and Gelderland.

Police shoot and injure suspect in The Hague

A suspect has allegedly been shot and injured by police in The Hague following a security incident on Wednesday morning. The suspect was apparently apprehended by police on Honthorststraat, where officers had been called out to respond to a noise complaint. Upon arrival at the scene, a man was found with a stabbing weapon. Officers reportedly tried to engage in conversation with the man and attempted to arrest him; however, a scuffle broke out which led to an officer discharging their service weapon, leaving the suspect with a gunshot wound to the leg. The street has since been cordoned off and a police investigation has been launched.

Over 100 new coronavirus deaths reported

More than 100 new coronavirus deaths have been reported in the Netherlands. The daily death increase of 101 new fatalities has taken the death toll in the Netherlands to 1,867. Meanwhile, an additional 952 new cases of infection have also been diagnosed, bringing the national tally to 18,803 as of Monday afternoon.

Over 100 new coronavirus deaths reported

Some 166 new coronavirus deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, along with more than a thousand new cases. The latest batch of cases takes the national death toll to 1,339 and the overall total number of cases reported to 14,697. Globally, more than 961,000 cases have been reported and over 49,100 people have died across 203 countries and territories.

Closures extended amid continued coronavirus outbreak

The Netherlands has announced plans to extend nationwide closures amid the continued outbreak of coronavirus. This will apply to schools, restaurants, and bars - which will have to stay closed for another month, or until 28 April at least. A full lockdown has not been enforced yet, but events and gatherings of three or more people who do not live together have been banned. Around 13,600 cases of the virus have been reported and the death toll currently sits around 1,173.

Coronavirus death toll surpasses 1,000

The death toll for the coronavirus in the Netherlands has now surpassd 1,000 after 175 new deaths were recorded over the last 24 hours - taking the new total number of fatalities to 1,039. An additional 845 new cases have also been diagnosed, raising the national tally to 12,595. Globally, more than 800,000 cases have been confirmed and some 39,000 deaths have been reported.

Coronavirus death toll rises to 864

The coronavirus death toll in the Netherlands has now risen to 864 after at least 93 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. An additional 884 new cases of infection have also been conirmed, taking the total number of cases to 11,750. The Netherlands is the eighth worst-affected country in Europe by the outbreak.

Coronavirus death toll rises to 546

The coronavirus death toll in the Netherlands has now risen to 546 confirmed fatalities after 112 new deaths were reported on Friday. An additional 1,172 new cases of coronavirus have also been reported in the last day, taking the national tally up to 8,603 confirmed cases of infection. The Netherlands has the seventh highest number of cases reported in Europe.

Coronavirus death toll tops 1,000

At least 78 new fatal cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the Netherlands - raising the national death toll to 1,019. Some 434 new cases of infection have also been reported, taking the overall total number of cases diagnosed as positive to 7,431. 

Eighty new coronavirus deaths reported

At least 80 new coronavirus deaths have allegedly been reported in the Netherlands over the last 24 hours, raising the total to 356 confirmed deaths. An additional 852 new cases of infection have also been diagnosed - taking the national total to 6,412 confirmed cases. The actual number of infections is likely to be much higher due to limited testing. Public gatherings are now banned until 01 June following an extension on the measure.

All flights from Spain banned due to coronavirus

All flights from Spain have been temporarily banned due to the coronavirus outbreak. The government announced the ban as part of measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The ban will last for two weeks from Saturday and will apply to all flights unless they are carrying Dutch nationals or medical supplies. Around 4,204 coronavirus cases have been confirmed and 179 deaths have been reported.

Thirty new coronavirus deaths reported

At least 30 new coronavirus deaths have been reported in the Netherlands - raising the total there to 106 confirmed fatalities. Some 534 new cases of infection have also been confirmed, taking the national tally to almost 3,000 cases.

Fifteen new coronavirus deaths reported

At least 15 new coronavirus deaths and 346 new infections have been reported in the Netherlands. The total death toll now stands at 58, while the number of cases has risen to 2,051. The latest figures come after it was announced that the Eurovision Song Contest had been cancelled due to the outbreak. The event had been due to take place in Rotterdam's 16,000 capacity Ahoy Arena in May.

Foreign nationals to be banned entry into the Netherlands

All foreign nationals from countries outside the EU will be denied entry into the Netherlands as the government introduces new countermeasures to address the spread of the coronavirus. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the measure on an interview to the national broadcaster NOS. Similar to other countries, the Dutch foreign ministry has also advised people not to travel abroad. At least 43 people have already died in the Netherlands after contracting the coronavirus. So far, more than 1,700 cases have been confirmed in the country. 

Malaysia Airlines MH-17 trial kicks off in Amsterdam

The trial over the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has kicked off in Amsterdam. In total, 298 people were killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down in eastern Ukraine back in 2014. In November last year, the Dutch-led Joint Investigative Team (JIT) - which also included Malaysia, Belgium, Australia and Ukraine - claimed clear links to militants of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko were charged with involvement. The three first are Russian nationals and the last is Ukrainian. They are all at large. They are accused of liaising with Russia to acquire heavy weaponry, such as the Buk surface-to-air launcher used to fire the Russian-made 9M38 missile.

First coronavirus death confirmed

The first fatal coronavirus case has been reported in the Netherlands. The death was confirmed on Friday as some 46 new cases were announced from over the last two days - raising the national total number of infections from 82 to 128.

Coronavirus cases double in number

The total number of coronavirus cases reported in the Netherlands has more than doubled. Cases reportedly rose from 38 to 82 over the last 24 hours, marking a severe uptick in infections. No fatalities have bee reported in the Netherlands thus far; however, the authorities are currently strategizing how best to cope with large numbers of students due to return from skiing trips in northern Italy. The 900 reportedly travelled to Italy despite warnings and against government advice last weekend. 

Prisoner shot dead by police in South Holland

A prisoner has been shot dead and two others have also been arrested after escaping from a psychiatric prison with a hostage in South Holland. The incident occurred in Poortugaal, where two prisoners allegedly escaped from the Kijvelanden clinic and got in a taxi. The taxi driver has been arrested, while one of the escaped prisoners was re-arrested. The hostage was safely retrieved with only minor injuries.

Tilburg reports first Dutch coronavirus case

The country's first coronavirus case has been reported in the town of Tilburg, where a man has tested positive for the virus. In a statement, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health stated that the man who had been diagnosed has been placed in quarantine to prevent the virus from spreading. It's believed he had recently travelled to the Lombardy region in northern Italy, where they are tackling an outbreak of the virus.

Transavia data leak affects thousands of passengers

A data leak affecting Dutch airline Transavia could impact some 80,000 passengers after an e-mail inbox containing the data was breached. Compromised data includes full names, date of births, flight information, booking numbers, luggage purchase, and additionally requested services, such as wheelchair assistance. Affected passengers include anyone who flew with the airline over a 10-day period between 21-31 January 2015, exclusing those who travelled to the Canary Islandsm Egypt, or the Lapland region of Finland. The airline confirmed no sensitive data was compromised, such as addresses, passport information, or credit card details. Tour operators and travel agencies have already been notified and affected customers will be individually contacted. Further investigation into the breach suggests the unwanted access was not aimed at obtaining the data, nevertheless, the airline has promised to improve cybersecurity measures.

Hundreds of farmers to stage protest in The Hague

Hundreds of farmers across the Netherlands headed to The Hague in a fresh protest against the government's emissions policies. Members of the so-called Farmers Defense Force organised a new demonstration on Wednesday as lawmakers are set to debate pollution in the agricultural sector. Last year, farmers brought major cities to a standstill after blocking major highways and national roads. Farmers' associations have condemned government remarks that they are the main source of pollution in the country. Grievances started when the EU accused the Netherlands of violating rules on nitrogen pollution.

Police intercept letter bombs in several locations across the Netherlands

Police officers in the Netherlands have destroyed two suspected explosive devices recovered in Amsterdam and in another southern Dutch city. According to the police, one of the devices was found at a mail facility belonging to the ABN AMRO bank in Amsterdam, while the second device was recovered in another mail facility in Kerkrade. Police also confirmed on Wednesday morning that another suspicious device was found in Maastricht. It is still unclear if the letter bombs are related to incidents reported earlier this year, where suspicious devices were set to hostels in Amsterdam, Maastricht, Utrecht and Rotterdam. 

Man shot dead in Amsterdam

A 26-year-old man has allegedly been shot dead in Amsterdam, sparking a police investigation. The victim was allegedly found with a gunshot wound inside a residential property in the Daalwijk area of the city during the early hours of Tuesday morning. Despite attempts by first responders to resuscitate him, the man died at the scene. The police have confirmed the incident but have stated that the circumstances surrounding the shooting remain unclear as investigations get underway.

Suspected letter bomb sent to luxury hotel in Amsterdam

A suspected letter bomb has been recovered at a luxury hotel in Amsterdam. De Telegraaf reported that special bomb disposal units were deployed to the Okura Hotel after a suspicious package was delivered on Friday morning. Reports have revealed that at least six suspicious packages and letters have been delivered across the Netherlands in less than a week. Police continue to investigate the incidents, which also occurred at a car dealership and a petrol station in Rotterdam. Another hotel and petrol station were also targeted in Amsterdam, while a real estate agency received another letter in Utrecht. Letters with undisclosed content have also been delivered in Maastricht. Preliminary investigations are targeting envelopes sent on behalf of a collection agency known as CIB. In a statement, the police have said that a criminal investigation is ongoing. People have been advised caution when receiving letters containing the CIB logo that is not directly printed in the envelope. In the event of receiving it, people are advised to directly call the police on 112.

Man and child die in apartment block fire

A man and his four-year-old son have died in a fire at an apartment block in Arnhem. The fire broke out over the New Year and appears to have been caused by fireworks. Two other members of the same family were also seriously injured in the fire. It's believed all four were stuck in the lift, which filled with smoke during the fire, having become stuck after the building's power cut out. Recent reports indicate the police are questioning two boys aged 12 and 13 over the incident.

Stabbing reported at Oisterwijk asylum centre

A stabbing has been reported at an asylum centre in Oisterwijk in North Brabant, leaving at least two people injured. According to local reports, the stabbing occurred at the Kieveitsblekweg asylum centre on Friday morning at around 06:00 local time. It's unclear what motivated the incident or if the police have managed to apprehend the suspect. The police indicated that officers have been called out to respond to violent incidents at the centre twice already this year, making Friday morning's stabbing the third such call-out.

Farmers launch fresh demonstration over nitrogen pollution claims

Several roads across the Netherlands have been blocked as farmers and construction workers launched a fresh nationwide demonstration. As the government pushes to promote revamped environmental pollution legislation, farmers continue to protest against claims that they are the country's largest groups of polluters. Grievances started back in May when the EU accused the Netherlands of violation rules on nitrogen pollution. Wednesday's protests were concentrated around the media park in Hilversum, where several of the country's broadcasters are based.

Man killed in Hoofddorp stabbing

A man has reportedly been killed in a stabbing incident in Hoofddorp, North Holland. The incident allegedly occurred on Monday evening in the Markenburg area, where the victim is thought to have been targeted by unidentified attackers whilst he was withdrawing cash from an ATM. According to reports, the police have launched a murder investigation and the suspects remain at large.

NCTV downgrades the Netherlands's terrorist threat level

The National Coordinator for Security and Counter-terrorism (NCTV) has downgraded the country's terrorist threat level. The NCTV has said that the terror threat level was downgraded to three on the five-level scale. The new threat level means that a terrorist attack in the country is "conceivable". The terror threat level has been reduced for the first time since 2013. NCTV claimed that "since the end of 2017, the threat against the Netherlands has changed. Sporadic jihadist attacks are still being carried out in the West, but the situation is incomparable with the period 2015-2017 when dozens of attacks were committed in Europe every year". It highlighted the recent detention of two men in the western city of Zoetermeer accused of plotting a terrorist attack in the country. The NCTV also added that despite being highly unlikely, the risk of right-wing extremism in the country could still be carried out by lone wolves and copycats.

One killed in asylum centre brawl, Limburg

A person has been killed and another person has been arrested following a deadly brawl which broke out at an asylum centre in Limburg. According to local reports, the fight broke out on Wednesday morning at around 08:45 local time at an asylum centre in the Kazernelaan area of Weert, Limburg. The police have not yet identified the deceased, but have described him as a man who had been living in the asylum centre. The Kazernelaan centre is a former military academy barracks which can house up to a thousand people at a time and has been used as an asylum shelter since September 2015.

Several wounded in stabbing attack, The Hague

At least three people have been stabbed at a department store in the Hague. Dutch police said they are hunting for a man aged between 45 and 50 who is suspected of carrying out the attack at the Hudson's Bay store in the central Grote Markt. It is not yet clear if the incident is terrorism-related.

Trains hit by gunfire in North Brabant

Two trains have reportedly been hit by gunfire over the weekend in North Brabant. According to reports, one train came under fire whilst ravelling between Tilburg and Breda, with police reports indicating at least five windows were damaged. A second train also came under fire from unidentified shooters whilst travelling along the same tracks to Eindhoven, where it was confirmed that at least of the train carriages had sustained material damage as a result of gunfire. No casualties have been reported in connection with the incident as police launch an investigation.

Migrants found stowed away on UK-bound ferry

Twenty-five migrants have been found stowed away on a ferry which was bound for the UK. The discovery was made shortly after the ferry had departed from Vlaardingen, South Holland, from which it had been scheduled to make a journey to Felixstowe in Suffolk, England. The ferry turned back to port immediately after the stow-aways were discovered in a refrigerated container. According to reports, two of the 25 migrants are receiving medical treatment. The discovery comes just weeks after the bodies of 39 migrants were found int eh back of a refrigerated lorry in Essex last month.

Man sentenced for plotting to kill right-wing politician

A Pakistani national has been sentenced for threatening to kill right-wing politician Geert Wilders. A court in the Hague has sentenced the unnamed man to six years in prison for plotting an attack to kill the leader of the nationalist Party for Freedom (PVV). Wilders has reportedly received a number of death threats due to his anti-Islam rhetoric. According to reports, the man has travelled to the Netherlands last year when Wilders organised a cartoon competition on Prophet Mohammed. In a statement, the court said: “The suspect wanted to carry out the attack in one of the buildings of Parliament, the heart of the Dutch democracy. The attack would, therefore, have disrupted the fundamental political and constitutional structures in the Netherlands.”

Disruption at Schiphol after false alarm

A pilot accidentally set off an alarm at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam on Wednesday evening. The action triggered a part-closure of the airport, which is one of the busiest in Europe, as police investigated the incident. "False alarm. In the flight Amsterdam-Madrid this afternoon was activated, by mistake, a warning that triggers protocols on hijackings at the airport," said Air Europa, whose aircraft sent out the alarm. Some minor disruption to flights was reported.

Police question man after isolated siblings are found in a farmhouse in Drenthe

Police are investigating the circumstances behind the discovery of five people held in isolation at a farmhouse in the northern village of Ruinerworld, Drenthe. Authorities have detained an Austrian national for questioning, while it remains unclear if he is involved. Reports suggest that the main suspect paid the farmhouse's rent. Reuters reported that five siblings aged between 18 and 25 were found on the farm after one of the alleged victims fled the house and asked for help. Drenthe Police spokeswoman Grietje Hartstra said: “A lot is still unclear and we are investigating exactly what happened there". She added: “There is a lot of speculation in the media about what happened, but as police, we deal with facts. We still have a lot of unanswered questions."

Prime Minister Rutte's VVD-led coalition loses its majority in parliament

Prime Minister Mark Rutte's People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) has lost its majority in parliament after a party member was dismissed. Wybren van Haga was removed from the party last month after refusing to distance himself from a real estate company he owns. Van Haga's company was accused of breaching renting rules back in 2018. He said that he is still keeping his seat in the House of Representatives as an independent. The current VVD-led coalition currently holds 75 seats in the 150-seat parliament. Earlier this year, PM Rutte's ruling coalition also lost its majority in the Senate. 

Farmers expected to launch fresh nationwide demonstration

Farmers across the Netherlands are expected to launch fresh demonstrations across major metropolitan areas. Local media reported that the Farmers Defence Force and Agractie are set to launch a demonstration on 16 October. Last week, farmers' protests across the country brought traffic to a standstill when thousands of tractors took over major highways and urban routes. Demonstrators have said that the protest is expected to take place in major urban centres, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Protests were launched after the government and media reports accused farmers of contributing a large share to pollution. Tensions with farmers have been high since May when the Court of State said that current farming and building permits breached EU legislation. In response, a committee recommended the introduction of measures on farming and the production of livestock.

Stabbing reported at Groningen cafe

A stabbing incident has reportedly occurred in a cafe in Groningen. According to reports, three people were injured in the stabbing, which happened on Wednesday night. A 67-year-old male suspect has been detained by the police in connection with the incident, and a bladed weapon thought to be the weapon used in the attack has also been confiscated. The motive behind the attack remains unclear, with preliminary investigations suggesting the stabbing may have been random and that the suspect may suffer from mental health issues. The three casualties are said to have only sustained minor injuries.

Lawyer of state witness in high-profile crime trial killed in Amsterdam

The lawyer of a state witness in a high-profile organised crime trial has been gunned down outside his residence in Amsterdam. Derk Wiersum was shot dead on Wednesday just after leaving home in the southern Buitenveldert area. Wiersum was representing a witness named as Nabil B in a case against Ridouan Taghi and Said Razzouki, two most-wanted Moroccan-born suspects accused of murder and drug-trafficking. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has condemned the incident and said that investigations have been launched. Wiersum was killed around a year after Nabil's brother was shot dead.

Amsterdam police arrest 100 Lille football fans

Police in Amsterdam have reportedly made around 100 arrests ahead of a Champions League football match between Lille and Ajax being hosted in Amsterdam. According to reports, 100 Lille football fans were arrested before kickoff for offences including disrupting public order, setting off fireworks, and violence. The football fans were allegedly detained at a metro station near where the match was played at the Johan Cruijff Arena.

KLM ground workers to launch strike action at Schiphol Airport

KLM operations may face disruption next week ahead of a planned strike action involving ground workers at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. FNV union said in a statement that a four-hour strike will take place amid pay negotiations with the airline. It said: “KLM continues to refuse to come to a good collective labour agreement for ground staff. They leave their own employees in the cold." The exact date of the walkout has not been revealed, but FNV stressed that prior warnings will be given at least 48 hours before the strike. Passengers are advised to follow KLM and other airlines updates for further information.

Three teens injured in North Brabant stabbing

A stabbing incident has been reported in the city of Breda in the North Brabant province, leaving three teenagers injured. The stabbing allegedly occurred at around 21:00 local time on Sunday evening in a park near Argusvlinder. The victims - two boys and a girl all aged between 15 and 16 - were reportedly attacked by a 30-year-old male suspect after a fight broke out in the park. The suspect initially fled the scene but was tracked down and arrested after seven other teenagers gave detailed witness accounts. According to reports, the victims had been trying to break up a fight when the man started stabbing people indiscriminately. The suspect was detained in his home during the early hours of Monday morning and now remains in custody.

Three killed in Dordrecht shooting

Three people have been killed in a shooting in the city of Dordrecht. Another person was seriously wounded in the incident, which occurred in the Heimerstein. Local media have reported that the gunman was a police officer who killed himself after shooting dead his two daughters, aged eight and 12. Police spokesman Wim Hoonhout said: "It seems like a family incident."

Ban on face-covering veils in public places comes into effect

New legislation enforcing a partial ban on face-covering veils has come into force in the Netherlands. In 2016, the liberal coalition government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte passed the law, which will ban people from using ski masks, full-face helmets, burka, niqabs and other similar clothing in some public places. The Guardian reported that the police and transport companies have raised concerns over the enforceability of the law. The Netherlands is the latest EU country to enforce the ban. Germany, France, Denmark, Austria and Belgium are among those that already imposed similar legislation.

Severe disruption reported at Amsterdam's Schiphol due to fuel system fault

Severe flight disruption is currently being reported at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (AMS) due to a fault in the airport's fuel supply system. Several flights have been already cancelled as the issue is expected to last until at least Wednesday evening. AMS said in a statement: "It is still unclear how long this will take, but it will definitely last into the evening. We regret any inconvenience for travellers and airlines". Travellers have been advised to contact their respective airlines for further flight status updates.

Intelligence agency issue reports on 5G network concerns

A report from the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) has raised concerns over state-sponsored cyber espionage on the upcoming 5G networks. As European nations are expected to present their own reports to assess potential vulnerabilities to the European Commission in October, the AIVD report concluded that The Netherlands is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, especially for the country's tech businesses and international rights groups. An ongoing 5G row has involved several countries over issues regarding equipment of the Chinese company Huawei. The report was published just days after the Royal KPN NV telecom faced a network outage, causing issues in mobile phones and landlines, including contact to the 112 emergency number.

Windmill protesters added to terror list

Counter-terrorism officials have confirmed that wind turbine protesters have been added to the latest terrorism threat report, because of their extreme views.  Several construction projects in the Drenthe and Groningen provinces have been cancelled causing losses of millions of euros because of threats of attacks.  The country is becoming more reliant on wind farms as it strives to reach EU climate agreements and scales down gas extraction following a series of earthquakes in affected areas.  Three men were arrested last week on suspicion of issuing threats and dumping asbestos at prospective turbine sites, and are facing a 12-year sentence for endangering public health.  Climate activists are pushing for the Netherlands to be running off sustainable energy by 2030, which would necessitate a sharp increase to the existing numbers of 2,500 wind turbines on land, and 289 in the North Sea.  

Huge telecoms outage reported across the country

National telecoms carrier KPN have reported an outage across the country that lasted four hours on Sunday.  Landlines and mobile phones on KPN and linked to the network through other carriers were affected, including the 112 emergency number.  Additional police were sent onto the streets, and the authorities advised people to go directly to hospitals, police or fire stations for any emergencies during the disruption.  The situation was made worse by a wrong number being given out as an alternative to 112, which was only corrected an hour later.  Politicians reacted with shock to the failures, and an investigation has been opened into the cause, and the procedures in place in the event of a failure.  

Transport strike causes flight disruption

An ongoing transport strike has caused flight disruption at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport. More than 80 flights have been cancelled due to the nationwide public transport strike. EasyJet, Flybe, and KLM flights have been affected, with some grounded. Travellers have been advised to contact heir respective airlines for flight updates.

Three arrested in officer-involved fight

On 16 April, three people were arrested following a fight involving a police officer.  The incident happened in Utrecht when the officer was making an arrest for disturbance of the peace.  According to reports, the suspect and other civilians violently attacked the officer.  An investigation is under way.  

Ruling VVD loses Senate majority after massive populist victory in provincial vote

Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government has suffered a major defeat in the country's provincial elections. The vote was held on Wednesday to select 75 members of the Senate. The right-wing populist Forum for Democracy (FvD) has achieved a massive victory after securing 12 seats, equalling the number of seats of the ruling People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). The VVD now needs to find other coalition partners until May to maintain a majority in the Senate. Among the main contender is the Green Left, which also made significant gains in the last elections. The FvD is led by Thierry Baudet, who ruled out future cooperation with the VVD. The party chose to follow a euro-sceptic and anti-immigration platform.

Bomb blast reported at subway station

A bomb blast has been reported at a subway station in the Netherlands. According to reports, a small explosive device was detonated at an ATM machine at Ganzanhoef subway station in Amsterdam. No casualties were inflicted during the explosion, which occurred in the early hours of Thursday morning, shattering the windows at the entrance of the station. The station has been closed by the police as investigations go forward, with two suspects allegedly seen fleeing the scene around the time of the explosion.

Gunman opens fire in tram in Utrecht

At least three people have been killed and five others have been wounded after a gunman opened fire in a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht. Three helicopters have been dispatched as anti-terrorism police respond to the scene, where a square near the tram station in the west of the city has been cordoned off by the authorities. The incident occurred around the 24 Oktoberplein junction near Utrecht Centraal station, causing significant disruption as all tram services have been suspended following the incident, while schools and mosques have allegedly been closed as a precaution. Recent reports indicate counter-terrorism police have launched a manhunt for 37-year-old Turkish-born Gokmen Tanis. The police have also confirmed reports of other shootings at several locations, although no further details have been released.

Strong winds trigger severe delays at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport

Severe delays are currently being reported at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (AMS). Eurocontrol said on Monday afternoon that due to strong winds, arrival flights will be regulated until 22:00 local time. Travellers have been advised to contact their respective airlines for further flight status updates. Weather alerts remain in place for most provinces, while the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) forecast that weather conditions will improve from Tuesday. Netherlands' train operator, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), has informed that some trains are also facing disruption in the aftermath of Storm Eberhard.

Dutch and French Ministers agree to strengthen Air France KLM

On 1 March, the Finance Ministers of both the Netherlands and France announced that their respective governments are to strengthen their alliance and develop a joint strategy to support Air France.  The Dutch government had amassed a 14 percent share of Air France KLM which was announced on 26 February, triggering a diplomatic spat with France.  

Taxi drivers to protest against ridesharing apps

Taxi drivers are to stage industrial action in major cities on Tuesday to protest the use of ridesharing apps.  The action will take the form of a "go-slow" between The Hague, Amsterdam and Rotterdam from 11:00 local time.  Transportation disruptions are to be expected.  

Man shot dead by police in city centre gunfight

Amsterdam police responded to reports of a man with a firearm near the Nederlandsche Bank on Wednesday, when a gunfight ensued.  Witnesses said that up to 20 shots were fired, and the suspect was fatally wounded.  The authorities said that the incident was not thought to be terror-related, but an investigation was under way.  

Airbus hit by cyber security breach

On 30 January, Airbus reported that it had detected a cyber breach in its' commercial aircraft business.  According to preliminary reports, hackers had gained access to the personal data of professional contacts and Airbus employees throughout Europe, but there was no impact on customers or commercial operations.  

Explosion in the Hague injures nine

An explosion in the Hague on Sunday caused the front of a residential building to collapse, with emergency services deployed to the scene and a number of injured people being rescued.  In total, nine people were taken to hospital, and nearby buildings were evacuated as a precaution.  Preliminary reports suggest that a gas leak could have been the cause of the incident which happened at around 16:30 local time.  

Violent protests held at Iranian Embassy in the Hague

On 9 January, violent protests were held outside the Iranian Embassy in the Hague.  Nine people were arrested after protesters threw projectiles at the building, forcing police ot intervene.  The rally follows reports that the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence planned political assassinations in the Netherlands in 2015 and 2017.  

Foreign Minister accuses Iran of planning political assassinations

On 8 January the Foreign Minister Stef Blok accused Tehran of plotting political assassinations in the Netherlands.  The accusation centres around an alleged plan to target two political dissidents who are Dutch nationals of Iranian origin in 2015 and 2017 respectively.  The announcement comes as the European Union imposes new sanctions against the Ministry of Intelligence in Iran.  

KLM cancels flights due to adverse weather

KLM cancelled 159 European flights to and from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on Tuesday due to adverse weather conditions.  Strong winds have limited the facility to the use of one runway.  

Strong winds may affect flights at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Severe delays and cancellations are expected to impact flights to and from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS). The airport has warned that strong winds are forecast to affect operations on Tuesday. Travellers are advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Shipping containers wash up on Dutch islands

Dozens of shipping containers have washed up on the islands of Terschelling, Vlieland and Ameland on 2 January.  The cargo is believed to have fallen off the Panamanian flagged MSC Zoe in stormy weather when around 200 containers are believed to have fallen into the water.  The Dutch Coast Guard has advised the public to stay away from them as some contain toxic peroxide.  

Man arrested for killing 16-year-old college student in Rotterdam

A 31-year-old man has been arrested for suspected links to the death of a college student in Rotterdam. Humeyra Oz, a 16-year-old student at the Rotterdam Designcollege, was shot dead in a bike shed on Tuesday afternoon. Preliminary reports suggest that the suspect was known to the victim. Local media reported that the suspect was involved two years ago in a relationship with the victim, who had reportedly received continuous death threats - the matter was under police investigation. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaled said that Humeyra's death was an isolated incident and dismissed claims of a school shooting.

One arrested for making violent threats at Schiphol Airport

A man was arrested on 13 December for making violent threats with a knife at Schiphol Airport (AMS) in Amsterdam.  Part of the airport was temporarily evacuated.  The man was detained at the scene, and no injuries were reported.

Demonstrations expected at the Hague on 14 December

Students and teachers are expected to march from Koekamp Park to the Ministry of Education in the Hague on Friday, to protest at cuts to education funding.  Simultaneous "yellow vest" protests are expected, and heightened security and disruption to transport are to be expected.

Yellow vest protests planned for Saturday

Further so-called "yellow vest" protests are to take place across the country on Saturday 15 December.  Demonstrations are expected in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, as well as other cities, copying the movement that began in France in November against rising fuel prices.  Visitors are advised to avoid the affected areas and to expect disruptions to transport systems.

Uber to be fined $1.17 million for 2016 data breach

On 27 November, Dutch and British authorities jointly fined ride-hailing company Uber the equivalent of $1.17 million for the 2016 cyber attack that exposed the personal information of around 57 million customers and drivers.  Britain's Information Commissioner's Office siad that the hack was entirely avoidable, and the fine was for the violation of data protection laws, and for taking inadequate security measures to prevent an attack.  Uber have said that they have made a number of technical improvements to their security "both in the immediate wake of the incident, and in the years since".

Ryanair crews announce 24 hour strike at Eindhoven Airport

On Monday, Ryanair crews based at Eindhoven Airport announced a 24-hour strike for Tuesday 23 October to protest over the decision to close the budget airline's base there, and they way the Irish carrier treats its' employees.  The company said that all services would operate as normal and that the strike was "unnecessary".  Ryanair has suffered a number of strikes this year affecting the travel of thousands of passengers.  A major issue for European operations staff is the company's policy of using Irish legislation in employment contracts, making it difficult for them to receive social security benefits in their home country.

Fighter jets deployed due to incident on KLM flight

On 6 October, a KLM flight was forced to land at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) amid reports that an American passenger had attacked people on board.  Two fighter jets were deployed to escort the aircraft to an early landing.  The suspect was arrested at the airport and preliminary reports suggest that the event was not terror-related.

Man attacks pro-Palestine demonstrator

On Sunday a pro-Palestine demonstration was taking place in Dam Square in the capital, when a man attacked a woman participant, also tearing a flag out of the hands of a child.  Tensions flared, and police arrested the man who was a Dutch national.  According to preliminary reports, the attacker has several previous convictions for similar offences.  The municipality of Amsterdam has allowed demonstrations one week for Palestine, the other for Israel to avoid such confrontations.

Bodies of three Dutch nationals found in Coin

Spanish police are investigating the deaths of three Dutch nationals, whose bodies were found in a residence near Coin in the province of Malaga on Wednesday.  The bodies were believed to be of a couple who rented the property and the woman's mother who was 89.  All three bodies were in an advanced stage of decomposition.  According to preliminary reports, the younger woman had terminal cancer, and although no notes were found, police are working on the assumption that the three may have decided to commit suicide together.

Russian ambassador summoned to Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Russian ambassador to the Netherlands has been summoned to appear at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Similar actions are taking place across Europe over accusations that Russian military intelligence group GRU are behind various global cyber attacks.

Meningitis vaccination programme commences

With effect from 1 October, all children aged 14 in the Netherlands will be offered the vaccination against meningococcal W, a form of meningitis.  The move comes after 78 cases were recorded in the first eight months of 2018 compared to four in the same period of 2015.

Corendon Air flight suffers tail strike at Schiphol Airport

On 1 October, a Corendon Air flight from Rotterdam to Antalya, Turkey suffered a tail strike on departure.  The aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS).  The aircraft landed safely with none of its' 92 passengers on board reporting any injury, and was able to resume the flight with a delay of around two and a half hours.  

Delays at Schiphol due to baggage problem

On Monday morning, a fault with the baggage handling system at Terminal 3 of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (EHAM), was reported to be causing delays.  Authorities are working to resolve the problem.

Seven arrested for plotting large-scale terrorist attack

Seven men have been arrested in Arnhem and Weert on suspicion of terrorist offences.  Dutch police said on Thursday that they believe they have foiled a major terrorist attack at an event in the Netherlands.  According to preliminary reports the seven suspects were known to police for trying to join IS, and will appear in court on 28 September for a remand hearing.  

Thousands of passengers to be affected in fresh Ryanair strike action

Nearly 200 Ryanair flights scheduled for Friday will be cancelled amid a fresh round of strike actions called across Europe. In a statement, Ryanair said that eight percent of its 2,400 scheduled flights will be impacted, affecting around 30,000 passengers. Ryanair cabin crew in Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Spain will also join the strike. Ryanair said on Tuesday that it is negotiating with workers' unions and associations to avoid further strike action. A recent deal was reportedly struck between the company and Italian, Irish and British unions. For months, cabin crew and pilots' unions have been calling strikes to demand that their contracts be regulated by their respective country of residence.

Four children die in train-cart collision

Four children have died following a collision between a train and an electric cart in the southern town of Oss. The accident happened on a level crossing whilst a supervisor was driving the children to local schools in an electric cart. According to the BBC, a fifth child and a woman - presumed to be the children's supervisor - were also wounded in the crash. It hasn't been confirmed precisely how the accident occurred; however, eye witnesses claim the supervisor was shouting that the brakes weren't working just before the cart went under the level crossing barrier. Several childcare groups have said they will suspend their use of the carts until further notice.

Four killed and two injured in collision between train and bike

On 20 September Dutch police reported that at least four children were killed when an electric cargo bike taking them to a pre-school daycare centre was struck by a train at a crossing in Oss.  An adult and another child were seriously injured.  The crossing has a designated bike path and is manned, and police are investigating how the accident could have happened.  In July, the Dutch safety board criticised the "fragmented approach and lack of focus" of the infrastructure ministry in improving safety at crossings.  Around 11 people are killed in accidents on railway level crossings every year in the Netherlands.

Church and other buildings damaged by fire in Amstelveen

On 15 September, three buildings including Sint-Urbanuskerk Church, were damaged by a fire, forcing the residents to be evacuated.  A police investigation is under way to clarify the circumstances and cause of the fire.

Ryanair cabin crew to launch strike action in late-September

Ryanair cabin crew members across five European countries are set to launch strike action amid ongoing labour disputes. Workers' unions in Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy and Belgium confirmed that a 24-hour strike action will take place on 28 September. In July, a 48-hour strike action led to hundreds of flights cancelled across Europe. Passengers should anticipate severe delays and cancellations. In a statement, Ryanair said: “Ryanair will pre-advise customers of a small number of flight cancellations, and the overwhelming majority of Ryanair’s flights and services that day will operate as normal, and we will carry the overwhelming majority of the 400,000 passengers who will be scheduled to fly with us that day".

Delays reported at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

On 12 September, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is operating on a single runway resulting in delays.  Eurocontrol were not able to advise when the situation would be resolved and disruption is expected for the rest of the day.  Passengers should consult their airline for further information. 

Dutch authorities accused of aiding Syrian armed groups

Allegations by the Dutch Broadcasting Foundation (NOS) and the Trouw newspaper accuse the Dutch authorities of sending $80 million of equipment, uniforms and trucks to members of Jabhat al-Shamiya, an armed opposition group involved in the Syrian conflict. In a recent court case against a Dutch citizen, this group was recognized as a terrorist organisation.  Earlier in the day the government announced the complete cessation of assistance to opposition groups due to the inefficiency of the programme which they said had not brought the expected results.  

Adverse weather causes disruption to flight operations

On 5 September, Eurocontrol reported that widespread fog and low cloud cover were causing poor visibility and affecting flight operations across northern France, the Netherlands and the coastal areas of Germany. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS/EHAM) is affected.  Passengers are advised to contact their airline for updates and conditions are expected to improve by late morning.  

Police report that Amsterdam knife attacker had a terrorist motive

Police have confirmed that they believe that the man who was shot dead after attacking several people with a knife at Amsterdam train station on Friday, had a terrorist motive.  Two of the victims who were seriously injured were Americans, according to witnesses.

Police shoot suspect after stabbing attack

Dutch police have shot and wounded a suspect following a stabbing at the central railway station in Amsterdam. Two people were attacked by the assailant before police intervened. Police said the altercation was currently under investigation and “all possible scenarios,” including terrorism, were being considered.

Schipol airport strike cancelled

The planned strike by security staff for 4 September has been averted when unions representing security staff and their employees were able to reach agreement over working practices.  

Further delays reported at Schiphol Airport

On 28 August, frequency issues at the aerodrome control tower of Schiphol Airport (AMS) continue to affect flight operations. The source of the problem has been identified as a back-up cable that had been damaged during routine maintenance work.  The issue began on 27 August resulting in severe delays in flight arrivals and departures and work is ongoing to resolve the issue.

Car explodes after driving into town hall building in Bemmel

A man has died after driving his car into the town hall building in Bemmel, 62 miles south-east of Amsterdam, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.  A gas cannister in his vehicle exploded causing the car to catch fire and killing him, but no-one else was injured.  According to authorities there was a second cannister in the vehicle which did not explode.  The motive for the incident is not known.  

Huge haul of electronic products stolen from Schiphol cargo area

On Friday a truck driver who was transporting five million euros worth of electronic equipment was kidnapped with his vehicle in the cargo area of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.  He was later released near the airport grounds, but there was no trace of the truck.  Investigations are ongoing.

Severe flight disruption reported at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport

Severe flight disruption is being reported on Wednesday afternoon after a communications shutdown suspended air traffic control at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (AMS). AMS has stated that departing flights are gradually being resumed, while Eurocontrol also confirmed that operations are returning to normal. Delays are highly expected throughout the day. Travellers are advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Weather conditions may cause delays in the Netherlands

Eurocontrol has stated on Thursday that adverse weather conditions are currently impacting flights in eastern France. Flights to and from the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg may also be affected. Travellers are advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Ryanair pilots to launch strike action

Ryanair pilots in the Netherlands are considering to launch a strike on Friday. Dozens of pilots of the Association of Dutch Pilots (VNV) voted in favour of the strike, but the final decision was not yet officially announced. Pilots in Germany, Sweden, Ireland and Belgium are also joining the walk-off. Ryanair operates flights in Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Maastricht. Passengers are advised to directly contact Ryanair for flight updates.

Dutch Airline pilots vote to support Ryanair strikes

Dutch pilots from the Vereniging Nederlandse Verkeersvliegers (VNV) voted by 99.5 percent to support strikes over employment conditions at Ryanair.  They, like their counterparts in Germany, said that they would give 24 hours notice of any action.  

Eurocontrol warn of widespread flight disruptions due to storms

Eurocontrol has advised that widespread flight disruptions are likely on Friday across Europe, due to the process of major storms.  Passengers are advised to check with their airline for updates.

Security staff at Shciphol Airport threaten strike action

On 27 July, workers at Schiphol airport issued an ultimatum to Airport management to guarantee the employment of 300 workers who provide disability services within the facility.  The ultimatum will expire on 27 August, and if no agreement is reached, the employees have threatened strike action, which is likely to cause considerable delays for passengers. 

Woman attacked and raped in Rotterdam

A young woman was attacked and raped early on Saturday morning outside her Rotterdam residence.  She was left with extensive injuries and required surgery and intensive care.  Police have issued a description of her attacker and are appealing for witnesses.  

Second arrest in Panorama attack case

On 11 July, Dutch police arrested a second suspect in connection with the "Panorama" attack, which took place in Rotterdam on 21 June.  The Dutch magazine's building was subjected to an anti-tank missile attack, and the suspects are believed to be members of the biker gang Caloh Wagoh Main Triad Club.  Nobody was injured in the attack, which police believe may have been in response to an article run by the magazine about the murder of a member of Amsterdam's underworld who was also a member of the gang.  

Plane evacuated due to bomb threat

A Ryanair flight from Eindhoven Airport to Edinburgh was evacuated on Monday evening after the discovery of a note with "threatening text".  The plane was cleared of passengers and Dutch military police with sniffer dogs searched the aircraft, but did not find any suspicious articles.

Two arrested at Schiphol airport following extradition

Two men were arrested on arrival at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport on 3 July, following their extradition from Turkey.  The suspects are accused of supporting a terrorist organization in Syria.   

Amsterdam elects first female mayor

Femke Halsema - the former leader of the left-wing Greonlinks party - is the first female to be elected as the Mayor of Amsterdam. Halsema stated that she was "happy, proud and humbled" to be given the role - which was first established in the 14th century. According to the BBC, Halsema's nomination for the position came just a few months after a group of 45 prominent women in Amsterdam wrote an open letter calling for a female mayor. Meanwhile, some opponents have criticised Halsema's election, claiming that - despite her tenure as Greonlinks leader - she has no suitable administrative experience.

Senate approves full-face veil ban in public venues

Lawmakers at the Dutch upper house of parliament have approved a bill which introduces a partial burqa ban in public venues. The bill was previously passed back in 2016 and bans the wearing of full-face veils in schools, government offices and hospitals. 

Van crashes into newspaper's headquarters in Amsterdam

A van crashed and caught on fire after hitting the headquarters of Dutch newspaper in Amsterdam. The incident happened on the early hours of Tuesday when the vehicle collided at high speed against the facade of the De Telegraaf newspaper, located at the north-western area of the city. According to the police, the attack was deliberate and the suspect fled the scene. Investigations are still ongoing to assess the motives behind the attack.

Minibus hit-and-run reported in Landgraaf

At least one person has been killed and three others have been wounded after a hit-and-run incident involving a minibus at Dutch music festival, PinkPop. The three-day festival has been taking place in Landgraaf. According to the BBC, the minibus hit four people near one of the campsites in the early hours of Monday morning. Polcie investigations have been launched alongside a manhunt for the driver of the vehicle, who fled the scene of the crime. It remains unclear whether or not the the incident was an accident.

Adverse weather triggers delays at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Severe delays are currently being reported at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (AMS). Eurocontrol has announced on Friday morning that the disruption has been caused due to inclement weather. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Police shoot man wielding axe

Police in Schiedam shot a 26-year-old man who was trying to attack them with an axe.  He had also stabbed a police dog, which later died.  According to local sources, police were called to an address after reports of a disturbance, but were unable to restrain or taser the man.  The suspect was then shot, and taken to a local hospital.  Mayor Cor Lamers said that the man was of Syrian background, and was known to police.

Netherlands accuses Russia of downing MH17 passenger plane

Australia and the Netherlands have accused Russia of being behind the downing of the MH17 passenger plane which was shot down over Ukraine in 2014. According to the BBC, a Dutch-led international investigation concluded that the missile which brought down the plane belonged to a Russian brigade - implicating the Russian military in the plane's destruction. The Kremlin has denied any involvement.

Two dead in light aircraft crash

Two people died on Tuesday when their light aircraft crashed shortly after take-off from Rotterdam the Hague airport.  Witnesses reported that the plane was flying low and hit a tree before crashing into a field near Bergambacht.  The aircraft was owned by Sand Air, who offer tours, flying lessons and helicopter flights.  

Dutch government phases out Kaspersky Lab anti-virus

The Dutch Justice and Security ministry has said on Monday that the government is phasing out the anti-virus software of the Moscow-based company Kaspersky Lab. According to a statement, the Dutch government's move comes as a preventive measure over national security concerns. Such comes over allegations of Russia using the company on its cyber-espionage efforts. Last year, the US government removed the company from its list of approved vendors. Kaspersky Lab denied any involvement with the Russian government and said that the company's key infrastructures are moving to Switzerland in order to "strengthen the proven integrity of Kaspersky Lab's products."

Sporadic strikes at Schiphol cause disruption for travellers

Sporadic one-hour strikes by baggage-handling and check-in staff at Schiphol airport caused disruption on Saturday and Sunday, and staff say they will continue until there is a resolution to their dispute over pay and conditions. The employers say that the two sides are close to an agreement on many points.   

Moderate delays reported at Amsterdam airport

Moderate delays are currently being reported on flights to and from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (AMS). Some flights on Monday morning and afternoon are currently being affected after a power failure hit AMS over the weekend. Passengers are advised to check for flight status updates before heading to the airport.

Flights affected due to low visibility at Amsterdam airport

Some flights at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (AMS) are facing disruption due to low visibility on Friday. Passengers have been advised to check with their respective airlines for flight status updates.

Flight planning system failure triggers disruptions across European airports

Flights to and from major European airports suffered widespread disruptions on Tuesday morning after a flight planning system failure. Eurocontrol put contingency measures in place after an issue with the Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System (ETFMS) reduced the capacity of the European network by nearly 10 percent. Eurocontrol said that the problem has been already identified and that technicians are working to recover the system. Passengers have been advised to check with their respective airlines for further flight status updates.

Public transports in Amsterdam to accept cards only

Amsterdam's public transportation system - GVB - has introduced new ticket-buying guidelines. From 26 March, GVB is not accepting cash to pay for tickets on ferries, buses and trams. Debit and credit cards - excluding American Express - will be widely accepted across major bus and tram stops across Amsterdam Central Station and Schiphol Airport.

Two Russian diplomats to be expelled

Two Russian diplomats are set to be expelled from the Netherlands in solidarity with the UK over the Russian spy poisoning case which implicated the Russian government. The announcement comes after several other European and Western countries confirmed similar expulsions. "Today 14 member states have decided to expel Russian diplomats", said the head of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

Local elections under way

Local elections take place today throughout the Netherlands as the country votes for 335 local councils.  Polling booths are open all over the country, and there is a tradition of setting up polling stations in strange places to encourage people to vote, including railway stations to catch early commuters. The polls close at 21:00 when the count will begin.

Unilever moves head office to Rotterdam

Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever has confirmed that it is to move its' headquarters to Rotterdam, rather than the current dual HQ arrangement with London which has existed since 1930.  The company said that no jobs will be lost, and that the move was part of a restructuring unrelated to Brexit.  Talks had been held with both governments in the run-up to the decision.  

Extra border control officers needed for Brexit

The Dutch government will recruit up to 900 extra customers officers and more than 400 extra military police who carry out passport checks, in preparation for Brexit in March 2019.  The moves comes to reduce pressure on the border control service and shorten waiting times at airports during peak periods, and the recruitment drive which will take place immediately will allow for training and work experience prior to Britain's departure date. 

Power cut affects 25,000 Amsterdam residents

A power cut on Monday morning left more than 25,000 homes and businesses in Amsterdam's West district without electricity.  The Slotenvaart hospital was able to run on a back-up generator, but tram lines are using shorter routes because of the lack of power.  Network operator Liander is investigating the cause of the failure and hopes to have all subscribers reconnected by noon.

Eurostar launch London to Amsterdam service

Eurostar is to launch a direct service between London and Amsterdam from 4 April, with the journey taking three hours and 41 minutes.  As a temporary measure, passengers travelling from Amsterdam to London will have to change at Brussels to go through passport control until the British and Dutch governments agree over passport checks in the Netherlands. This issue should be resolved by the end of 2019.

European Commission agrees one-stop security system with Singapore

The European Commission has announced mutual recognition of security screening rules, which means that travellers between Singapore and Schiphol airport in Amsterdam will no longer be subjected to security checks during transit.  The tie-up is intended to improve transfer connections and it is hoped that London and Frankfurt will join the scheme in due course.  The arrangement has taken almost two years to agree, and was announced at the Singapore Airshow on 6 February.  Europe has a similar arrangement with the United States, Canada and Montenegro, but this is the first between Europe and an Asian nation. 

Nine arrested in Romania and Netherlands for human trafficking

On Thursday, four Dutch men were arrested in the Netherlands and four men and one woman in Constanta in Romania, for their part in a human trafficking ring.  The Department of Aliens Police, Identification and Trafficking in Human Beings (AVIM) in Rotterdam, said that the nine people are suspected of money laundering, extortion and the unlawful deprivation of liberty, as they recruited young women in Romania to work as prostitutes in the Netherlands.  

Italy appeals EMA move to Amsterdam

On Wednesday it was announced that Italy will challenge the way that the decision to move the European Medicines Agency from London to Amsterdam after Brexit, was decided.  The appeal comes as the Dutch confirmed that the purpose-built premises would not be ready in time for Brexit and that the agency would be temporarily housed in a smaller building as a compromise.  Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that the chance of the bids' success was small, but that he intended to ask the European Court of Justice to review their decision, which was made by the luck of a draw  after the EU members' vote ended in a tie in November. 

Dutch tax office and banks hacked

The Netherlands National Tax Office stated on Monday that its' website was briefly offline over the weekend becauses of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, and several large banks including ABM Amro, Rabobank and ING reported the same problem.  A DDoS attack is when hackers send massive numbers of requests for information from websites until the servers can no longer handle the volume and they "crash". 

Decapitated doll left at Amsterdam mosque

An employee of the Emir Sultan Mosque in Amsterdam found a decapitated doll displayed outside as he opened the place of worship on Thursday.  The "bloodstained body" also displayed a note warning against "Islamisation" in the Netherlands.  The mosque serves a predominantly Turkish community, and worshippers said that they were shocked by the act, but refused to be intimidated.  A right-wing group calling itself "Rechts in Verzet" or Right in Opposition, has claimed responsibility, tweeting a photo to several Dutch news organisations and calling for protests against a huge mosque which is to be built in North Amsterdam.   

Storm damage estimated at €90 million

The storm which battered the Netherlands on Thursday with winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour, is likely to have caused around 90 million euros of damage to private buildings and cars, insurers have said.  The figure does not include damage to public or commercial property.  Three people have died and dozens of roofs were blown off as well as cars damaged by fallen trees and debris.  Rail services resumed on Thursday night, although problems with trees and debris on the tracks and broken overhead cables may lead to further disruption.  The storm was one of the worst to hit the country since records began in 1990.

Schiphol airport temporarily closed due to windstorm

On Thursday Schiphol airport was temporarily closed due to a powerful windstorm, forcing airlines to cancel 260 flights.  The tracking app FlightRadar24 reported that many planes were diverted from Schiphol to other airports because of wind speeds up to 65 knots.  Schiphol Airport is a major hub for European flights. Passengers are advised to check with the airport or their airline before travelling to the airport, as disruption is expected to be ongoing for the rest of the day.  Elsewhere, in Amsterdam all trams and trains were halted, and the zoo was closed.  Water authorities in the low-lying Netherlands were monitoring the storm and closed a storm barrier east of Amsterdam as a precaution because of high water levels.   

Dutch court freezes assets of Ukraine's richest man

A Dutch court has provisionally frozen the assets of the Netherlands-based companies belonging to Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's richest man, in connection with a multi-million dollar lawsuit.  Systems Capital Management (SCM) is owned by Akhmetov, who is said to have amassed a $4.6 billion fortune and also owns Ukranian football club FC Shakhtar Donetsk.  A Cyprus court recently issued an order to freeze $820 million of assets held by him, over a battle with a rival telecoms group.  A SCM spokesman has said that the company will appeal the Cypriot court's ruling and the Dutch order, and would vigorously defend themselves against "baseless claims". 

Eight arrested for attack on Iranian embassy

Eight people were detained on Friday 5 January for breaking into the grounds of the Iranian embassy in the Hague and throwing items at the building.  They are likely to be charged with a variety of offences including sedition, disrupting public order and unauthorized entry, a spokesperson said.  Dozens of protesters staged demonstrations in both Amsterdam and the Hague against the Iranian regime earlier in the week.  More than 20 people have died in Iran, in days of opposition protests over the state of the economy and the regime.  

Strikes at airlines KLM and Air France next week

Strikes are likely for sister airlines KLM and Air France in the Netherlands next week, as KLM cabin crew strike on Monday 8 January, and Air France pilots plan similar action on Thursday.  Cost reductions made last year at KLM mean that 40% of intercontinental flights have one cabin staff member less than previously, leading to increased pressure of work. Air France pilots are striking because a pilot was replaced when he refused to depart without a purser who was sick, violating security regulations.  Many Dutch pilots are also concerned about plans to change pension plans and regulations for part-time work, which could lead to further strike action.   

Netherlands and Belgium adjust their national borders

The Netherlands and Belgium have peacefully adjusted their borders, affecting an area of the size of 27 football pitches to the east of the city of Vise in Belgium, and to the east of the Dutch village of Eijsden.  The border now goes down the centre of the river Meuse, with the Netherlands taking over about 40 acres of new land, and Belgium adopting 8 new acres.  The agreement was reached in 2016 after the peninsula on the river had obtained a reputation for lawlessness because of the difficulties of police jurisdiction from the Belgian side.  Four years ago, a headless corpse was discovered there, but Dutch authorities were unable to investigate as the land belonged to Belgium, and their police had difficulty in accessing the area because of the river.  The two countries have other border areas that are complex, but since they both belong to the EU's Schengen agreement, no passport checks are required.  

Transport strike to go ahead on Thursday

A proposed 24-hour strike by regional train and bus drivers will go ahead on Thursday, trade unions reported after talks broke down in November.  Employees are seeking better pay and conditions for the sector's 12,000 workers and threatened further strikes if their demands were not met. Regional bus and train services operated by Arriva, Connexxion, EBS, Qbuzz, Hermes and Keolis will be affected, as well as tram services in Utrecht.    

All storm-surge barriers closed due to severe weather

All five of the Dutch storm-surge barriers were closed on Wednesday because of strong winds and high water, the first time all five have been used at once, according to the transport ministry.  Crowds turned out to see the closure of the Maeslant storm barrier, which cuts Rotterdam port off from the sea, for the first time since 2007. Widespread disruption on roads was reported, and over 250 flights to and from Schipol airport were cancelled.  

Flights cancelled due to severe weather warning

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has decided to restrict runway activity on Wednesday 3 January due to the forecast of heavy storms.  As a result, KLM has cancelled 52 European return flights scheduled for that day.  Travellers are advised to visit the company website on www.klm.com, as trips are currently being rebooked.  The company has also advised that there may be further delays tomorrow and in the following days as a result of the disruption.

Joint operations bust huge drug trafficking ring

Law enforcement and judicial authorities of Iceland, the Netherlands and Poland carried out a joint operation on 12 December against an organized group comprised mostly of Polish nationals.  The group were involved in the production and trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances as well as money laundering.  In total, eight suspects were arrested, 30 locations searched and various type of drugs were seized together with assets with a value in excess of 1.8 million euros.  Europol provided in-depth operational analysis and deployed mobile offices to assist with the operation.

European commission investigate IKEA tax treatment

The European Commission has announced that it will open a tax investigation into the way the Netherlands has treated Inter Ikea, one of the groups which operates the Ikea business in Europe. There are concerns that the company  may have paid less tax than required, giving it an unfair advantage over its competitors.  Ikea negotiated a deal with the Dutch authorities in 2006 to allow it to transfer a significant portion of its' profits to Luxembourg, where it is not required to pay tax.  When this was found illegal by the European commision, the company moved its' profits to Lichtenstein, which is not in the EU.  The Dutch tax authorities have been criticised previously for so called "sweetener deals" to tempt multinational companies.  In 2015, Starbacks were ordered to pay 30 million euros in tax which it had avoided through state aid from the Netherlands. 

Two killed in separate stabbing incidents in Maastricht

Two stabbings were reported just a few hundred metres apart in a suburb of Maastricht last night.  Witnesses reported hearing shouting after a fight broke out on Botsaarsstraat, where one man died as a result of a stabbing, and the suspect escaped.  Ten minutes later, a further stabbing took place on Joseph Postnesstraat where a woman was killed and two people injured. Later a further man was found injured in a mosque and was taken to hospital.  The police stated that there is no reason to think that the incidents were terrorism-related.  

Travel disruptions due to extreme weather

On Sunday KLM cancelled over 280 flights from Schiphol, and dozens of accidents were reported by motoring associations.  While Monday morning was dry and clear, a fresh band of snow is due to arrive this afternoon, leading to further flight cancellations to European destinations as a precaution.  The heaviest snowfall is predicted for the south-west and central regions, with temperatures dropping to -6 centigrade.  Drivers have been advised to postpone non-essential journeys. By Monday afternoon, the Dutch weather bureau issued a "code red" alert for all areas other than the three northernmost provinces, where orange alerts are still in place.  Train operator NS is running reduced schedules, and the A2 motorway was closed between Eindhoven and Maastricht because of icy conditions.

Delays due to technical problems at Schipol Airport

A malfunction in the air traffic control system caused dozens of cancelled and delayed flights on Tuesday at Schiphol Airport, one of Europe's busiest hubs.  A spokeswoman for Air Traffic Control Netherlands said that whilst it was not clear what had caused the problem, a cyber attack had been ruled out.  The problem was resolved by approximately 16:00 but delays may still occur as the backlog is cleared.  Schiphol is the third-busiest airport in Europe after London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Amsterdam wins EU medical agency after Brexit

The European Medicines Authority (EMA) will move its' agency to Amsterdam after Brexit.  The city tied with the favourite, Milan, and the result was decided by lucky dip.  The EMA has around 900 staff and will open in Amsterdam on 1 April 2019, immediately after Britains' formal withdrawal from the EU.  In all, 19 cities had bid to host the agency, which brings prestige and an economic boost as well as the offices of major international pharmaceutical companies.

New Dutch Government sworn in

King Willem-Alexander has sworn in a new Dutch government, bringing to an end the longest coalition talks in Dutch history, lasting 225 days.  Divisive elections on 15 March forced the four main parties to work out a deal including several sensitive issues ranging from immigration to corporate tax rates.  The coalition, led by conservative Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, comprises his liberal WD, the centrist D66, and conservative Christian parties CDA and Christian Union.  The installation of the new government also marks the departure of Eurogroup president and finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who has said he will now leave politics.

Saudi Aramco buys stake in Rotterdam oil terminal

On 26 October, Saudi Aramco announced that they had entered into an arrangement to buy a stake in a major Rotterdam fuel terminal.  Aramco Overseas Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, will buy Gunvor's stake in the Maasvlakte Olie Terminal, which will strengthen the oil producer's presence in Europe.  The terms have not been disclosed, but the deal will be completed by the end of October.


Amsterdam speech cancelled after arrest warrant issued

Turkish journalist, Can Dundar who has been living in hiding in Germany, has cancelled his plans to give a talk in Amsterdam next week because Turkey has called for an international warrant to be issued for his arrest. Dundar, the former editor of secular paper Cumhuriyet, was sentenced to almost six years in prison for leaking state secrets and accusing the government of providing weapons to jihadis in Syria.  The Turkish public prosecutor has asked Interpol to issue the arrest warrant, although it is not yet clear whether this has been honoured.

Strong winds affect thousands of passengers at Amsterdam airport

Thousands of passengers have been affected when storms and high winds forced flight cancellations at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (AMS) on Wednesday. Dozens of KLM, British Airways, Aer Lingus and Flybe flights were cancelled during the morning as strong winds gusted along the North Sea. Flights to and from the UK were also disrupted due to heavily limited air traffic restrictions in AMS. Airlines across Europe are already under pressure following widespread disruptions caused by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.

Terror suspect arrested in attempted Rotterdam concert attack

A terror suspect has been detained by the Dutch police as investigations into a suspected terror attack are launched in Rotterdam. The Dutch police allegedly received a tip-off from Spanish police regarding a potential terror attack targeting a rock concert in the Maassilo exhibition and trade centre. An American band called 'Allah-Las' were due to play a gig; however, the concert was cancelled at the last minute after the police raised the alarm and evacuated the venue. A van containing gas canisters was found near the venue and the driver - a 22-year-old Spanish national - was initially arrested before being released. The driver was allegedly drunk when arrested and the gas canisters were related to his work. Another suspect was later arrested in the southern province of Brabant, where the police reportedly carried out a property raid near Zevenbergen, around 40km (20 miles) south of Rotterdam. According to the BBC, the American band has previously received messages from Muslims offended by the use of the word 'Allah' in the band's name.

Airport delays expected over new EU security measures

Passengers flying from non-Schengen countries are reportedly facing extreme delays as major EU airports beef up security measures on border control. According to an A4E spokesman - which represents BA's owner AIG, Ryanair and EasyJet - thousands of flights were already delayed during the busy summer holidays peak, mainly due to large queues at passport control. Passengers heading to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport are likely to face disruptions. The EU announced in March new security measures on main airports in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels.

PM fails in renewed attempt to form coalition government

Prime Minister Mark Rutte failed for the second time to form a coalition government. Rutte's right-wing Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) has been negotiating with other parties - Social-democrats D66, Christian Democrats and GreenLefts - to form a government since VVD's garnered 21 percent of the votes in March's elections. The main point that has been stalling the negotiations are the immigration policies proposed by the Right, that are being mainly opposed by the Greens. In mid-May, negotiations failed for the first time due to the same reasons.

Coalition negotiations breakdown

Coalition talks have failed following a series of negotiations between Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the Christian Democrats, the Green Left, and the liberal D66. The failure of the talks has been attributed to an inability to form an agreeable consensus between all four parties on the matter of immigration. However, all four parties have refused to consider a coalition deal with the far-right Freedom Party (PVV) - who gained the second highest number of seats overall.

Al-Shabaab linked suspect arrested near Eindhoven

A 22-year-old man was arrested last week over alleged links to terrorist organisations. The Public Prosecutor (OM) office said that intelligence services suggest the man - a Dutch national of Somali origin - was a member of the Somali-based group al-Shabaab. The suspect was arrested in Sint-Oedenrode, outskirts of Eindhoven.

Two dead as train crashes into car near Harlingen

Two people have been killed, including a child, when a train crashed into a car near Harlingen. The collision happened while the victims were en route back to Leeuwarden from a school trip. It remains unclear if there are more casualties. The level crossing was unmanned and faced a similar accident last month.

Dutch-Turkish Rotterdam protest cancelled

The Dutch-Turkish protest scheduled to take place in Rotterdam today has been cancelled amid security concerns. The organisers of the rally reportedly announced the cancellation via social media, citing a lack of guaranteed safety for participants as the main reason for the cancellation. The demonstration had been scheduled to take place in the form of a march from the central station to Schouwburgplein between 17:00 and 19:00. Those in the area should be aware of the possibility that some protesters may continue to gather despite the cancellation.

Coalition talks scheduled as ruling party leads elections

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is set to be re-elected as election results suggest a People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) victory. Far-right Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV) came in second place; however, the PVV is unlikely to be part of the coalition to form the new government. The Labour Party (PvdA) faced major losses by only gathering nine seats in comparison to its previous 38 seats, while the GreenLeft increased its presence in parliament from four to 14 seats. Coalition negotiation talks are scheduled to take place on Thursday afternoon as the final result will be revealed by Tuesday 21 March.

Dutch general election underway

The Dutch general election is underway in the Netherlands today. The election marks the first crucial election in a series of three elections centred around immigration policies and pledges to withdraw the Netherlands from the EU. The election has caused international upset - especially with the Turkish government, which has accused the Netherlands of endorsing right-wing Nazi politics by allowing right-wing politician Geert Wilders to promise harsh immigration policies, mosque closures, and a ban on the Koran, alongside promises to withdraw the Netherlands from membership to the EU. According to the BBC, the elections have recorded a 33 percent turnout so far - an increase from a 27 percent turnout in 2012.

Government issues travel warning to Dutch nationals in Turkey

As diplomatic tensions rise between Netherlands and Turkey, the Dutch government issued a travel warning to its citizens within Turkish borders. On its travel advice service, the government acknowledged that tensions between both countries have remained high since Saturday - when the government banned a political campaign of a Turkish minister in Rotterdam - and advised Dutch nationals to exercise extra caution when near crowded places.

Dutch ambassador to Turkey barred from Ankara

The Dutch ambassador to Turkey has been officially barred from returning to Ankara in the latest escalation of the diplomatic row between the two countries. The deputy prime minister of Turkey, Numan Kurtulmus, has stated that the Dutch ambassador will not be allowed to enter the Turkish capital and that high-level political talks will be suspended. The diplomatic ban is a retaliatory action against the Dutch decision to block Turkish protests and rallies against the alleged Dutch and German endorsement of 'Nazism' in upcoming elections. Turkey has accused both countries of advocating far-right ideals against Islamic radicalism - which are reminiscent of the Nazi party's xenophobic policies.

Dutch to head to polls in general elections

The Dutch are set to head to polls on Wednesday to vote in the country's general election. With polls indicating most major parties gaining a significant share in parliament, the main battle regards the ruling coalition - mainly comprised of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the Labour Party (PvdA) - and the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) - led by the controversial Geert Wilders. 

Diplomatic tensions rise as Turkish minister is escorted out of the country

Police clashed with protesters on Saturday evening after Turkey's family minister, Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, was expelled from the country and denied entry to the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam. Kaya was in Rotterdam to campaign for the Turkish referendum to turn the country from a parliamentary to a presidential republic. Turkey's president Tayyip Erdogan said that the decision hinders Turkish-Dutch relations and that repercussions will follow.

Ten Dutch nationals added to list of terrorists

Ten Dutch citizens have been added to a national list of suspected terrorists wanted for arrest. The suspects have allegedly been added to the list due to involvement in terrorist-related activities thought to have been carried out in either Iraq or Syria. The national terrorism list - decided by the relevant government ministries and publicly shared with the EU - details 97 suspected terrorists and three asset-frozen organisations believed to have aided in the funding of terrorist activities through Dutch bank accounts.

Demonstration to take place in The Hague

A demonstration has been scheduled to take place today in The Hague. The demonstration has been planned to take place on the Lange Voorhout side of the US Embassy, and is expected to start at 16:00 local time, and will last until 17:30. Demonstrators will be protesting against the arrest of a German member of the left-wing Turkish Revolutionary People's Liberation Party. Travellers have been advised to avoid the demonstration - as despite peaceful intentions, large gatherings often have the potential to quickly become violent.

Justice minister resigns over controversial millionaire deal

Dutch Justice Minister Arn van der Steur has resigned amid a controversial millionaire deal made with a convicted drug dealer in 2001. The case regards the payment of €2 million to Cees Helman who had his assets seized without any proof of involvement in criminal activity. This is the third member of the government to resign over the case. The ruling People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, headed by Mark Rutte, has been under pressure as the recent polls indicate popular preference to the anti-immigration Geert Wilders's Party for Freedom.

Protests against US politics to take place in Amsterdam

Protests against US politics have been scheduled to take place in Amsterdam on Friday 20 January, and on Saturday 21st January. Two separate groups will carry out demonstrations to protest against the inauguration of president-elect, Donald Trump - due to take place tomorrow, Friday 20 January. The first demonstration will take place at 19:00 local time outside the US Consulate General Amsterdam on Museumplein and will continue until 21:00 in the evening. Another group will also protest at 19:00 on Friday, starting at Dam Square and joining up with the demonstration outside the US Consulate General Amsterdam. The following day, another demonstration is scheduled to start at 12:00 outside the US Consulate General Amsterdam, and will continue until 15:00. Approximately 5,000 people have been predicted to take part in the demonstrations overall. Significant police forces will be in place, including riot police. Some travel disruption around the areas should be expected, and travellers should avoid large demonstrations where possible.

Bird flu discovered on a farm in Gelderland

On 20 December, the seventh case of bird flu in the Netherlands was discovered on a poultry farm in Gelderland. Approximately 300,000 chickens are being destroyed on four farms and samples are being taken from a further six farms in the area. 

Two police officers wounded by bomb in Spaarndam

At 18:30 local time, on 13 December, two police officers from a SWAT team were wounded by an explosion in the Inlaagpolder in Spaarndam, Haarlem. Both officers were taken to hospital, with one of them reported to be in a critical condition. Preliminary investigations suggest that the explosion occurred inside their police vehicle, probably caused by a mishap with a police explosive. SWAT teams usually carry explosives on operations. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal team is onsite and are investigating the cause of the explosion. The police have not disclosed what the team was doing in the area and have cordoned it off for forensic investigation.

Armed terror suspect arrested in Rotterdam

At 15:20 local time, on 9 December, Dutch media reported that a terror suspect with a loaded Kalashnikov assault rifle has been arrested in Rotterdam. The suspect, believed to be 30 years old, was reportedly arrested at home on suspicion of plotting to carry out a terror attack. A painting depicting an Islamic State (IS) flag was discovered in the property. No other details have yet been released and the investigation is ongoing. 

Eindhoven Airport evacuated over unattended suitcase

On 22 November, Eindhoven Airport was evacuated by the Royal Military Police after an unattended suitcase was discovered. A bomb disposal unit and sniffer dog were deployed to the scene but found no evidence of hazardous or explosive material. 

Several people injured as train derails in Winsum

At approximately 11:30 local time, on 18 November, a train derailed near Winsum, 125 miles northeast of Amsterdam, injuring several people. Emergency services have reported that the front carriage of the train left the tracks after hitting a milk truck at an unguarded rail crossing. It was not immediately known how many people were on board. The driver of the milk truck was not hurt, and one passenger was taken to hospital. Several others were treated at the scene for minor injuries. 

One person arrested and security increased at Rotterdam The Hague Airport after terror threat

On 17 November, a 45-year-old mentally disturbed man was arrested after an investigation was launched into a terror threat made against Rotterdam The Hague Airport that morning. The police have stated that the man is an undocumented migrant with a history of making false reports. The Rotterdam Police have implemented additional security measures at the airport in response to the threat. Travellers should allow additional time if they plan to travel to the airport in the next 24 hours. 

Terror threat at Rotterdam The Hague airport

At 12:30 local time, on 17 November, Rotterdam The Hague airport received a terror threat. Roads around the airport have been closed and security has been increased, including extra checks of passengers. Police received an anonymous message indicating a possible threat. A major investigation is currently underway. 

Geert Wilders faces hate speech trial

On 31 October, Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) is due to go on trial accused of racial discrimination and inciting hatred. The charges were levied against him after he led a chant calling for fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands at a rally 18 months ago. Mr Wilders has stated that the trial in Schiphol is a "travesty" and that he will not attend. If convicted, he faces a substantial fine and a year imprisonment. 

Flights from Eindhoven Airport delayed due to thick fog

On 27 October, flights from Eindhoven Airport were delayed due to thick fog. Some flights may be delayed or diverted to another airport. Travellers flying from Eindhoven Airport should check the airport's website or with their airline for more information on potential delays or diversions. 

Delays at Eindhoven airport due to heavy fog

On 10 October, heavy fog caused delays and cancellations at Eindhoven airport. Most aircraft had left by 10:00, but four flights were delayed and some have been cancelled. 

Schipol airport partially evacuated over security threat

Amsterdam's Schipol has been partially evacuated and one person has been arrested over a security threat. "Police have evacuated part of the airport plaza and the adjacent Sheraton Hotel and arrested one person amid a suspicious situation," spokeswoman Danielle Timmer told AFP. Armed police cordoned off an area in the main terminal near the Departures 1 area.

Dutch voters reject EU-Ukraine partnership deal

Voters in the Netherlands have rejected an EU partnership deal to remove trade barriers with Ukraine in a referendum. Despite the low turnout of 32.2 percent, the referendum is considered valid once it is above the 30 percent threshold. The deal was rejected by over 61 percent of the voters, with only 38 percent in favour. The Netherlands, currently holding the presidency of the EU, is the only country that did not ratify the deal.  Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko insisted his country would "continue our movement towards the EU".

Clashes over migrant centre in Geldermalsen

Dutch police have clashed with protesters in the town of Geldermalsen over plans to build a new centre for migrants in the town.  Protesters threw bottles and fireworks at police, who responded by firing warning shots. "Finding shelter for asylum seekers poses difficult questions but there is a limit when it comes to expressing your opinion," said Dutch State Secretary for Security and Justice Klaas Dijkhoff.

Deadly shooting near primary schools in Zaandam

One person has been killed in a shooting near two primary schools in the city of Zaandam.  Several children witnessed the incident on J. Kruijverstraat at 12:20 local time on Tuesday afternoon.  Local media has named the victim as 43-year-old Lucas Boom from Amsterdam, while the killing has been linked to criminal gang leader Willem Holleeder.

Dutch MP plans to air cartoon of Prophet Muhammad

Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders said he plans to show cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on national television.  Mr Wilders said "terrorists have to realise that they will never win and how important freedom of speech is for us in the Netherlands."  He will run the cartoons in the next few weeks during television airtime which is reserved for political parties.

Man with fake gun storms Dutch news broadcaster

A man with a fake gun has been arrested after he threatened a security guard and stormed into the studio of Dutch news broadcaster NOS.  Armed police entered the studio and overpowered the 19-year-old man from the building at the Media Park in the city of Hilversum. He is being held on suspicion of making a threat, weapons possession and taking a hostage, officials added, while they are also investigating his possible motives.

Dutch schools shut over shooting threat

More than 20 Dutch schools have closed in response to an internet threat to carry out a shooting in the western city of Leiden.  The message, posted anonymously on a US-based site, warned "I will shoot my Dutch teacher and as many students as I can".

Netherlands Data Sheet

Population:
16.8 million
Major Religion/s:
Christianity
International dialing code:
+31
International dialing prefix:
00
Emergency services:
112
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
230V
Climate:
Temperate
Ohter Major Cities:
Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven
Borders:
Belgium, Germany