Pubblicato in: Unione Europea

Olanda. Raggiunto un accordo per il governo dopo 208 giorni.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-09.

Olanda 001

«the government is increasing the low VAT rate from 6 to 9 percent»

«Accordo raggiunto in Olanda sulla formazione del governo, dopo 208 giorni di colloqui. E’ quanto riportano i media locali. Eguagliato il record del 1977: anche allora furono necessari 208 giorni per formare un governo, operazione tradizionalmente lenta nel Paese. Domani sarà presentato il programma di governo della coalizione di centrodestra guidata dal Vvd, partito del premier Mark Rutte, insieme ai cristiano democratici del Cda, ai liberali progressisti del D66 e ai conservatori della Christen Unie.» [Fonte]

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«Nella coalizione di maggioranza (peraltro risicatissima: 76 seggi su 150 alla Camera bassa) dovranno infatti convivere il Vvd, il Partito liberal-conservatore di Rutte (33 seggi), i cristiano-democratici del Cda e i liberali progressisti del D66 (19 seggi a testa) e l’Unione cristiana (Cu, 5 seggi).» [Sole 24 Ore]

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Così, 208 giorni dopo le elezioni l’Olanda è riuscita a dotarsi di un governo.

Sono molti i paesi europei la cui frammentazione politica ha esitato in una formazione di un governo lunga, laboriosa e, soprattutto, frutto di compromessi anche talora molto grossolani: la Spagna potrebbe essere un ottimo esempio.

Ma, anche se al momento in fieri, la situazione tedesca sembrerebbe non essere da meno.

Si prospettano quindi anni di governi sostanzialmente deboli, che nei fatti devono ricercare una maggioranza atto per atto.

Quanto accaduto dovrebbe dare elementi per meditare sugli attuali sistemi elettorali, concepiti in tempi di forte bipolarismo.

Da questo punto di vista, il sistema elettorale francese consente di poter arrivare a fine tornata all’espressione di un governo, più o meno stabile, ma pur sempre di un governo, anche se da un punto di vista meramente percentuale esso sia stato votato da una frazione non maggioritaria della popolazione.

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Non si reputi questo problema di lana caprina: in realtà interessa tutti.

Infatti il capo del nuovo governo olandese siederà in seno al Consiglio Europeo ed ivi voterà, con conseguenze che ricadranno alla fine su tutta la popolazione europea.


Nota.

«And young people will have priority in getting a job at the government if they first did some volunteer work in society.»

Tradotto dal politichese, per essere assunti dallo stato i giovani devono aver prestato servizio in una qualche organizzazione non governativa.


The Netherland Times. 2017-10-09. Dutch gov’t agreement done, sent to parliamentary factions

Nearly seven months after the parliamentary elections, the negotiators of the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are finally done with their new government agreement, formation mediator Gerrit Zalm announced on Monday. The agreement was sent to the four parties’ parliamentary factions, which have the rest of Monday to read through it, ask questions and make comments, NU.nl reports. 

“We have reached an agreement that I will present to the faction with conviction and positive advice”, CDA leader Sybrand Buma said, according to the newspaper. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold called it a “solid agreement”. “I am proud that this has been successful and that it is a balanced and sustainable agreement”, he said.

According to ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers, the agreement is based on give and take. “There is a lot of pain for everyone, but also very nice points. So I am going to my faction with great confidence”, he said. VVD leader Mark Rutte only said that he is “very happy” with what is on the table.

The negotiators refused to comment on the content of the agreement, though a large number of plans have already leaked to the public

On Tuesday the negotiators will meet again to discuss their factions’ comments and to make any necessary adjustments. According to NU.nl, this is expected to happen late on Tuesday morning or early in the afternoon. After that, the government agreement will be officially presented. 


The Netherland Times. 2017-10-09. New Dutch Gov’t formation: What we know so far

The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are now really very almost done with their government agreement, ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers said to NOS on Friday afternoon. But he thinks the four parties will have to meet again on Monday.

There will be no meetings over the weekend. The ChristenUnie respects the Sunday rest. “And on Saturday I have other plans”, Segers said to the broadcaster.

The other negotiators also indicated that the government agreement is almost ready. “We came very far. It’s a matter of rechecking the last issues. It takes time because it’s a lot”, CDA leader Sybrand Buma said. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold added that things are going “really fast” now. “That’s nice for everyone.” He is confident that there will be a stable cabinet. 

Over the past months a number of the new government’s plans leaked out. Here’s what we know so far, according to RTL Nieuws.

The new government wants to lower taxes over the coming years, especially for the middle class. They are planning a reform that will result in a total of some 6 billion euros of tax cuts. The parties also want to reform the tax system to reduce the current four tax brackets to two. Most tax payers will pay the same tax, with only the 10 percent top earners paying more. To be able to afford this, the government is increasing the low VAT rate from 6 to 9 percent. The mortgage interest rebate will be accelarated from 2020 onwards. 

Companies will pay much less tax in the coming years. The 25 percent corporate tax rate will be lowered to 21 percent, and the low tax rate for the first 200 thousand euros of profit is decreasing from 20 to 16 percent. 

The cabinet is also lowering income tax. The amount exempt from taxes is increasing to 30 thousand euros.

The immigration policy will change so that immigrants have more help through the integration process, but less access to welfare benefits. Refugees with a residency permit will not be entitled to health benefits, rent allowance and healthcare allowance for the first two years they live in the Netherlands. Municipalities will arrange housing, health insurance and guidance in the integration process. 

The government is also implementing more changes to the asylum policy. For example, the government wants to limit the number of times an asylum seeker can reapply for asylum. And residency permits for refugees – asylum seekers who were granted asylum – will be valid for only 3 years in the future, instead of the current 5 years. 

An extra amount of nearly 500 million euros is set aside to reduce the workload of teachers in primary education. The money can be spent on more teaching assistants and smaller classes. That amount comes on top of the previously promised 270 million euros for increasing teachers’ salaries.

The government wants schools to teach their students about the Dutch national anthem, the Wilhelmus. This includes lessons on the text, meaning and melody of the anthem. The parties also want children to visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Tweede Kamer in The Hague at least once during their school career. And young people will have priority in getting a job at the government if they first did some volunteer work in society. 

Healthcare own-risk deductibles will not increase next year, but remain 385 euros. To afford this, health premiums may increase slightly more than expected. This is the only plan formally confirmed by mediator Gerrit Zalm, according to RTL. 

Defense is getting an extra amount of around 1.5 billion euros – around 1 billion euros for overdue maintenance and the rest for expansion.

Over 2 billion euros will be invested into roads, public transit and waterways in the coming years. There will also be more money for bike paths. Repeat traffic offenders will face higher fines, some train routes will have more Sprinters and highways will be lit in the night. 

The new government agreed not to work on a proposal around euthanasia at the end of a long life itself. But more stem cell research will be done. 

The parties want to encourage housing corporation to better insulate rental housing. As encouragement, the government will decrease the landlords tax – the tax for housing corporatios – by 100 million euros.

Small businesses will no longer have to pay sick leave for ill employees for two years, but for only one year. Larger businesses still have to pay the full two years. This is to encourage small businesses to hire people more often. Sick employees will not get less money – small companies will all put money into a fund to spread the risks, according to the broadcaster.

The negotiators spoke about a kilometer tax for freight traffic. How this will be implemented is not yet clear. 

The budget for the ‘legal chain’, including the police and Public Prosecutor, will increase each year. In In 2019 the chain will receive 430 million euros extra, and that amount will increase to almost half a billion euros by the end of the cabinet period. A large part of that extra money is going towards the police, especially to community police officers. And 60 million euros of the amount is intended for the fight against cybercrime. 

The cabinet plans to launch an experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation. In the experiment, one organization will be given a government licence to grow weed, which will be distributed in six to 10 municipalities. The new government hopes that this will reduce organized crime and increase the safety of cannibis in the country.

Unlicensed escort agencies and pimps will face criminal prosecution in the future, according to the new government’s plans. Under current Dutch law, unlicensed prostitution companies only face an administrative fine for working without a license. The four parties agreed that a harsher approach is needed to combat human trafficking.

The new cabinet is introducing a minimum hourly wage of between 15 and 18 euros for freelancers or self-employed working at a low rate, like food deliverers or cleaners. People working for or below this minimum wage will also no longer be considered freelancers, which means that their employer will have to pay for things like holiday pay and employee insurance. 


The Netherland Times. 2017-10-09. Gender neutrality to play big role in Netherlands social policy

The new Dutch government plans to limit gender registration and work gender-neutrally as much as possible, sources confirmed to RTL Nieuws. Article 1 of the Dutch Constitution will be supplemented to specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The parties also made agreements regarding multiple parenthood – allowing a child to legally have more than two parents. They agreed to make this a so-called free-topic. This means that the two Christian parties – who are against this – do not have to vote for the proposal, but also won’t impede it. 

In August newspaper AD revealed that the new cabinet wants more research to be done into multiple parenthood. According to RTL, a committee led by Aleid Wolfsen looked into the proposal and made a number of recommendations, including looking into issues like naming children when more than two parents are involved. Sources told the broadcaster that the new cabinet accepts and will follow these recommendations. 

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