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New center-left coalition in The Hague presents its plans

The new coalition in The Hague plans to focus on sustainability, climate, animal welfare, social security, and equal opportunities in the coming period. “This means, in addition to income, ensuring adequate housing, a stable living situation, health, equal opportunities in education, and a good, clean living environment,” the six parties outlined in the coalition agreement they presented on Monday.

The new coalition includes D66, GroenLinks, PvdA, CDA, PvdD, and DENK. The first four parties were also in the previous coalition. Their aldermen will remain in office. The faction leaders of the newcomers, Robert Barker (PvdD) and Nur Icar (DENK), will also become aldermen if they receive the support of the city council.

The coalition aims to insulate 10,000 homes annually to make them more energy-efficient. Housing associations and office owners are urged to make their buildings more sustainable.

Safety is another key issue. The coalition plans to launch a new campaign where people can anonymously and without penalty hand in weapons, with the aim of curbing the rise in stabbing incidents. “Violence within and among youth groups is escalating more rapidly. It concerns a vulnerable group of youngsters and young adults,” the agreement stated.

Another priority is waste management. In some neighborhoods, garbage is littering the streets because underground containers are rarely emptied, leading to nuisance from rats and seagulls. The coalition aims to have containers emptied more frequently and to fine those who dump waste illegally.

The coalition also wants to abolish the dog tax and inform anglers about the suffering of captured fish. The establishment of an Islamic cemetery is also on the list. While Muslims in The Hague can be buried in four fields of general cemeteries, they do not have a dedicated burial ground in the city.

This is The Hague’s fourth coalition in five years. The previous coalition in The Hague consisted of D66, GroenLinks, PvdA, CDA, and VVD. That board of aldermen fell at the end of June when the governing parties failed to agree on how to further deal with Hart voor Den Haag, the largest party on the city council and party of former alderman Richard de Mos and Rachid Guernaoui.

Their party was previously part of a coalition from 2018 to 2019. The collaboration stopped amid allegations of corruption against former alderman Richard de Mos and Rachid Guernaoui. Both were accused by the Public Prosecutor Service (OM) of helping businesses in return for party donations.

They were both acquitted by the court earlier this year in a long-running corruption and bribery case against them. Despite a pending appeal from prosecutors, they wanted to bring their party back to the coalition. VVD, CDA, and D66 were willing to discuss a return to the coalition with De Mos, but PvdA and GroenLinks were strongly against it, leading to the fall of the coalition after VVD ended cooperation.

The VVD and Hart voor Den Haag are now both in the opposition.

https://nltimes.nl/2023/10/02/new-center-left-coalition-hague-presents-its-plans New center-left coalition in The Hague presents its plans

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