Dutch queen announces 18 billion euro cuts for 2012
In her annual address to parliament on Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands outlined the government's plans for drastic budget cuts to cope with the persistent European debt crisis. The city of The Hague, Holland's political capital, is witnessing the annual Budget Day ceremonies.Queen Beatrix, accompanied by Crown Prince Willem Alexander and his wife Princess Máxima, rode across the historic centre of the city from the Noordeinde palace to the Knights' Hall in the Golden Coach, as the royals do every third Tuesday in September.
Tens of thousands were lining the route amid increased security, following last year's incident when an anti-royal activist damaged the coach with a small tealight glass he threw. Following the short ride through The Hague, the queen addresses a joint session of both houses of parliament; her speech is written by the cabinet and outlines the policy aims for the next budgetary year. Her role with respect to the national budget is ceremonial.>Billion-euro cuts
In the course of the afternoon Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager will present the traditional suitcase containing next year's budget to the Lower House. This photo opportunity is followed by a general debate on the proposals.
The budget documents were leaked last week, but MPs agreed to limit themselves to commenting on, rather than debating the figures, until the budget is presented in the queen's speech. The documents appear to confirm that the centre-right minority coalition is standing by its 18 billion euro cuts plan. Critics say the cabinet is ignoring the likelihood that the euro debt crisis is set to deepen.
Cuts will affect each citizen queen Beatrix says. Read more...
Radio Netherlands World/ Rob Kievit