Queen Beatrix gives annual speech
Queen Beatrix marks the traditional opening of the parliamentary year with her annual speech from The Knights’ Hall.17 September 2008
THE HAGUE -- Queen Beatrix gave her annual speech from the throne in the Knights' Hall in The Hague Tuesday, setting out the cabinet's policy plans for 2009.
The third Tuesday in September is the traditional opening of the parliamentary year.
The queen's speech was attended by the full cabinet and parliament as well as prominent members of the royal family, including Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Princess Máxima.
After the speech, the royal family left for the traditional balcony scene at Noordeinde palace, where the queen and her family were cheered by their loyal subjects.
Earlier in the day, tens of thousands of people lined the route taken by the Golden Coach, which took Queen Beatrix from Noordeinde to the Knights' Hall at the seat of government in the city centre.
After the speech, Finance Minister Wouter Bos presented the 2009 budget in parliament. He spoke of a 'calm' budget against a backdrop of 'turbulent economic times'.
Bos said the international economic unrest would affect the local economy, but added that the Netherlands was still in good shape as compared to other European countries.
Parliament will debate the 2009 budget Wednesday and Thursday.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]
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