Dutch queen’s speech defends euro
The Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix underlined her country’s commitment to the euro during her annual address to parliament yesterday, and made it clear the Dutch would continue to pursue “austerity” policies in response to Europe’s debt crisis.
The queen was speaking at the 13th-century Hall of Knights in the Hague after riding from her palace in a horse-drawn carriage past thousands of people dressed in orange for “Prince’s Day” – the year’s most important ceremony for the royal house.
Reading a speech written by prime minister Mark Rutte’s outgoing conservative government and televised nationally, Beatrix said European co-operation “which has brought our country so much, is under pressure because of the debt crisis.” She said a “strong and stable currency” was important for all euro member states, but “for the Netherlands, which earns a large portion of its national income in Europe, it’s essential”.
Prince’s Day, held on the third Tuesday in September, came at an inconvenient moment this year. National elections were held last week, but a new parliament has yet to be sworn in. Beatrix was addressing a host of “lame-duck” MPs, and discussing a budget that may soon be significantly altered.
The 2013 budget is based on a deal struck after Mr Rutte’s government collapsed in April.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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