King speaks in throne speech of chance of recovery crisis

King Willem-Alexander read the throne speech for the first time this Tuesday in the Hall of Knights in The Hague. In it he spoke, among other things of the chance of recovery in the economy and the disappearance of the welfare state.It is the first for the new king to experience Prinsjesdag in this capacity. During the reading of the throne speech Máxima sat next to Willem-Alexander on stage in the Hall of Knights.

The king spoke of the necessary cuts and changes Netherlands has to apply to stimulate the economy. Without intervention, the budget deficit remains too large.

But first, Willem-Alexander thanked his mother, Princess Beatrix, who will always remain an important source of inspiration for him. With a great sense of duty, warmth and deeply felt commitment she put in 33 years for the Kingdom and all its inhabitants, in good times and bad.

Holger Motzkau
Wikimedia commons

He also said his family is grateful for the support and feelings of solidarity around the death of his brother Prince Friso.

The King referred to the economic crisis with which the Netherlands has struggled for five years now. According to him there are tentative signs that the end of the global crisis is in sight. This creates a perspective on recovery for our country. That does not change the fact that the Dutch economy faces a number of specific problems of a structural nature. He named a high indebtedness of households and the problems with banks.

The government wants to restore the growth potential of the economy which, according to the king, requires perseverance.

Our labor market and system of public facilities no longer fully meet the requirements of our time, due to developments as  aging and internationalization. According to the king we must face the fact that public arrangements need adapting.

Willem-Alexander stated during the meeting the classic welfare state slowly but surely turns into a participatory society, because people are empowered and the government is forced to reduce the deficit. Anyone who can is asked to take responsibility for his or her own life and environment.

Among other things Willem-Alexander spoke about the energy agreement, the social agreement and changes in education, health care and child welfare and housing.

He also spoke of developments outside the country's borders. He finds that the Netherlands should continue to play an important role within the European Union. The last few years have shown how developments in the European Union are relevant to the economic, social and political future of our country. He also spoke briefly about international coöperation and the plans for the armed forces. The king expressed his gratitude for the soldiers who are active for Netherlands.

Willem-Alexander's first throne speech had a length of 2,216 words, which is the longest speech in the last decade. In 2003 Beatrix' speech counted 2,570 words. Since then, the throne speeches were always under 2,000 words. The shortest speech from the throne of Queen Beatrix was in 2009, when she spoke 1,545 words. In 1993 her speech counted 3,224 words, which made it her longest speech on Budget day.

The meeting was opened around 13:00 pm by Chairman Ankie Broekers-Knol of the Senate. In addition, all ministers, state secretaries, members of the State Council and the Senate and the House were present.

Many interested parties were ready along the route of the procession to catch glimpses of the royal couple. Around noon the public courses were full, reported the police.

Princess Beatrix and her sister Princess Margriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven were not involved in this year's Budget Day. Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien were. They rode the Glass Coach, which preceded the Golden Carriage.

After the meeting in the Great Hall the foursome returned to Noordeinde Palace for the traditional balcony scene at 14.00. This concluded  Prinsjesdag for the royal family.

At 15:00 Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Minister of Finance, offered the briefcase with the State Budget and Tax Plan to the House.