King stresses MH17, ISIS, strong economy in nat'l address
Referring to the MH17 plane crash, King Willem-Alexander began his throne speech today by saying that "Prinsjesdag is surrounded by a mourning edge of sorrow" The disaster on July 17th took 298 lives, including 196 Dutchmen. "The disaster has touched many people and we are all deeply shocked. Across the whole country people were visible as one, in silence and mourning." King Willem-Alexander also referred to the crisis in the Middle-East saying that the tensions in Syria, Iraq and Gaza lead to tensions in our country. "Conflicts thousands of miles away, calls up emotions and reactions in our country. But hate must not spread to our streets." The king continued: "The resilience of the society and economy is put to the test. Clear choices are necessary."
The budget for 2015 focuses on structural recovery of the economy and employment. "The economy is showing itself to be resilient, it is encouraging that our country can carefully find the way up again." The main problem remains the high unemployment. "That is the highest priority." The government deficit is expected to fall in 2015 to 2.2 percent of the gross domestic product. As a result, no new cutbacks are needed. King Willem-Alexander was still cautious. "There is certainly reason for optimism. Nevertheless, the recovery is fragile and dependent on developments in the rest of the world. King Willem Alexander closed the speech by saying that "This year we celebrate two hundred years Prinsjedag. Our country showed itself still powerful as the circumstances demand it. The reforms already implemented lay a foundation for the future of our country. This takes place in a turbulent and uncertain international environment.