The government understands that in tackling the government’s finances it is asking all Dutch people to make sacrifices, queen Beatrix said in her annual speech from the throne on Tuesday.
The queen’s speech marks the opening of the new political year and is used to outline government policy and new initiatives.
This year, however, the speech comes just one week after the general election and focuses on austerity measures which were agreed in April this year by a five-party coalition.
The queen said the current political situation meant the outgoing cabinet had shown restraint in coming up with new policies. ‘But tackling the urgent problems facing our country and in Europe cannot be delayed,’ the queen said.
The spring agreement ‘makes it possible for the government to contribute to financial solidarity and growth-targeted reforms,’ the queen said.
A well-functioning internal EU market and a strong currency are crucial to all member states, she said, adding that ‘this is essential for the Netherlands.’
Once the economy and consumer confidence recover, ‘it would be realistic to understand that growth will be lower than we have been used to,’ the queen said.
‘But at the same time, we live in one of the most prosperous countries in the world. It is important to be aware of this and to work together towards the recovery.’
The full speech (in various languages)
After the speech, the queen and the rest of the royal family returned to the Noordeinde palace in The Hague, where they made the traditional balcony appearance.