A paper sold by homeless vendors carries a rare and personal interview with queen Máxima this week.
The Straatjournaal, which covers Haarlemmermeer, Kennemerland, West-Friesland, the northern tip of Noord-Holland and Texel, is not shy when it comes to asking famous and influential people for interviews: a previous issue carried an interview with the pope. The interview with the queen headlines its 20th anniversary issue.
During the hour-long interview Máxima, who is chairwoman of the Platform Wijzer in Geldzaken, a finance ministry initiative promoting financial responsibility, opened up about the issue of money in the royal household. It’s a precarious subject, noted Trouw, in the wake of recent revelations that her eldest daughter Amalia will receive a yearly allowance of €1.5 million when she turns 18.
For now Amalia as well as her sisters only get pocket money, although Máxima fails to specify the amount. All three children have their own bank accounts and are ‘avid’ savers, she said. ‘They will say: “Mum, I really want this.” I tell them: “You can use your own money to buy it”. And then they say: ‘Well, maybe I don’t need it after all”,’ she told the paper.
When asked when she first experienced poverty Máxima mentions the beggars she saw as a little girl growing up in Argentina. ‘I was shocked to see children of my age begging for money. When I was older I saw adults selling fruit in train stations,’ she told Straatjournaal vendor Evert van den Brink.
The Volkskrant suggested the interview was part of a trend of the rich and famous using street papers for self-promotion. It appears not just in all national homeless papers, but also in some 113 international ones with a combined readership of three million.
According to Straatjournaal editor Floor de Booys, the knife cuts both ways. ‘Máxima meets lots of poor people abroad, and she goes into schools to talk about money and not getting into debt. The Straatjournaal is a good outlet for that sort of subject,’ she told the paper.