Saturday, October 23, 2021

Dutch king’s speech outlines limited government plans

The Hague, Netherlands (AP) – The Dutch king on Tuesday launched a new parliamentary term for the coming year in his traditional speech, amid talks set to form a new ruling coalition.

With Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government in caretaker mode since the March general election and no easy path for a new administration, no major plans were unveiled in King’s speech written by the government.

“There are major new long-term options for the next cabinet,” King Willem-Alexander told a joint sitting of both houses of parliament.

Still, he said the government would invest an additional 7 billion euros ($8.2 billion) in measures to help make households and industry more sustainable and to help achieve its planned reduction in emissions, including promoting the use of electric cars. .

He promised more money to tackle housing shortages, for education and to strengthen the rule of law, warning that organized crime gangs are becoming increasingly violent. In July, he met crime reporter Peter R. De Vries’ murder was called “a new nadir”.

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For the second straight year, the king’s “speech from the throne” was held at a Hague church instead of the historic Knights Hall due to coronavirus restrictions and no horse-drawn carriage rides through the jam-packed streets for members of the royal family. As the King and Queen Maxima left the church, a small group of people raised an alarm.

Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra was presenting the budget details in Parliament later on Tuesday.

On foreign policy, King said membership of the European Union, NATO and the United Nations remained “a cornerstone of Dutch foreign policy”, but added that the country had choices about its relations with China, Russia and the United States. Huh.

“Trans-Atlantic cooperation is the foundation of Dutch security policy, but at the same time we have to invest more in European security policy,” he said.

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