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World Dutch king's speech outlines limited government plans

16:10  21 september  2021
16:10  21 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch king outlined a pared-back government plan for the coming year on Tuesday in his traditional speech opening the new parliamentary term that came amid drawn-out negotiations to form a new ruling coalition.

Queen Maxima and members of parliament stand for a triple salute to Dutch King Willem-Alexander after he marked the opening of the parliamentary year with a speech outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press Queen Maxima and members of parliament stand for a triple salute to Dutch King Willem-Alexander after he marked the opening of the parliamentary year with a speech outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

With the government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte in caretaker mode since a March general election and no simple path to a new administration, no major plans were unveiled in the king's speech that is written by the government.

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Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, left in the sunlight, leave after the King marked the opening of the parliamentary year with a speech outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, left in the sunlight, leave after the King marked the opening of the parliamentary year with a speech outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

“Major new long-term choices are for the next Cabinet,” King Willem-Alexander told a joint sitting of both houses of parliament.

Even so, he said the government would invest an extra 7 billion euros ($8.2 billion) for measures to help achieve its planned reduction in emissions including making homes and industry more sustainable and promoting use of electric cars.

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He also pledged more funds to tackle housing shortages, for education and to bolster rule of law, warning that organized crime gangs are becoming increasingly violent. He called the murder in July of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries “a new nadir."

Caretaker Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte jokes prior to Dutch King Willem-Alexander's speech which marks the opening of the parliamentary year outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press Caretaker Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte jokes prior to Dutch King Willem-Alexander's speech which marks the opening of the parliamentary year outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

For the second straight year, the king's “speech from the throne” was held in a Hague church instead of the historic Knight's Hall due to coronavirus restrictions and there was no horse-drawn carriage ride for members of the royal family through packed streets. As the king and Queen Maxima left the church, a small group of people booed.

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Caretaker Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte jokes prior to Dutch King Willem-Alexander's speech which marks the opening of the parliamentary year outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press Caretaker Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte jokes prior to Dutch King Willem-Alexander's speech which marks the opening of the parliamentary year outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra was presenting details of the budget to parliament later Tuesday.

On foreign policy, the king said that membership of the European Union, NATO and the United Nations remain “cornerstones of Dutch foreign policy,” but he added that the country has choices to make about its relations with China, Russia and the United States.

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

Queen Maxima listens as Dutch King Willem-Alexander marks the opening of the parliamentary year with a speech outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press Queen Maxima listens as Dutch King Willem-Alexander marks the opening of the parliamentary year with a speech outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte, in the sunlight, listens to King Willem-Alexander's speech, on screen left, which marked the opening of the parliamentary year outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte, in the sunlight, listens to King Willem-Alexander's speech, on screen left, which marked the opening of the parliamentary year outlining the government's budget plans for the year ahead at the Grote Kerk, or Sint-Jacobus Kerk, (Great Church or St. James' Church) in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

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