AMSTERDAM – King Willem-Alexander is traveling in a gilded horse-drawn carriage to the 13th-century Hall of Knights in The Hague for his first official address to Dutch lawmakers but his message is decidedly modern: More budget cuts are coming.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte may be hoping that the pomp and ceremony will provide a diversion from the gloomy message the king must deliver. Rutte's government is cutting spending again in 2014, despite this year's recession.
Dutch media are also expecting new military spending cuts, following the earlier decision to cut one of every six military jobs between 2012-2015. However, the De Telegraaf paper reported Tuesday the government has decided not to abandon participating in the U.S.-led "Joint Strike Fighter" project, despite cost overruns.