Dutch News

5 November 2012
New Dutch cabinet presented Official inauguration publically broadcasted for the first time

Just before midday the new Dutch cabinet was sworn into office by the Dutch queen Beatrix in the impressively decorated Orange hall in palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. It was the first time that inauguration was publically broadcasted. The auguration only took a few minutes. Since over 200 years this official part of the ceremoney was always happening behind close doors. After the inauguration the traditional presentation of the new cabinet took place on the steps of the palace.


The formation of the cabinet went remarkably fast. It only took 54 days, while the average formation time is 72 days. This afternoon the new cabinet will gather for the first council of ministers. This coming Thursday the cabinet will have its first debate with the Lower House. In between prime minister Mark Rutte will visit Turkey.


The start of the new cabinet is far from easy. The support for the right-wing VVD has plunged since the effect of the new coalition’s plans for health insurance have become clear, according to the latest Maurice de Hond opinion poll. Prime minister Mark Rutte’s party would win just 27 seats if there were a general election tomorrow, down 11 on a week ago. The VVD won 41 seats at the September election.


‘I have never seen a party lose so many seats in such a short space of time,’ De Hond said. The poll also shows 56% of VVD voters think Rutte has betrayed them. Over 11,000 VVD voters have left messages on the party's website condemning the plan. Support for the Labour party (PvdA), the other party in the new coalition government, is also down, but less sharply.


On Saturday, the Labour congress approved the party’s decision to join the coalition with the VVD despite concerns about the large drop in spending power the income-related health insurance premiums will mean. And Labour chairman Hans Spekman has been criticised for describing the measure, aimed at equalising incomes, as a reason to celebrate. ‘It is as if he takes pleasure in the fact so many middle income households will be hit,’ VVD stalwart Hans Wiegel told a television talk show. Reversing the plans is unavoidable, Wiegel said.








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