New Dutch king to deliver Cabinet's gloomy message

Associated Press
Boys from the village of Staphorst wearing traditional suits and wooden shoes, one clutching a plastic bag with sandwiches, pause to eat breakfast on their way to attend celebrations marking the official opening of the new parliamentary year with a speech outlining the government's plan and budget policies for the year ahead in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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AMSTERDAM (AP) — 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.

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