The Dutch Prime Minister has hailed his government’s economic performance just two months ahead of the country’s legislative elections. Jan Peter Balkenende used his annual budget day speech to say that years of belt-tightening have given the Netherlands a strong foundation to capitalise on global economic growth.
He delivered his upbeat message as Dutch political leaders gathered in the Knights Hall in The Hague to hear Queen Beatrix outline the main points of government policy for next year. She praised what she called a cooperative effort by employers, workers and government to pull the economy out of years of stagnation. The Queen also signaled that the Dutch will continue supporting international peace missions, ranging from Bosnia to Congo.