On Prinsjesdag a group of between 10 and 15 VVD Members of Parliament will not listen to the Speech from the Throne by King Willem-Alexander. Because of the corona epidemic, the MPs declined the invitation for the opening of the parliamentary year on 15 September, the spokesperson of the VVD-fraction confirms after a message from RTL News.
Because of the coronavirus the Speech from the Throne has been moved from the Knights’ Hall to the Grote Kerk and the VVD’ers think that the one and a half meter distance can’t be maintained properly there. The number of guests has been reduced from more than a thousand to 250, in order to be able to place all the chairs at a sufficient distance from each other.
The 150 members of the House of Representatives, the 75 members of the Senate, the ministers from the Cabinet, some members of the royal household and the chairmen of the High Councils of State have received an invitation, as have some fifteen citizens. The partners of the Members of Parliament, the State Secretaries, ambassadors and all kinds of civil society organisations have to follow the Speech from the Throne on TV.
Your own consideration
Rejecting the invitation is not a statement or a lack of confidence in the approach of Prinsjesdag, emphasizes the VVD spokesperson. “It’s a consideration of its own. We have confidence in the organisation, it’s not because of that. But it’s very simple: the more people there are, the more difficult it will be to continuously maintain the one and a half meter”
It is not yet known whether other political parties also have MPs who do not want to attend the festive gathering.
Prinsjesdag has a very sober character this year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The royal driving tour and the balcony scene have been removed from the programme. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima come by car instead of the Glass Coach. With this, the organisation hopes to prevent a massive influx of spectators.