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D66: 'Don't give Queen control over palace'

4 September 2008 - A new law may make it even more difficult to use the palace on Dam Square for public purposes, warns Petra Hoogerwerf (D66). The Queen must be able to use the palace, but it 'should not become private property of the Royal Family'.

The palace originally served as City Hall and meeting place for Amsterdammers. In 1808 Louis Bonaparte confiscated it and currently the national government lends it to the Royal Family. There are recurrent pleas to restore its public function.

A new law which the Senate will start debating later this month may do just the opposite, warns Hoogerwerf. The law states explicitly that the Royal Family can dispose of the palace on Dam Square. Currently, there is only a provision that it can dispose of 'palaces'.

D66 fears that the new law will make it easier for the Royal Family to block activities in and around the palace.

"Of course the Queen should be able to use the palace for state visits", Hoogerwerf says. "But when she's not using it, we should be able to use it for other purposes".

"For example, it would have been an excellent location to honour the Amsterdammers who participated in the Olympics. I'm sure Prince Willem-Alexander would approve".

The new law has been approved unanimously by the Lower House, including the D66 MPs. "As I understand it, it all went very quickly", Hoogerwerf explains. She is now calling on Mayor Job Cohen to convince the government to change its mind.

Image: Wikipedia / BMA. See also: Evict the Queen from the palace


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