The cabinet has adopted the recommendations made by former Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm to make the budget of the royal family more transparent. Under the new set-up, all expenses relating to Queen Beatrix’s functions as head of state will be grouped under the single heading of “The Monarch”. Until now these costs, worth 39 million euros, had been shouldered by five separate ministries.
The budget covers expenses made for the royal household, transportation and maintenance of the family’s vessel De Groene Draeck (The Green Drake). The cost of security, maintenance of the royal palaces and state visits, totalling some 71 million euros, are not included in this budget. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende commissioned the report from Mr Zalm after parliament had expressed a wish to gain a better understanding of the royal family’s budget.
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