Netherlands. According to Countryaah, Queen Beatrix announced at the beginning of the year that she planned to abdicate. The change of throne happened on April 30, when the 75-year-old queen surrendered to her eldest son, 46-year-old Willem-Alexander. Beatrix became the third queen in a row to abdicate, she had taken over after her mother Juliana in 1980. With Willem-Alexander, the Netherlands had its first king in 123 years.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 924,400,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||2.90%|
|GDP per capita||$ 53,900|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||9.1%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||1.10%|
|Investment volume||18.9% of GDP|
|National debt||56.50% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 36,130,000,000|
|Number of visitors||13,925,000|
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam was reopened in April after a renovation that took ten years – twice as long as planned – and has cost many millions. The newly inaugurated National Museum received brilliant reviews.
The economy continued to be weak, even compared to the EU at large. Despite austerity, the country was not expected to reach the EU budget deficit target. Households were among the most indebted in Europe, largely due to a cracked property bubble with prices falling by up to a third from the top listings.
Tensions arose in relations with the Russian Federation since a Dutch-registered vessel was boarded by the Russian coastguard in the Barents Sea in September. This was done in connection with an action against oil drilling, carried out by the environmental organization Greenpeace. The vessel was seized and 30 people, including two Dutch, were arrested. They were first accused of piracy and then of hooliganism. The Netherlands brought an action against the Russian Federation before the International Maritime Court.
Relations were further strained when a Russian diplomat was arrested in The Hague in October after neighbors reported that children were ill in his home. The authorities then apologized for violating the Vienna Convention’s protection of diplomatic immunity. A few days later, a Dutch diplomat in Moscow was attacked by disguised men who knocked him down, tied him up and provided him with a gag.