News Summary: Dutch advised welfare state is gone

News Summary: Dutch king tells TV audience that the welfare state is a thing of the past

Associated Press
News Summary: Dutch advised welfare state is gone

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Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander, center left, and his wife Queen Maxima, center right, arrive at the Hall of Knights for the officially opening of the new parliamentary year with a speech outlining the government's plan and budget policies for the year ahead in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

NICE RIDE, TOUGH MESSAGE: After riding an ornate horse-drawn carriage to the 13th-century Hall of Knights, King Willem-Alexander delivered a grim televised message to the Dutch people: The welfare state of the 20th century is gone.

REALITY BITES: After several consecutive years of government spending cuts, the Dutch economy is expected to have shrunk by more than 1 percent in 2013, and the agency is forecasting growth of just 0.5 percent next year.

NEW ERA: The king said a "participation society" is emerging, in which people must take responsibility for their own future and create their own social and financial safety nets, with less help from the national government.

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