Kingdom of the Netherlands

Koninkrijk der Nederlanden

Note: Snap parliamentary elections were held on September 12, 2012, after the right-wing Freedom Party (PVV) rejected an austerity package in April. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Party for Freedom (VVD) finished first, with 41 seats, followed closely by Labor (PvdA) with 38. Voters rejected the anti-Europe rhetoric of the PVV, which won only 15 seats, down from 24. The new VVD-PvdA government was sworn in on November 5, after reaching an agreement to cut €16 billion in government spending.

Political Status: Constitutional monarchy established 1814; under multiparty parliamentary system.

Area: 13,103 sq. mi. (33,936 sq. km).

Population: 17,390,916 (2012E—UN); 16,730,632 (2012E—U.S. Census).

Major Urban Centers (2005E): AMSTERDAM (739,000), Rotterdam (596,000), The Hague (seat of government, 468,000), Utrecht (276,000), Eindhoven (209,000).

Official Language: Dutch.

Monetary Unit: Euro ...

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