Dutch swearing in new government

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Queen Beatrix is swearing in a new centrist Dutch government under Prime Minister Mark Rutte, even as Rutte faces harsh criticism from members of his own conservative party over a plan to hike health care premiums.

The stormy weather forecast for the swearing-in ceremony at the queen's Huis ten Bosch palace Monday mirrors the political climate in The Hague. Members of Rutte's party are fiercely opposed to what is a key element of Rutte's governing pact painstakingly negotiated with the center-left Labor Party.

At issue is Rutte's plan to tie health care premiums to people's income — meaning the wealthy will pay more.

Conservatives say the idea is fundamentally against their principles. Rutte says projections of how much people will have to pay circulating in Dutch media are wildly inaccurate.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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