Amsterdam plans sober party for Dutch inauguration

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 27, 2013 at 8:46 am •  Published: February 27, 2013

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch capital is known for boozy stag nights and pot-smoking tourists. But for what could be the nation's party of the decade — the abdication of Queen Beatrix and accession to the throne of her son Willem-Alexander — Amsterdam wants to keep things low key.

Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said Wednesday he "wants a party, but at the same time sober" for the April 30 inauguration.

He's not suggesting alcohol-free festivities, but he wants to keep the cost in check as the nation tightens its belt to recover from an economic buffeting caused by the European debt crisis.

Van der Laan is even seeking sponsors to help pick up the estimated €7 million ($9 million) tab for the royal bash.

And in an attempt to prevent the capital clogging up with visitors keen to get a glimpse of their outgoing queen and new king, Van der Laan had some advice about the best vantage point.

"If you want to get a really good view, maybe the best place is watching on television," he said.

The day in Amsterdam will start with Beatrix signing abdication papers in the royal palace on central Dam Square. The inauguration of Willem-Alexander will then take place next door in the 15th century New Church.

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