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    Netherlands Government 2000

      Country name:
      conventional long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands
      conventional short form: Netherlands
      local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
      local short form: Nederland

      Data code: NL

      Government type: constitutional monarchy

      Capital: Amsterdam; The Hague is the seat of government

      Administrative divisions: 12 provinces (provincien, singular - provincie); Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland, Zuid-Holland

      Dependent areas: Aruba, Netherlands Antilles

      Independence: 1579 (from Spain)

      National holiday: Queen's Day, 30 April

      Constitution: adopted 1814; amended many times, last time 17 February 1983

      Legal system: civil law system incorporating French penal theory; constitution does not permit judicial review of acts of the States General; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

      Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

      Executive branch:
      chief of state: Queen BEATRIX Wilhelmina Armgard (since 30 April 1980); Heir Apparent WILLEM-ALEXANDER (born 27 April 1967), son of the monarch
      head of government: Prime Minister Wim KOK (since 22 August 1994) and Vice Prime Ministers Annemarie JORRITSMA (since 3 August 1998) and Els BORST-EILERS (since 3 August 1998)
      cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
      elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; following Second Chamber elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; vice prime ministers appointed by the monarch
      note: government coalition - PvdA, VVD, and D'66; there is also a Council of State composed of the monarch, heir apparent, and councilors consulted by the executive on legislative and administrative policy

      Legislative branch: bicameral States General or Staten Generaal consists of the First Chamber or Eerste Kamer (75 seats; members indirectly elected by the country's 12 provincial councils for four-year terms) and the Second Chamber or Tweede Kamer (150 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
      elections: First Chamber - last held 25 May 1999 (next to be held NA May 2003); Second Chamber - last held 6 May 1998 (next to be held May 2002)
      election results: First Chamber - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CDA 20, VVD 19, PvdA 15, D'66 4, other 17; Second Chamber - percent of vote by party - PvdA 30.0%, VVD 25.3%, CDA 19.3%, D'66 9.3%, other 16.1%; seats by party - PvdA 45, VVD 38, CDA 29, D'66 14, other 24

      Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Hoge Raad, justices are nominated for life by the monarch

      Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Appeal or CDA [Jaap de Hoop SCHEFFER]; Democrats '66 or D'66 [Tom KOK]; Labor Party or PvdA [Wim KOK]; People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Liberal) or VVD [Hans F. DIJKSTAL]; a host of minor parties

      Political pressure groups and leaders: Federation of Netherlands Trade Union Movement (comprising Socialist and Catholic trade unions) and a Protestant trade union; Federation of Catholic and Protestant Employers Associations; Interchurch Peace Council or IKV; large multinational firms; the nondenominational Federation of Netherlands Enterprises

      International organization participation: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, EIB, EMU, ESA, ESCAP, EU, FAO, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

      Diplomatic representation in the US:
      chief of mission: Ambassador Joris M. VOS
      chancery: 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
      telephone: [1] (202) 244-5300
      FAX: [1] (202) 362-3430
      consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York

      Diplomatic representation from the US:
      chief of mission: Ambassador Cynthia P. SCHNEIDER
      embassy: Lange Voorhout 102, 2514 EJ, The Hague
      mailing address: PSC 71, Box 1000, APO AE 09715
      telephone: [31] (70) 310-9209
      FAX: [31] (70) 361-4688
      consulate(s) general: Amsterdam

      Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue; similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer

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