Outrage over 461,000-euro fence at Dutch king's holiday home

AFP
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima pose for a photograph at the Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, on June 3, 2014
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima pose for a photograph at the Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, on June 3, 2014 (AFP Photo/Martijn Beekman)

The Hague (AFP) - The Dutch state has spent almost half-a-million euros of taxpayers' money to lease land for a fence around King Willem-Alexander's Greek holiday home, Dutch media reported Wednesday.

News website RTL published the 461,000-euro ($612,000) contract for the land around the king and Queen Maxima's new holiday home in Greece, which it said was only worth 35,000 euros, sparking the ire of Dutch citizens and politicians alike.

Alexander Pechtold, who heads the opposition D66 party, said "this is a remarkably high amount."

"Obviously the government needs properly to protect the king, but we also need to avoid unneccessary costs," RTL News quoted Pechtold as saying.

"The question here is whether it was necessary to lease the neighbour's land for half-a-million euros instead of, as is usual, to build the fence on your own land."

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said earlier this year that the state would pay for security at the villa, which the royals bought in 2012, but did not mention any amount.

The palace said the Greek land was necessary for security reasons, and declined to comment further -- for security reasons.

The royal couple were in 2009 forced to sell a seaside holiday home being built in Mozambique amid allegations of corruption and because of popular unhappiness with such luxury in such a poor country.