It’s official – Dutch Queen Máxima is a big street paper fan. She exclusively revealed her top-notch reading taste – and her belief that vendors deserve a lot of respect – in an interview with Straatjournaal seller Evert van den Brink, conducted to mark the Haarlem paper’s 20th anniversary.
Máxima said that she like to pick up her street paper on her way out of the supermarket, or when she’s out and about in The Hague: “When I go to the supermarket, I don’t always see the vendor when I go in, because I’m often in a hurry. But when I come out with my shopping I buy one. I also buy one in The Hague sometimes. There’s a friendly vendor next to Noordeinde Palace. He always says hello.”
The exclusive interview will been made available in Dutch, English and Spanish through the INSP News Service, so that international street papers can republish the story.
During their meeting, Evert was able to explain to the Dutch Royal that all street paper vendors are entrepreneurs.
Máxima admitted that she had not known that vendors all run their own micro-business, buying papers and selling them on to make a profit.
“I didn’t know you ran any financial risk,” she told Evert. “I thought you were part of an organisation, and could just give unsold newspapers back at the end of the day. So you’re really in business for yourselves? You buy the paper for 1.10 euros and sell it for 2 euros, with a profit margin of 90 cents?
That’s a big eye opener for me.
“It means vendors deserve even more respect. After all, they’re not begging; they’re working! They’re building up a life for themselves. That’s to be congratulated. More people should know that.”
INSP Operations Manager Zoe Greenfield said that INSP was delighted to share the interview.
“Street papers are an important source of independent media and a lifeline for thousands of people experiencing homelessness and poverty,” she added. “We are delighted that Queen Maxima has shown her support for street papers and their vendors. We know that exclusive editorial like this provides a sales boost for hard-working vendors, which is even more vital during the cold winter months.
“Our street paper network speaks to 5.8 million readers worldwide per edition. Following in the footsteps of other high profile leaders including the Dalai Lama, Prince William and Pope Francis, Queen Maxima’s support recognises the power of the global street paper movement.”