Netherlands to boost military spending in 2015

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Defence & Security News - Netherlands

 
 
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 09:58 AM
 
Netherlands to boost military spending in 2015

The Netherlands is to increase defence spending after being hard hit by global conflicts including the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, King Willem-Alexander said yesterday, September 16. Giving his traditional opening of parliament speech, which this year marks the 200th anniversary of the Dutch kingdom, Willem-Alexander highlighted the threats facing the Netherlands.

     

The Netherlands is to increase defence spending after being hard hit by global conflicts including the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, King Willem-Alexander said yesterday, September 16. Giving his traditional opening of parliament speech, which this year marks the 200th anniversary of the Dutch kingdom, Willem-Alexander highlighted the threats facing the Netherlands.
Dutch Defence Spending will increase by €100 million (Pic. : Dutch Special Forces)

     

“Conflicts happening thousands of kilometres away also stir emotions in our own country,” he said in The Hague, where “Prinsjesdag” (Prince’s Day) was celebrated with pomp and ceremony.

“The MH17 disaster, the situation in the Ukraine and the Middle East clearly shows how everything’s connected,” he said.

The Netherlands was deeply affected after flight MH17 was blown out of the sky over separatist-held eastern Ukraine in mid-July on its way between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people on board, most of them Dutch.

At home, King Willem-Alexander stressed a growing threat of radicalisation of young Muslims, with government tightening laws to prevent would-be jihadis from going to fight in Syria and Iraq.

The Hague recently saw a pro-Islamic State (IS) protest and more than 100 Dutch citizens are believed to have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight.

“The situation in northern Iraq, Syria and Gaza is leading to tensions at home and feelings of helplessness and insecurity,” the king said.

“The hatred that consumes people elsewhere in the world may not be allowed to get a foothold in our streets,” he added, saying the battle against radicalisation was a key priority.

The Dutch government will increase its defence spending by €100 million (RM417 million) per year from 2015, the king said.

“This is done based on growing tensions around the world and our responsibilities” as a country committed to global safety and security, said Willem-Alexander.

The announcement “broke the trend” of previous defence cutbacks and savings, the king said.

 

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