Defence minister ‘forgot’ tobacco job

Defence minister Hans Hillen ‘forgot’ to include his lobby work for the tobacco industry on the official register of outside interests while a senator, the NRC reports.


Hillen was paid to act as an advisor to British American Tobacco, one of the companies funding opposition to the ban on smoking in cafes and bars. Hillen joined BAT in June 2008, a month before the ban came into effect.
BAT spokesman Cees Foet told the paper: ‘He played a major role in our stategy…he was on all sorts of committees so he knows what is going on.’
Since March, senators have been supposed to list all their outside interests. Hillen listed 25 but ‘forgot’ BAT. He ended the relationship during the coalition formation talks.
The new government has since agreed to give up the ban in small owner-operated cafes.