Government cuts will hit national security, minister confirms

Cuts the government is planning to make on spending on the security services will affect national security, home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the presentation of the AIVD’s annual report, Plasterk said he had round ways to cut €25m from the department’s budget. But it will be tricky to find a further €50m, the minister told reporters.

Asked if this would have a negative effect on national security, Plasterk said: ‘You cannot remove a third of the budget without affecting security. It remains to be seen by how much, but that is what we have to study carefully.’

It could mean that the monitoring of left and right-wing radical groups in the Netherlands is stopped and that spending on IT, legal services and building security is reduced.


The report itself warns that the Netherlands is increasingly the target of cyber-spying from other countries. Last year, civil servants were subject to a major attack, possibly from China, the report says.

This is partly because the Netherlands is one of the most competitive countries in the world and has an excellent IT infrastructure. Russia and Iran are other countries involved in espionage with economic and technology targets, the report says.

The AIVD also warns that Jihadist-based terrorism is increasing because of the internet because it has become easier to exchange views and inspire others to take up the fight.

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