‘Defence ministry needs 20,000 reservists over next seven years’

The armed forces have been left vulnerable by cuts and will need almost 20,000 reservists over the next seven years to fill the gaps, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Reserve soldiers will be needed to help out when the Netherlands is working on crisis projects abroad and to fill vacancies at home when regular soldiers are stationed abroad.

The paper bases its claims on defence ministry sources and the newly-launched defence ministry reserve office Reservistenbureau. The country currently has some 6,000 reservists, many of whom are former soldiers.

One problem with attracting more reservists in the Netherlands is that employers are only paid €50 a day compensation for their missing staff.

The size of the Dutch armed forces has halved since the 1990s, the Volkskrant says.

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