Netherlands: Dutch nukes without a home
10 September 2009
De Volkskrant announces, "No nuclear arms in the Netherlands." The Dutch daily is referring to the position adopted by the Party of Labour (PvdA) in parliament, which has asked Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen (of the CDA, Christian-democratic party) to remove American nuclear arms from Dutch territory, now that the Dutch air-force fleet of F-16 fighter planes is to be replaced. The aircraft earmarked to take over from the F-16, probably the F-35 JSF, may not be capable of transporting atomic weapons. De Volkskrant further points out that "the storage location of nuclear weapons, which can currently be deployed by the F-16s, at the Volkel air-force base is an open secret" – a fact, which annoys Labour MP Martijn van Dam, who believes "the Netherlands should tell America's President Obama to come and take them away." The call from the PvdA may be greeted with a positive response from Verhagen. According to De Volkskrant, "Verhagen welcomed Obama's announcement of support for worldwide nuclear disarmament." He himself has also attempted to convince NATO of the need to make disarmament a priority.