Nuclear Weapons on Dutch Soil: Labour Party must add deeds to words

6 December 2007

Nuclear Weapons on Dutch Soil: Labour Party must add deeds to words

Krista van Velzen, SP Member of Parliament and the party's spokeswoman on defence and disarmament, is "delighted", she says, that Labour (PvdA) mayors have added their voices to calls for American nuclear weapons to be removed from the Netherlands. Those endorsing the call include the Mayor of Uden, where the weapons are located. The Dutch Labour Party mayors were joined by colleagues from towns and districts harbouring US nuclear weaponry in a number of other NATO countries including Germany, Belgium, Italy and Turkey. On Tuesday parliament will vote on a motion presented by the SP calling for the removal from the Netherlands of all nuclear weapons. Will Labour members support the motion and try to make the anti-nuclear weapon position tell, or will the Labour mayors' stance remain no more than lip-service?

Krista van Velzen"The PvdA, including members of the current government, has in recent years stated that nuclear weapons should be removed from the air force base at Volkel," Van Velzen recalled. "And not only, they have said, because they are of no military value, but primarily so that it gives us credibility if we protest at other countries developing such weapons. Now the PvdA's own mayors are demanding to know whether their party intends to do anything about this, and not only the mayor of Uden, but other Labour mayors. On Tuesday an SP proposal to remove nuclear weapons from the Netherlands will be voted on in parliament, and the question is whether the PvdA intends to do anything about a standpoint it has held for many years, or whether these statements are no more than idle words."

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