Dutch Parliament sets up own investigation into American espionage

3 July 2013

Dutch Parliament sets up own investigation into American espionage

The Parliament of the Netherlands is to establish an enquiry into how the United States has been spying on the Dutch people and what the government knew about it. The enquiry was proposed by the SP and has the support of the centrist opposition party D66, as well as the parliamentary groups of the governing coalition parties the PvdA (Labour) and the centre-right VVD. SP Member of Parliament Ronald van Raak described the government as ‘deafeningly silent’ on the matter and expressed satisfaction that Parliament is itself taking responsibility for conducting an investigation.

Ronald van Raak‘For a good six years I’ve been warning our government that the Americans are spying on Dutch citizens en masse,’ Van Raak says. ‘Different ministers looked away and did nothing. After whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s revelations, the governments of Germany and France registered loud protests, but our government remains deafeningly silent. As far as I’m concerned the government has lost all credibility.’

Parliament has asked the CTIVD, the secret services’ investigating commission, to report. This will follows a recent hearing with the heads of the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD). After the summer recess Parliament will, on an initiative from the SP, discuss the results of the investigation. ‘This must also make clear what measures we can take to protect our citizens against the Americans’ arbitrary behaviour,’ adds Van Raak.

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