Dutch defence minister caught red-handed about lie

15th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch defence minister lied about giving an interview to newspaper De Telegraaf.

THE HAGUE – The two main coalition partners CDA (Christian Democrats) and Labour are becoming increasingly irritated by Defence Minister Eimert van Middelkoop who lied about an interview he gave to leading populist newspaper De Telegraaf. 

In the interview, the Christian Union party minister said the Dutch mission in Afghanistan would definitely end in 2010, but later denied giving the interview after Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen pointed out that the cabinet had not yet reached a decision on the issue. 

However, De Telegraaf had obtained official approval from the defence ministry prior to publication, and the minister was forced to admit to giving the interview and making the statements in question.

This is the latest in a series of unfortunate remarks by the defence minister. In 2007, he revealed that the Netherlands would extend its mission in Uruzgan.

His statement weakened the negotiating position of the government, which was demanding additional support from NATO in exchange for an extension. 

In a separate incident in 2008, the minister said in an interview with the progressive weekly magazine Vrij Nederland that while he was undergoing his physical exam for military service in the early 1970s, he "realised this is not for me, I will be totally miserable here". His remarks led to widespread doubts about his suitability as defence minister.

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

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