Dutch Defence Ministry to close barracks

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Three barracks in the Netherlands will be closed, Dutch Minister of Defence Hans Hillen announced Wednesday. In a letter to the house, he wrote that others will be sold or moved elsewhere in order to save one million euros from the defence budget.

The decision affects the Queen Beatrix and Princess Juliana Barracks in The Hague and the Nassau Dietzkazerne in Budel. 

The plan further revealed that a military area near Brunssum will be shut down and the Royal Military Academy moved from Weert to Ermelo. The possible closure of Eindhoven Air Base and the marine barracks in Doorn will also be investigated.

Huge impact Marnix Norder, alderman for spatial planning in The Hague, said the closures will have a huge impact. “Of course for the hundreds of people who work there, but also for the city itself.” 

Minister Hillen agreed the cuts would affect a number of soldiers. "But we have had a good look at the socio-economic conditions of the areas where the barracks must close so the economy will be affected as little as possible,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Defence announced it must save one billion euros from its budget over the next four years. The closures come amid a host of other cost saving efforts including cutting personnel and equipment. 

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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