The cabinet wants to compensate Zeeland for missing out on the new marine barracks. There will be a special envoy who will look with the province for “a justified compensation”. An amount has not yet been discussed in the Council of Ministers. State Secretary Visser wants to provide clarity before the summer.
Visser said after the Council of Ministers this afternoon: “The lesson we have learned is that this process did not go well, and I say that with understatement. I understand that the Zeeland people are angry, I would also be in their position. If I looking back on the process, I also attract myself. “
This morning it became clear that the move from Doorn to Vlissingen will definitely not go ahead. The cabinet has opted for Nieuw Milligen in the municipality of Apeldoorn. Many Marines were unwilling to move to Zeeland with their families, and the Marine Corps was threatened with an exodus. In addition, the costs of the move were too high.
The decision had been in the air for a while. The Ministry of Defense submitted a proposal to the Council of Ministers a few weeks ago. But then several ministers still had objections. State Secretary Visser said that she would make a final decision before 1 April, but the decision was made today.
It was a difficult decision, says Visser. “On the one hand, everyone understands what it means for defense and for the Marine Corps if there are not enough marines moving with them. Then there are not enough experienced people to deploy and that has immediate consequences, also for security. On the other hand there are also the agreements made with Zeeland. We have weighed those two things side by side. “
The Zeelanders are furious about the turn. In 2012, Minister of Defense Hillen decided that the barracks would go to Vlissingen. The move was then postponed four times and is now being canceled. In the meantime, investments have been made to enable the construction of the barracks.
Previously, the Zeeland branch of government party D66 demanded an amount of 2 billion euros as compensation. CDA Deputy Prime Minister De Jonge, who himself comes from Zeeland, called it “unrealistic”.
SGP MP Stoffer thinks it is terrible “that people are being used to do so with the Zeelanders”. For him there is no doubt that there must be satisfaction for this “breach of contract”. “But that compensation does not alter the fact that this whole process is extremely reprehensible. You don’t treat each other that way.”