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Europe: Legislators in court; fighting export permits the judicial way

Wednelda de Vries

Originally published on the 'Explosive Stuff' blog. The original article can be found here:

Tax evasion by arms companies; double cynical

Martin Broek

Defence-industries profiting of the Dutch tax laws are double cynical. Apart from ethical objections, the defence industry are evading the very taxes which are uses by their governments to pamper them, buy their product, subsidize their research and facilitate their exports.

In 2009, US president Obama put the Netherlands on his list of the world's worst tax havens. The Dutch government did its utmost to deny this allegation. But the issue was on the agenda and has never disappeared since.

No more weapons to the Middle East

Wendela de Vries describes the action Stop Wapenhandel took against the presence of Dutch companies at the IDEX arms fair.

Europe's oldest embargo - arms sales to superpower China

Frank Slijper

After the bloody suppression of protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, the European Union (and the US) ordered an arms embargo that applies until today. From a human rights perspective this is fully justified: the situation remains appalling and attempts at democratic reforms are nipped in the bud. At the same time the embargo is also clearly politically motivated, to keep China as small as possible in military terms. While the economic relationship with China has grown, military co-operation rightly remains a thorny issue. Despite cracks in the embargo it won't be off the table any time soon. Yet it is a question how long the blockade will be maintained with China strengthening its power base.

La guerre est-elle nécessaire pour obtenir justice ?

Le « German Marshall Fund » des États Unis effectue une étude annuelle sur les grandes « tendances transatlantiques », dont on peut faire une lecture intéressante. Une des questions posées est : « Merci de nous dire dans quelle mesure vous êtes d'accord avec l'affirmation suivante : dans certaines circonstances, la guerre est nécessaire pour obtenir justice. » (Q29.2). Les réponses sont assez révélatrices (cf le graphique ci-dessous).

Popular Dutch military can't afford new recruits

AMSTERDAM | Tue Aug 3, 2010 10:14pm IST

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch military has an unusual recruiting problem -- it has too many aspiring soldiers and not enough money.

The Dutch Defense Ministry said on Tuesday it will have to postpone bringing in an additional 467 recruits because budgetary constraints mean the government cannot afford to take them on this year as planned.

Now or never: get rid of nuclear weapons

Despite the bad weather thousands of Bombspotters have gathered in Kleine Brogel today to denounce the illegal nuclear policy of the Belgian government. They responded to the appeal of Vredesactie and were not intimidated by the massive presence of police and military personnel, kilometres of barbwire, several helicopters and guard dogs that were being deployed in order to try to keep the illegal nuclear policy in place.

European Days of Action against nuclear weapons

Actions for nuclear disarmament at nuclear weapon bases all over Europe

Overview on

During the Easter weekend peace organisations all over Europe are staging actions at nuclear weapon bases and command centres, as part of a European Day of Action against nuclear weapons. One month prior to the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) Review Conference, peace movements in all the European countries with nuclear weapons on their territory (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey and the UK) are sending one message: it is time for nuclear disarmament. The continuing deployment of nuclear weapons does not provide more security, but rather encourages the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Who wants to profits from arms production at old age?

Over the last two years the Campagne tegen Wapenhandel (the Dutch Campaign Against Arms Trade) has been campaigning against the investments of pension funds in the arms industry. Dutch pension funds are very big investors: together they have 800 milliard Euro to invest. Part of this money goes into arms production. For example in the production of Hellfire missiles by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, in development of new nuclear weapons by Lockheed Martin and BAe, and also in cluster munition.

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