Dutch MPs want quicker implementation of anti-terror laws
While the Netherlands often goes farther than neighboring countries in the field of counterterrorism measures, many anti-terror laws are still waiting to be implemented, according to Dutch parliamentarians. This needs to change as soon as possible, was the sentiment in the Tweede Kamer during a debate on the attack in Berlin on Monday, the Telegraaf reports.
The Tweede Kamer is the lower house of Dutch parliament.
According to VVD parliamentarian Ockje Tellegen, it is obviously impossible to know whether it is thanks to Dutch intelligence and security services that there hasn't been an attack in the country as of yet. "But I do note that in the Netherlands there is a substantial package of measures against terrorism in the Netherlands that neighboring countries are implementing at an accelerated pace." As examples she mentioned expanding the powers of the security services, revoking jihadists' nationally and passports, and making it illegal to be in terrorist territory. "in terms of repression we are doing everything we can", Tellegen said. "But in terms of prevention the Netherlands can do more."
PvdA parliamentarian Jeroen Recourt is concerned about the fact that many laws against terrorism are "stuck" in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate. "Haste must really be made. Soon it will be elections and then this much needed legislation gets further out of sight."
According to CDA parliamentarian Madeleine van Toorenburg, the necessary measures against terrorism were taken, but when doing so the government always acted slowly and had to be "pushed" by the Kamer. She is also concerned about the danger of returning jihadists. "Of the 40, only nine are in custody. What about the other 31?"
According to PVV leader Geert Wilders, the government made "innumerable mistakes". "They let the asylum tsunami in at a time that terrorists could come along with the influx of asylum seekers. They did nothing for integration or assimilation, there is to this day no penalty for people who don not even want to learn our language. They blocked foreign fighters in the Syrian war from going, rather than letting them go and then stopping them coming back."