Today the Dutch Fair Banking guide launched a report showing seven Dutch banks invest more than 1.5 billion Euros in nuclear weapons producers.
The report shows that Dutch banks invest more than 1.5 billion Euros in the twenty nuclear weapons producers identified in the report. Major media attention has been given to the scandal in the Netherlands, with prime-time television news last night featuring an exclusive interview, all of the major newspapers (including Volkskrant, NRC, and Trouw) publishing articles, and the Minister of Finance coming under pressure to respond.
Already, this report has had success, with Rabobank announcing its investment in companies producing Indian nuclear weapons will be reviewed and ended as of 1 March, and Delta Lloyd agreeing to divest from nuclear weapons producers. IKV Pax Christi is part of the Dutch Fair Bank guide (Eerlijke Bankwijzer), and the report can be found (in Dutch) here.
With an ICAN banner calling for a nuclear weapons free world, in the snow and sleet, more than forty people sang in an opera specifically written to highlight Dutch bank investments in nuclear weapons. A number of parliamentarians, the spokespeople for foreign affairs in their parties, came out into the cold and wet and heard the opera. They were presented with the Eerlijke Bankwijzer report as well as a copy of “5 Steps to get rid of nuclear weapons”, a checklist for them to act for a nuclear weapons free world. One parliamentarian responded that even if nuclear weapons weren’t yet illegal for every country, investing in them was certainly immoral.
Although the wind, sleet and ice kept the ICAN banner from being see in some of the photos- the enthusiasm and hope for a nuclear weapons free world (not to mention the music and singing) certainly kept participants warm.
Report by Susi Snyder