Nato's new headquarters to cost €1 billion

Discussion in 'Americas' started by nrj, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    BRUSSELS - THERE'S no austerity for Nato, at least where its headquarters are concerned. The military alliance says its new complex will cost 1 billion euros (S$1.7 billion), a sum critics are calling unnecessary in a time of international belt-tightening.

    "The total estimated cost of the new Nato headquarters is about €1 billion euros," the alliance's spokeswoman, Oana Lungescu, told journalists on the margins of a press briefing by Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

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    The massive construction will expand over 250,000 square metres

    In reply to a question on the cost, Mr Rasmussen said that "the final figure happens to be a bit lower than the original expectation," as a result of construction prices dropping amid the economic crisis.

    The initial price tag for the construction itself was at €650 million, but following the bidding procedure, the Belgian state who hosts the facility managed to lower it by 28 percent, to €460 million. On top of that come other expenses, such as demolition costs, site security, cabling, IT and audiovisual facilities, as well as personnel costs, leading to the total estimate of €1 billion.

    During a ground-breaking ceremony in December 2010, Mr Rasmussen had said the new mega-headquarters were needed to accommodate all the delegations and staff, currently hosted in a barrack-style compound that was provisionally offered to Nato by the Belgian state in 1967 when the alliance was kicked out of France.

    "Our current building simply cannot cope with the demands that we are placing on it. It is too small, it is too inflexible, and it is inefficient," Mr Rasmussen said at the inauguration ceremony in December.

    Expected to last five years, the construction works will stretch over 250,000 square metres across the street from the current location on the highway between Brussels and the international airport in Zaventem and house some 4,000 people, as well as conference rooms, sport facilities and shops.

    The construction was agreed upon in 2004, with progress moving slowly through project tenders, land appropriations and the demolition of a former Belgian military base.

    "In terms of location, Nato is somewhat on the outskirts of Brussels, but I think we are very much at the heart of the European debate when it comes to dealing with the effects of the economic crisis on our security," Mr Rasmussen said in the press conference on Monday.

    He again warned against "un-coordinated" budget cuts and urged the 26 members of the alliance to use the Nato forum when deciding which defence programmes to slash. "Over the past two years, European defence spending by Nato's European member nations has shrunk by some 45 billion dollars – that is the equivalent of Germany's entire annual defence budget," Mr Rasmussen noted.

    Nato itself is due to decide in June which command bases and local headquarters scattered across Europe to cut in a bid to lower its overall costs.
     
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  3. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    After all all opium and oil money has to spent somewhere
     
  4. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    What happened to all that talk of economy slow down Austerity cuts and military cut backs? The west always plays tricks!
     
  5. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    New NATO HQ too pricey

    Cost hits $1.3 billion while military budgets face chop


    ATO's new headquarters here will cost its members $1.34 billion at a time of deep cuts to British defence budgets and despite promises by the alliance to cut its costs.

    Officials confirmed the scale of the rising bill Monday against a background of NATO pledges to reduce its command structure, agencies and national HQs by 30 per cent in response to deep defence cuts in most of its 28 member states.

    Construction began in mid-December on a building to house military officials. It will have eight wings, and work is scheduled to finish in 2015.

    John Glen, the British Conservative MP and a member of the Commons defence select committee, expressed "frustration" at the cost while armed forces faced severe reductions.

    "I find it very difficult to square news of this expenditure alongside the painful cuts that the [Ministry of Defence] has had to bear," he said. "I would urge Liam Fox, the secretary of state, to work with other defence ministers across NATO to reduce the burden on the exchequer."

    Jim Murphy, the shadow defence secretary, said: "The government must be clearer that this is value for money for British taxpayers."

    Alliance officials insist it is no longer possible to continue operating out of its "temporary" building given to NATO by Belgium in 1967.

    A British government spokesman said Britain's contribution to the building's costs would be $168 million. "We're scrutinizing it closely for value for money. It is important that NATO has a good HQ."

    Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary-general, pleaded with governments not to cut alliance spending too far or it would be "unable to defend the security on which our democratic societies and prosperous economies are based."

    Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/NATO+pricey/4241677/story.html#ixzz1DTz7A3l0
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  6. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    I will inspect myself it's 90 min drive from my home....
     

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