Federal justice minister Koen Geens (photo) has approved a record budget for the State Security, according to a report from financial daily De Tijd. The budget is part of the promise by the government of prime minister Charles Michel to increase federal spending on the fight against terrorism, made in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris in November 2015, and before the attacks at Brussels Airport and on the Brussels metro in March 2016.
The budget also takes account of a reorganisation plan produced by the service in 2015, before either of the attacks took place.
The base figure is €57 million, to which a contingency fund of €7 million could be added. Four years ago, before the Paris attacks, the total budget for State Security came to €46 million. At the turn of the century, 15 years ago, it was as low as €24 million.
Computer material accounts for €11.2 of the new budget, to allow the State Security service to combat the new threat of cyber-terrorism.
However despite the record allocation, the figures fall short of the amounts demanded by the service itself, which amounted to a three-fold increase in the previous budget.