Belgium rents a prison in Netherlands

Belgium is renting a prison in Tilburg, Netherlands for the next three years. This is a first for Belgium, and for the Netherlands. Belgian Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck says this will help alleviate the problem of overpopulation in the Belgian prisons.

Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck (Flemish Christian democrat) signed the agreement this morning with his Dutch counterpart Nebahat Albayrak.

Very soon some 500 Belgian prisoners can be transferred to Tilburg. The prison will come under Belgian management but the Dutch personnel will stay on. The medium of communication will be Dutch.

Belgium is paying €30 million for per year for three years.

The measure was proposed by Justice Minister Stefan De Clerck to help alleviate the problem of overpopulation in the Belgian prisons. This was before the hostage-taking incident of Thursday evening in Leuven Centraal in which one person was killed and 5 injured.