Dutch news in brief, 7 April 2005

7th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

Royals not attending Pope's funeral

Royals not attending Pope's funeral

No members of the Dutch royal family are attending the funeral of Pope John Paul II in the Vatican on Friday. The Government Information Service RVD could give no explanation for this other than to say the Netherlands will be adequately represented by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. Yet, almost all other royal houses in Europe will be represented at the funeral, regardless of whether they are Catholic or not. Britain's Crown Prince Charles, who postponed his wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles because of the Pope's funeral, will attend. The couple are now getting married on Saturday. In contrast, the Dutch royals do not seem to have any other pressing engagements on Friday that would necessitate their absence from the funeral, news agency ANP reported.

Air Exel declared bankrupt

AirExel was declared bankrupt by Maastricht Court on Thursday. The airline has dismissed 143 employees. At the end of March, the management sought protection from creditors to allow the company to start afresh. AirExel had been speaking to a foreign investor about a possible injection of funds. Director Harm Prins admitted it was proving difficult to organise aircraft and licences and therefore the company had asked to be declared bankrupt. But he denied Thursday's decision signalled the definite end of the airline.

Defence fair causes a fight

The Amsterdam branch of the Socialist Party SP has called on Mayor Job Cohen to stop a trade fair for the defence industry taking place. The fair is scheduled to take place in the RAI exhibition centre in June. The RAI's management said the event would focus on military and underwater technology, but not "bombs and shells", news agency ANP reported. In March, Cohen expressed unease that the arms fair International Training and Education Conference was being held in the RAI this month.

Shell responds to Argentine boycott

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell has reportedly given in — in part — to a boycott of its petrol stations in Argentina called by President Nestor Kirchner. The president acted last month after Shell increased its prices by 4 percent. With the exception of diesel fuel, Shell has responded by lowering its prices by 3.3 percent after sales dropped by 70 percent. Its competitor, Esso, has also been hit by a boycott, Radio Netherlands reported.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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