Expatica news

Balkenende laid low by foot infection

14 September 2004

AMSTERDAM — Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende was admitted to hospital on Tuesday for treatment of a foot infection.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm will fill in for Balkenende during the rest of the week and will meet with Iraq’s interim president Ghazi al-Yawar who arrives in the Netherlands on Thursday.

Al-Yawar is touring Europe for talks with Nato and EU officials on how they can help his war-torn country. The Netherlands currently holds the six-month revolving presidency of the EU.

The Netherlands has 2,053 marines and other military personnel serving with the US-led international stabilisation force in Iraq.

The Dutch government’s information service RVD said Balkenende was admitted to hospital in his home town Capelle aan den Ijssell on Tuesday morning as a result of an infection of his right foot. He is being treated with antibiotics.

Balkenende has asked Zalm to take over his appointments this week which cannot be postponed to a later date.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news