The Netherlands stops aid to Egypt but says beach holiday still okay

The Netherlands has stopped cooperating with the Egyptian government following Wednesday’s bloodbath, foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans said on Thursday evening.

For example, the small Dutch aid programme for Egypt is being put on hold, Timmermans said. In addition, major cash streams from the EU and International Monetary Fund have all but dried up because the country no longer meets IMF conditions, the minister said.

The negotiation table is the only way in which the country can return to permanent stability, the minister said earlier on his Facebook page.

‘This is the only way tourists and investors will come back, allowing the economy to start moving again and give the (very young) population the prospect of a better future.’


Timmermans told Nieuwsuur Wednesday’s break-up of Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo, with the loss of at least 500 lives, was ‘scandalous’.

Nevertheless, there is no reason to stop Dutch tourists going on holiday to Egyptian beach resorts, the minister said. The foreign affairs ministry is monitoring the situation closely together with other EU members states, he said.

In July, the foreign ministry said all but holiday travel to the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba should be avoided.

According to British media reports, Britain’s foreign office has upgraded its travel warning to say that local police have advised tourists to remain within their hotel grounds.


Meanwhile, a number of Dutch multinationals in Egypt have either stopped or reduced their activities, Nos television reported.

Paint maker Akzo Nobel has closed its factory in Egypt as a precaution. ‘It is not in the middle of the danger zone but we want to prevent people having to travel,’ a spokesman told the broadcaster.

Heineken has closed its Egyptian office and its six breweries have reduced production. The company has a workforce of 2,200 in Egypt.

Shell has closed its Egyptian office in an effort to guarantee its workers safety. But the oil giant declined to say if production levels are being affected by the violence.

The Netherlands exports goods worth some €1.5bn to Egypt every year and imports products to the value of €500m.

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