The cabinet should consider taking a golden share in KLM in order to exercise more control over the Dutch national airline, Christian Democrat MP Martijn van Helvert said on Tuesday.
‘Other countries exert influence on their national airline,’ Van Helvert told website nu.nl. ‘Look at France.’
Van Helvert was referring to KLM’s partnership with Air France. KLM remains a financially independent operation within the Air France-KLM combine but there are rumours that more of KLM’s financial management is to be moved to France.
The Dutch state directly owns 5.9% of the shares in KLM and has limited influence.
Van Helvert told nu.nl the cabinet should increase its say in KLM so that politicians can no longer hide behind the company’s independence. ‘The goal must be to keep KLM in Dutch hands,’ he said.
There is concern among MPs because of rumours that cash from KLM, which performs better than its partner, is to be moved to Air-France.
Introducing a golden share would give the Dutch government a veto on important, strategic decisions, without needing a majority of the shares, Van Helvert said.
Junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld told MPs in January that KLM’s continued independence is important because it gives the airline more influence on the development of its Schiphol airport network.
‘This network is important for international mobility, jobs and the Dutch economy, and this is why guarantees were made at the time of the merger in 2004, she told MPs.
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