Dutch PM was personally involved in efforts to bring ICL to NL

Photo: Joep Poulssen

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte was personally involved in efforts to get the Israeli state-owned company ICL to locate its European headquarters in the Netherlands, the NRC reported at the weekend.

The paper says Rutte met ICL’s former boss Stefan Borgas at a breakfast meeting in Israel in 2013 and promised to help organize a number of crucial meetings. The paper bases its claims on documents obtained under freedom of information legislation and on talks with people involved in the negotiations.

The most important of these was a meeting between Borgas and senior officials at the economic affairs ministry. During this meeting, Borgas said ICL was considering relocating its global sales department to the Netherlands but that depended on the Dutch tax office making the company an offer that neared one made by Switzerland.

Confidential mails between the company and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency show the exact percentage agreed with the Dutch remains a secret but ‘met ICL’s expectations.’

Dutch officials also intervened to make sure the area close to ICL’s office in the west of Amsterdam was cheered up with flowers and plants and that the dyslexic son of a senior member of staff was admitted to an international school, the paper said.

Rutte went on to personally open the company’s Amsterdam operation at the beginning of 2015.

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