Friday 10 July 2020

Audit office criticises Dutch government’s Air France-KLM shares buy

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The national audit office has been highly critical of the Dutch government’s decision to buy more shares in Air France-KLM, saying ministers had broken the ‘tolerance limit’ for the first time since 2008.

The Audit Office is charged with monitoring government expenditure and makes its formal report to parliament once a year.

The government spent almost €750m buying the shares last year, and parliament was not informed in advance. This made the purchase unlawful, the auditor said in his report. However, given that MPs approved the purchase once it had been made, there is no formal notification in the accounts, the auditor said.

Finance minister Wopke Hoekstra said that he had deliberately not followed official procedures because the information would have been price-sensitive.

Hoekstra bought the stake in order to ‘exercise more influence on the company’ he said at the time.

For more on the audit office’s reports, see Government.nl

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