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  #61  
Old 08-23-2009, 04:04 PM
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There are some troubles with the villa('s) in Mozambique, as was reported in the Volkskrant of this saturday (and in sunday's Telegraaf). I will try to write a blog entry about it as soon as possible.
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  #62  
Old 08-23-2009, 06:33 PM
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In an interview with the Telegraaf the Prime Minister says that he think that the holiday house in Mozambique will be possible after all. PM Balkenende also says that the security costs are very over-estimated in the press/parlament.

Article in Dutch: Groen licht voor prinselijke villa - Binnenland - Telegraaf.nl [24 uur actueel, ook mobiel] [binnenland]
Is the security of the area/house all year round or only when the family are in town? What kind of problems are they facing in the house? Mozambique has beautiful shorelines IMO
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:35 PM
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The article I wrote for the blog has the awnsers to your questions, so I will post it here too:

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The holiday villa of the prince of Orange in Mozambique is causing more problems than expected by the prince and his wife. As newspaper ‘De Volkskrant’ reported on satruday, many things went wrong with the building project in nature area Machangulo, on a peninsula in Mozambique. The project now turned into such a mess that the Dutch prime minister J.P. Balkenende adviced the prince to move his private investments to a ’safe’ foundation.

The new foundation, called ‘Stichting Administratiekantoor Machangulo’ (foundation administration office Machangulo) is located at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. New problems around the project are now an issue of the foundation, not of the crown prince. Added to that, before taking any serious steps around this project the prince has to ask approval of the members of the foundation ánd from the prime minister. According to the Government information service (RVD) this comparable to the procedure that government ministers have to follow to secure their business interests.
The project already saw a lot of setbacks. Project developer Dave Dahlmann all of a sudden vanished into thin air after it became clear he had commited fraud in the past. Hedid not open seperate bandk account for the project Machangulo. The millions that were invested by the ‘happy few’ ended up at the bank account of Dahlmann’s 21 year old daughter. It is not clear how much money disappeared and whose money it was. Several investers in the project, among them friends of the prince, didn’t take any risk and immidiately sold their share of the project to somebody else.
Another problem was architect John Fleming. In South Africa, he, the prince of Orange and princess Máxima spent a lot of time in designing the houses. But in an e-mail Fleming writes that he made a ‘Royal Mess’, the building preparations didn’t succeed at all and the prince and the investers took another architect.
According to newspaper ‘De Telegraaf’ Dutch prime minister Jan-Peter Balkenende had a lot of objections against the villa, which was the reason why he took over control of the project. It is a politically sensitive project and it is also damaging for the reputation of the crown prince and his wife. One of the issues is that the villa is so far away from the Netherlands, and in a third world country. This makes security extra difficult and expensive and another worry is that the medical standards are insufficient in Mozambique. An additional risk is that the prince and his entire family takes a chartered Cessna plane (with one engine) to travel the 1000 kilometers from Johannesburg to Maputo.
Another issue is the wish of the prince and princess that the local inhabitants of Machagulo should benifit from the project, A school, hospital and several other sevices will be built. However, at the moment the locals benifit very little from the project, the builders all come from South Africa and Asia and not from Mozambique. In the press the project was compared to colonialism, and some claim that while the happy few build a big fence around their paradise, the rest of Mozambique is living under very poor circumstances.
Members of parlament habe sent a long list of questions to the prime minister about this project. The prime minister hopes to awnser these questions in a few weeks.
The controvercy around the villa comes while the prince is in the middle of a lawsuit against press agency AP, about pictures that were taken in Argentina. Earlier this year it also became clear that the prince bought properties in the south of Argentina. In 2008 it became clear that the prince wanted to build a house in Mozambique, which was heavily critisized in the press and by members of parlament.
-----
Personally I wonder what the prince was thinking. Everybody (the press and parlament) saw this one coming. I also think that the prince could show some modesty in making extra expenses. Security in Mozambique is much more expensive than somewhere closer to home, and esp. some place more develloped. At one point some in parlament was seriously discussing to send a battleship of the Dutch navy to Mozambique, when the prince would holiday there!

This villa and the controvercy around it will have more effect on the reputation of the prince than the AP law suit. We Dutch are hyper sensitive to anything related to money and at the momenta big discusion is going on about salaries in the public sector. The discussion mainly focusses on the salary of the prime minister, and that nobody in the public sector should earn more than him. Like royalblog of GDP papers said, if the prince continues buying properties all around the globe and on one holiday after another, it won't take too long before some will say that since he has so much money, his salary can be lowered to the same level of theprime minister too.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:42 PM
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Thanks Marengo.

Who was paying for the house? Why doesnt the Cp pay if its not him paying.
I do understand that they would need security etc but to send a navy ship is abit too much IMO, dont you think? Another thing is that, instead of building a house I would rather just stay in a hotel for a few weeks.

I must admitt that the Cp family are always on holiday and their holidays seem quite luxurioues and I do expect alot of things will be said about their vacations. I know they should holiday just like everyone else but it seems they travel on every holiday.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:45 PM
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The prince pays for the house himself, but the extra security has to be paid by the state. I suppose that security fences etc. around the villa will be paid by the state to, as happens in the Netherlands itself.

They won't send the navy to Mozambique indeed, but it was suggested by a member of parlament (I believe a member of one of the orthodox protestant parties). But still the security and safety measures will be costly, as will the travel expenses.

I don't think the house itself will be that large btw, and it is all made of wood.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:47 PM
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Have their been any pictures so far on the house?
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  #67  
Old 08-23-2009, 07:52 PM
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Not yet, as they only started building it last week (due to the problems with the architect). But this information on the project has been reported in the press:

- 220 luxury houses will be built
- there will be 4 types of houses, from 124 to 155 square meter
- the houses will cost between 100.000 and 150.000 euros
- the project also includes the construction of a 5-star hotel, a sewer system, trash-disposal, and clean water to drink.
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  #68  
Old 08-23-2009, 09:55 PM
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220 luxury houses? Are they building a neighborhood? Do you know who else will occupy this site? I do think that it is wonderful that clean water will become available. Hopefully, everyone in the area will benefit from this.
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  #69  
Old 08-23-2009, 11:50 PM
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220 luxury houses? Are they building a neighborhood? Do you know who else will occupy this site? I do think that it is wonderful that clean water will become available. Hopefully, everyone in the area will benefit from this.
I think this project might as well stop,ASAP.

The Prince has put all his interests and everything related to his part of the project in a foundation,based at Noordeinde Palace.
This is done in agreement with the dutch PM,no-one wishes to be involved in fraudes regarding the builder or anything else related to that.

The Family is entitled to holiday as they please wherever they please and to whatever expense,it is theirs to decide,but this end of the world,allthough it gets such high acclaims,is a tad too much.The politically correct bit of developing nations and neighbourhoods bla bla bla.....I am not that political correct.I'm allergic to that,it gives me a rash of sorts.Too much has been done globally,or not,under that umbrella and I refuse to be that naive.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:46 AM
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Thank you for your answer, Lucien. It does sound as if this project has been plagued with problems since the beginning. I personally agree with you, that the family is entitled to holiday wherever they please.

Unfortunately, it sounds like the contractors hired to do this job are less than honest people. This happens a lot in construction projects, to both royals and ordinary people. It can be difficult to ensure that things are being done correctly and ethically. Usually, by the time one realizes what is happening, it is often too late. I think that the Prince of Orange is doing the right thing in backing away from this.
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  #71  
Old 09-19-2009, 08:33 AM
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And as was to be expected: more problems with the villa. RTL reporter Arthur de Leeuw went to Mozambique and discovered that the local people are angry at project developer Panorama. They are angry as they claim that Panorama is 'stealing' land, using more land than was actually agreed to. Apparently the army of Mozambique has to protect the project:

RTL Nieuws.nl - Bouwproject Willem-Alexander onder vuur

I wish the prime minister would pull the plug on this project, this will drag on & on.
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:12 AM
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I've only read this thread for the first time today, but I think this planning should be pulled. It was a very nice idea but it's gotten way out of hand. They need to stop it before it gets worse.
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  #73  
Old 10-07-2009, 01:31 PM
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From Dutchnews.nl:

Quote:
MPs want probe into Mozambique project

Tuesday 06 October 2009
Coalition partners Labour and the orthodox Christian ChristenUnie party have called for an investigation into the Mozambique holiday home project of crown prince Willem-Alexander and princess Maxima, reports Tuesday’s Volkskrant.
There has been growing speculation about corruption, environmental damage and a lack of investment for the local population in connection with the property development project in Mozambique, says the paper.
Read more here.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:53 AM
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And there is more criticism on the prince. According to the NRC the prince doesn't know his 'ethical boundaries', which falls badly among the public.

Apparently the security costs of the villa in Mozambique will be triple the amount that security in a country like Italy would cost. Furthermore the prince acted again like a spoiled brat with no sense of reality when he tried to trick the government:

The government wanted to build a place for security officers on the property of the prince. The prince was upset as he values his privacy, so what did he do? He tried to sell part of the land to an American friend, so there wouldn't be space enough to house the security officers. The deal with the American friend however did not go ahead.

I wish the prime minister would have a backbone for once. All the political parties are screaming fire, the reputation oft he prince has gone down the drain and the project has written 'disaster' all over it from the start.

Of course it is quite idiotic that we blame the prime minister for the spoiled behavior of the prince. And the NRC had a column with a plea to stop the ministerial responsibility and let the royals sort out their own mess. It is interesting to see how in the recent year the royal family has become the topic of negative public debate, AFAIK this has never before been the case on such a sscale during the reign of Queen Beatrix. It seems that the court is losing touch with reality and esp. the prince of Orange thinks that he can do whatever he pleases. As Hooghiemstra said: he wants only the advantages of the position but not the burdens.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:09 AM
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More from RTL News:

High civil servants at the ministairy of the prime minister are annoyed with the prince,. They say he behaves like a spoilt brat that just wants to get his way all the time. A high civil servant called the whole Mozambique project a K--project (refering to female genitals, dutch slang ... ).

Apparently the prince clashed with minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Justice) about the security of the villa in Mozambique (see the post immidiately above). The governemnt actually thought of buying some landd themselves, but it was considered too expensive. For now the security staff will be placed on the property of the prince.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:40 AM
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I had a feeling in August that things would keep going in a negative direction, which is unfortunate. For a futute King to prohibit security from effectively protecting the royal family is reckless IMO.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:01 AM
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... he wants only the advantages of the position but not the burdens

That's pure WA - my interest comes first (in this case in the most bizarre project, why not become the first person to have a holiday residence on the moon, he won't need security there or worry about paparazzi, that's for sure).

If he continues like that and his arrogance, narcism and stubborness will make people realize more and more that he is losing touch with them, the public, his very own people who fork out the bill for his extravagance, then he won't need to worry any longer about his children's privacy because they will finally become private citizens when the Dutch become tired of a monarch whose vocabulary does not hold the word "serving".

I wish the PM would for once win a power of struggle with WA and tell him to stop whining about the side effects of his privileges - how many Dutch people would love to have to worry about where to build a new holiday residence on other people's expenses when the old one is not fashionable anymore.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:05 AM
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When a project becomes too problematic the best thing to do is to quit it. There are another ways to help the poor people of Mozambique, if the Prince and Princess still want to do that.
The spoiled behaviour of the prince looks suspicious. He defends the project saying it will help the african people and create employments but when he sells part of the land to the American friend, when he takes advantages of his royal position, when he acts as a spoiled person all the time (presuming that these accusations are true), etc, lead people to think they had much more (finantial?) interests in this project than just spending great vacation (they can do that anywhere else) and help the poor people.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:37 AM
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... he wants only the advantages of the position but not the burdens

That's pure WA - my interest comes first (in this case in the most bizarre project, why not become the first person to have a holiday residence on the moon, he won't need security there or worry about paparazzi, that's for sure).

If he continues like that and his arrogance, narcism and stubborness will make people realize more and more that he is losing touch with them, the public, his very own people who fork out the bill for his extravagance, then he won't need to worry any longer about his children's privacy because they will finally become private citizens when the Dutch become tired of a monarch whose vocabulary does not hold the word "serving".

I wish the PM would for once win a power of struggle with WA and tell him to stop whining about the side effects of his privileges - how many Dutch people would love to have to worry about where to build a new holiday residence on other people's expenses when the old one is not fashionable anymore.
What utter nonsense.Your Grace must have had a misinformed day and didn't get to a full translation of facts while it is all about facts,one fact being paramount.We have a hugely/dangerously incompetent PM as HE is the one to blame,he should act while at the Palace.Alexander isn't a spoiled rotten kid at all,and I for one won't accept any of that nonsense by anyone,either here or anywhere else,regardless whom.

But remains,that I too want him to cut that project out of his mind immediatly.He has no business in being involved with the corrupt lot down there.Maybe his intentions where good,and I have no reason to doubt that,nor did the Government as they OK-yed it all,but now THEY act as spoiled kids loosing their toy while there's still plenty to play,ie,work with.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:05 AM
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I am sorry lucien, but although I agree with your view on the present prime minister, I don't think the prince is blameless at all. On the contrairy, I find it somewhat odd that we all blame the prime minister for something the prince wants. I am sure the prince has been cautioned, warned etc. and still he goes ahead... even trying to undermine his own security! The prime minister could be more forcefull indeed, but what do you expect from somebody who took his scrapbook of pictures of the RF (from his childhood) to his first visit to prince Bernhard sr.

The debate in the 2nd chamber started interesting enough, I applaud mrs. Spier of the CDA for staying calm (but I only saw the first hour). The alcoholic MP of the PVV was terrribly annoying. The damage to the monarchy isn't all that dramatic though, even the SP (populist left, former Mao-ist and anti-monarchy party) emphasized the importance of the monarchy to so many countrymen and how valuable the institute is.
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