The United Arab Republic announced Dec 1 that it intended to nationalize Belgian assets throughout Egypt.
The United Arab Republic announced Dec 1 that it intended to nationalize Belgian assets throughout Egypt. A value of GBP16 million was placed on the property to be taken over by the Government. This comprised some GBP15 million for the Heliopolis Company and the Cairo Electric Railway alone.
U.A.R. police guards were seen Dec 2 outside the Cairo Tramway Company, the Belgian Bank, the Heliopolis Company and the Belgian-controlled Egyptian Electrically Company - all sequestered by the Government.
No mention was made of a diplomatic break with Belgium - the announcement caught Belgian Embassy officials by surprise. The Belgian Ambassador was instructed by his Government Dec 2 to lodge a strong protest and go to Brussels for consultations.
It was further announced Dec 3 that President Nasser had ordered the seisure of three more Belgian companies including the famous Shepheard's Hotel. The others were the Mining and Mechanical Construction Co., and the Contracting Company.