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Antwerp Boils over banking scandalsBelgian officials reacted angrily to a perceived attempt by leaders of the Israeli diamond center to profit from a series of banking scandals that have struck Antwerp.On the heels of Belgian press coverage – in which Israeli diamond leaders were quoted as questioning the stability of Belgium’s diamond sector – Peter Meeus, general manager of the Beurs voor Diamanthandel, publicly accused the Israel Diamond Exchange of trying to steal diamond dealers away from Antwerp.Meeus’ statement was published in an Antwerp newspaper and aroused controversy. “We have nothing against the bourse in Antwerp, but we must think of the Israel industry, which is fighting for its existence,” responded IDE President Itzhak Forem. Forem and others have worked to open a rough diamond exchange in Israel, which should happen late this year or early next year.Meeus re
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