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Belgian Mayor May Sue Over ... Weather Report

Says dreary report has hurt tourism
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2012 12:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – The mayor of a seaside town in Belgium is fuming over ... a weather report. He says a seasonal weather report for this summer was downright unfair, and he might sue. A private weather forecasting firm said the country would only have two weeks of sunshine this month. "We all know we're not in the Cote d'Azur or southern Italy," says Knokke mayor Leo Lippens. "But we have a fantastic climate here and to give the impression it is disgusting is disgusting and that I don't allow."

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Knokke is a tourist haven, and the mayor says it's lost wads of cash over the report. Lippens says Meteo Belgique probably made the negative forecast on purpose: The company, he says, stands to gain from travel agency bookings to foreign destinations. The owner of the service says that's nonsense. But Lippens wants Meteo Belgique to pay up. "That's public disinformation," he tells NPR. And he's not alone: Local businesspeople support legal action, and a Dutch politician considered fining Netherlands meteorologists in a similar case. (Read more Belgium stories.)

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