Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander buys Greek villa

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Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima (22 Mar 2012)
Image caption,
The royal couple were first said to have expressed interest in the villa last summer

The heir to the Dutch throne, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, has bought a villa near the Greek town of Kranidi.

Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin and actor Sean Connery are both said by Dutch media to own homes nearby.

The villa was bought for 4.5m euros (£3.7m; $5.9m) from German photographer Manfried Rieker, Dutch media say.

The prince had originally built a villa on land bought in Mozambique but sold it earlier this year in response to political criticism of the project.

Two years after buying four plots of land on the Machangula peninsula in the south of the country in 2007, Dutch MPs raised objections to his involvement in a larger development project.

Private beach

The Dutch government's information service said Prime Minister Mark Rutte was fully aware of the purchase of the Greek villa but it said no further information would be given because it was a private matter.

The couple's new villa is said to come equipped with its own swimming pool, private beach and marina and lies close to the resort of Doroufi, west of Kranidi in the Peloponnese in southern Greece.

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima knew the area from a wedding they had attended in August 2010 for Greek Prince Nikalaos and Tatiana Blatnik on the nearby island of Spetses, the Volkskrant newspaper said.

The prince had expressed an interest in buying the villa last summer. The photographer's wife told the newspaper "we can't say anything about it".

The villa has been used by Mr Rieker for his advertising work for Porsche and Mercedes, De Telegraaf newspaper says.

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