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You can’t be sure of seeing Shell’s AGM

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If you couldn’t travel to the Hague to protest, you could always attend the live link-up in London. But now you can’t even do that

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Rupert Neate: The Observer, Sunday 19 May 2013

Angry about the oil giants allegedly fixing the price of petrol for more than a decade? You’ll have a chance to harangue Shell – its offices were raided by European Union officials investigating the claims last week – at its annual general meeting on Tuesday. But only if you get on a plane to the Hague.

Royal Dutch Shell, the British part of which was founded by Lord Bearsted in 1897, has been regularly holding its meeting in the Dutch city most famous for trying war criminals.

For the dedicated investor it could make for a nice little outing. The meeting is at the Circus theatre, a stone’s throw from the beach, and that evening the venue is putting on Sister Act – The Musical.

Until this year, less dedicated British shareholders have been able to gather (and protest) at a simultaneous meeting in London to follow a live satellite link-up.

Not this year. Shell says the live link “did not satisfy shareholders”. A spokesman explains: “We concluded that having the satellite didn’t meet shareholders’ best needs.” He said it would be much easier for all involved if they stayed at home and watched the Dutch event live-streamed online.

Protesting from home would also save Shell having to endure images of thousands of petrol-tank-banging motorists, but he didn’t mention that.

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