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rassimian

United Kingdom
128 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2019 :  10:47:23  Show Profile Send rassimian a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thomas Cook company going under? Although they have been in financial trouble for a while it looked like that earlier in the year they were being bailed out by Chinese investment. Now creditors are saying that they need a further injection of £200 million just to stay afloat and have 48 hours in which to come up with this amount or go into possible liquidation if the company can not be sold.Contingency Plans are being considered as how to bring home 150,000 tourists if the company goes under. The loss of such a major travel company would be likely to affect the Gambian tourist infrastructure in a major way.
No great explanation is needed. Loss of jobs in the hotel business, if not possible closures, bound to effect the restaurant trade and general tourism. A disaster for the Gambian economy if no more Thomas Cook flights to the Gambia. Also very sad if it happens for those of us who love the Gambia. One thing is for sure we will all not be able to find alternative routes. Personally I will probably not get my money back as have booked flight only in January and will not be able to afford any possible alternative routes available from European airlines. Watch this development carefully. The next few days are crucial.

toubab1020



10179 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2019 :  12:26:42  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
rassimian .Good to see you back posting on Bantaba in Cyberspace again,its been a long time since I have been able to read your posts,all that you have written is true and I am sorry that if Thomas Cook goes under both yourself and Gambia will suffer badly from this outcome.
Let us all hope that a solution can be found and normal working of Thomas Cook will continue.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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Momodou



Denmark
9438 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2019 :  08:05:10  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I hope those of you in Gambia come back safely and those who already plan to visit the country find alternative ways to travel.



Thomas Cook collapses as last-ditch rescue talks fail

BBC Online

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49791249

Thomas Cook has collapsed after last-minute negotiations aimed at saving the 178-year-old holiday firm failed.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the tour operator has "ceased trading with immediate effect".

It has also triggered the biggest ever peacetime repatriation, aimed at bringing more than 150,000 British holidaymakers home.

Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook's chief executive, said the firm's collapse was a "matter of profound regret".

Commenting as the company entered compulsory liquidation, Mr Fankhauser also apologised to the firm's "millions of customers, and thousands of employees".

The tour operator's failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.......


Read more at: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49791249



A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
9438 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2019 :  09:35:35  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tour company Thomas Cook collapses, 150,000 people stranded

By GREGORY KATZ
Source: AP

https://apnews.com/e16341631fef4d018b4303eac161f372

LONDON (AP) — British tour company Thomas Cook collapsed early Monday after failing to secure emergency funding, leaving tens of thousands of vacationers stranded abroad.

The British government said the return of the 178-year-old firm’s 150,000 British customers now in vacation spots across the globe would be the largest repatriation in its peacetime history. The process began Monday and officials warned that delays are inevitable.

The Civil Aviation Authority said Thomas Cook has ceased trading, its four airlines will be grounded, and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries, including 9,000 in the U.K., will lose their jobs. The company several months ago had blamed a slowdown in bookings because of Brexit uncertainty for contributing to its crushing debt burden.

The company had said Friday it was seeking 200 million pounds ($250 million) to avoid going bust and was in weekend talks with shareholders and creditors to stave off failure. The firm, whose airliners were a familiar sight in many parts of the world, also operated around 600 U.K. travel stores.

The company’s chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, said in a statement read outside the company’s offices Monday morning that he deeply regrets the shutdown.

“Despite huge efforts over a number of months and further intense negotiations in recent days we have not been able to secure a deal to save our business,” he said. “I know that this outcome will be devastating to many people and will cause a lot of anxiety, stress and disruption.”

Britain’s CAA said it had arranged an aircraft fleet for the complex British repatriation effort, which is expected to last two weeks.

“Due to the significant scale of the situation, some disruption is inevitable, but the Civil Aviation Authority will endeavor to get people home as close as possible to their planned dates,” the aviation authority said in a statement.

Describing the repatriation plan, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said dozens of charter planes, from as far afield as Malaysia, had been hired to fly customers home free of charge. He said hundreds of people were staffing call centers and airport operations centers.

British travel expert Simon Calder told Sky News that Thomas Cook’s problems started in 1994 when the “open skies” agreement allowed upstarts easyJet and Ryanair to flourish. At the same time, he said, the internet became widely used for travel bookings, lessening the demand for Thomas Cook’s travel agencies.

“There’s still of course a place for travel professionals, there’s a place for the package already, as companies like Jet2 and TUI are demonstrating, but Thomas Cook was behind the curve and I’m afraid with high costs such as those expensive high street premises they simply couldn’t cope,” he said.

Traveler Lucy Jessop from the eastern city of Hull said she had been scheduled to return from Mexico to Manchester with Thomas Cook on Tuesday and that the government had organized an alternative flight back to England.

“It’s the employees of Thomas Cook and all those due to go on holiday I feel for,” she said. “We were the lucky ones, I suppose.”

Unions representing the Thomas Cook staff had urged the British government to intervene to prop up Thomas Cook to protect jobs and the traveling public.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, traveling to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, said the government was right not to bail out the company, arguing that travel firms should do more to ensure they don’t collapse.

Johnson said bailing out the company would have established “a moral hazard” because other firms might later expect the same treatment.

“We need to look at ways in which tour operators one way or another can protect themselves from such bankruptcies in future,” Johnson said. “One is driven to reflect on whether the directors of these companies are properly incentivized to sort such matters out.”

Most of Thomas Cook’s British customers are protected by the government-run travel insurance program, which makes sure vacationers can get home if a British-based tour operator fails while they are abroad.

An earlier repatriation exercise following the 2017 collapse of Monarch Airlines cost the government about 60 million pounds.

Thomas Cook, which began in 1841 with a one-day train excursion in England and now operates in 16 countries, has been struggling over the past few years.

An estimated 1 million future travelers will find their bookings for upcoming holidays canceled. They are likely to receive refunds under the terms of the government’s travel insurance plan.

The company’s troubles were already affecting those traveling under the Thomas Cook banner.

A British vacationer told BBC radio on Sunday that the Les Orangers beach resort in the Tunisian town of Hammamet, near Tunis, demanded that guests who were about to leave pay extra money, for fear it wouldn’t be paid what it is owed by Thomas Cook.


Ryan Farmer said many tourists refused the demand, since they had already paid Thomas Cook, so security guards shut the hotel’s gates and “were not allowing anyone to leave.”

It was like “being held hostage,” said Farmer, who is due to leave Tuesday. He said he would also refuse to pay if the hotel asked him.

The Associated Press called the hotel, as well as the British Embassy in Tunis, but no officials or managers were available for comment.

___

Associated Press writer Jill Lawless in New York contributed to this report.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



10179 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2019 :  17:30:06  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It is interesting to note that it is Thomas Cook PLC that has gone into Administration after 178 years,HOWEVER :

After 178 years in business, Britain's Thomas Cook, the world's oldest travel company, has gone bust.

Thomas Cook's collapse on Monday sparked the UK's largest repatriation in peacetime history. About 600,000 people were left stranded abroad — 150,000 of whom are UK residents.
The announcement from CEO Peter Fankhauser came after the board failed to secure a deal with creditors and the government to bail it out of its £1.6 billion (€1.8 billion) debt pile.
Where did it all go wrong?

For Simon Calder, travel editor at the Independent newspaper, the company's troubles stem from the fact that it "didn't keep up with transformations".

"Thomas Cook revolutionised travel, they did amazing things, they democratised it, they industrialised travel, they really invented the package holiday," he told Euronews.

"But then in the late stages of the 20th century, and particularly in the 21rst century, they took their eye off the ball. They didn't quite sort of realise that people — largely a lot of younger people — aren't using high street travel agents.

"They were slow with the internet and they simply didn't take much notice of the big low-cost airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair," he added.

READ MORE: Repatriation begins after the collapse of travel firm Thomas Cook

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Brits were much more likely to go on holidays abroad in 2016 than they did in 1996 but the trends had been completely upended.

"In the last 20 years, UK tourists have turned their backs on traditional two-week holidays in favour of short breaks and week-long trips," the ONS wrote in a report.

It noted that back in the 1990s, "hardly anyone had access to the internet, so you probably booked your trip by going to a travel agent or finding a cheap package deal on Teletext".

The Internet and the emergence of no-frill airlines saw passenger numbers at UK airports increased by 85% over the past two decades, from 135 million to 251 million and travellers needed no longer buying packages but could independently plan affordable holidays.

According to the Centre for Aviation (CAPA), a research company specialised in the aviation and travel industry, the Thomas Cook Group carried 20 million airline passengers in the year ending September 2018.

This made it the 14th biggest European airlines in terms of passenger numbers. The Lufthansa Group and Ryanair occupied the first two spots, each carrying 142 million and 139 million passengers.

Still, according to Paul Davies, head of UK Travel research at Mintel, "Thomas Cook's decline should not be confused with the demise of the package holiday."

"In fact, the package holiday market is still performing well. Unfortunately for Thomas Cook, it lost out to its rivals within this sector, most notably TUI and Jet2, with Mintel's research showing that these brands consistently deliver a better customer experience," he told Euronews.

READ MORE: Thomas Cook employees take to social media following liquidation

The low-cost airlines and their cut-throat prices have certainly been a boon to customers but legacy airlines, which have been forced to decrease their own prices, still can't align themselves.

The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), an independent Brussels-based think tank, found last year that that low-cost airlines are on average 40% cheaper than legacy carriers on international flights and 20% on domestic flights.

"I actually bought, would you believe, just before midnight, a Thomas Cook holiday," Calder told Euronews on Monday.

"A week in Greece next month and no I won't be going. But it only cost me €210 for flights, accommodations, transfers, everything else. Nobody is making money at that sort of price," he added.

Thomas Cook is certainly just the latest in a long line of European carriers to have to close up shop over the past two years.

Earlier this year, Britain's Flybmi, Germany's Germania and Iceland's Wow Air went bust. The year prior, it was Monarch Airlines and Air Berlin amongst others. France's Aigle Azur and XL Airways are both seeking rescue deals at the moment.

But for Mintel's Davies, "whilst Thomas Cook's collapse is sad news for its employees and holidaymakers, its established competitors are now suddenly presented with further opportunities for growth"

"EasyJet Holidays will no doubt be factoring this into its strategy ahead of its relaunch later this year," he added.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/09/23/thomas-cook-why-did-the-world-s-oldest-travel-firm-go-bust

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 23 Sep 2019 17:31:37
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Momodou



Denmark
9438 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2019 :  22:22:23  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thomas Cook Scandinavia will resume flights according to Spies. Danes will be able to travel to destinations from tomorrow.
https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/indland/spies-genoptager-rejser-efter-ejerkonkurs

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



10179 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  11:11:29  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
MY THOUGHT OF THE DAY

Just a random thought,it seems to me a very odd time for, THOMAS COOK PLC to go into
ADMINISTRATION just as Brexit complications have reached a peek, I ask you dear reader to consider the time line and any connections that you may wish to make .I find this interesting.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 24 Sep 2019 11:29:26
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kiwi

Sweden
612 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  12:42:13  Show Profile Send kiwi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Swedish Company Ving cancelled all flights yesterday but has now announced that all flights are going as usual again from today. Tuesday.
Flights to Gambia usually starts de last week of October.

kiwi
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rassimian

United Kingdom
128 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  13:17:46  Show Profile Send rassimian a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A couple of points to add to this discussion. Momodou, I am not sure how Thomas Cook Scandinavia can still exist, let alone resume flights, unless they are not part of the same company. toubab, I don't think there is a connection between Thomas Cook going into liquidation and the Brexit fiasco. Thomas Cook have been in financial trouble for many years. Their debt has been mounting up and despite paying the CEO £8 million over the past 3 years ,which in my opinion is criminal, their lack of business organisation is mainly to blame for their current demise. Over the past years the evidence has been mounting that something was not quite right with this company. If we just look at the Gambia connection they have reduced not only the number of airports from where you could fly to the Gambia but also the number of flights themselves. For example, from Manchester flights have been reduced from 3 per week to 2. I have always flown out of Manchester but the number of people who have travelled from Scotland, Wales and the Midlands from this airport has been noticeable.
I am no expert on what caused the demise of TC ,it was probably a combination of factors but the bottom line is that they were in competition with other airlines/companies on short haul routes and weren't doing well. I don't know about their long haul destinations but flights from Manchester to Banjul were usually full. I remember reading that once an aircraft was half full with passengers every other seat was profit for that company. Don't know if that is true.
I spoke with my Gambian friend yesterday morning to give her the news. She was shocked to hear it and said there was nothing in the Gambia press about the TC failure. This is bound to have a major impact on Gambian economy as I think that most tourists from the UK travelled on Thomas Cook flights or package deals and made up the majority of the tourists to the Gambia over the November to April period. Liquidation means that the company itself cannot be sold, but maybe any aircraft that they owned could. We must hope that another airline steps in to take over the UK to Banjul run but I have my doubts, otherwise there is no way that the number of UK tourists who regularly visit or would like to visit the Gambia will be able to find or pay for alternative routes. I have checked all other ways of getting to the Gambia and they are all more expensive than TC fares have been. Looking at Gambia Experience they are quoting £740 for return flights, nearly double the Thomas Cook fares that were available.
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Momodou



Denmark
9438 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  17:46:04  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rassimian

A couple of points to add to this discussion. Momodou, I am not sure how Thomas Cook Scandinavia can still exist, let alone resume flights, unless they are not part of the same company


The link to the Danish Radio states:
“Spies CEO Jan Vendelbo tells Ritzau that the company's licenses with Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia's aircraft have been moved from England to the Nordic company and that it is therefore possible to fly again.”
Flights with tourists departed from Denmark today. Ving from Sweden are also resuming flights as stated by Kiwi above.
Both Spies and Ving were bought by Thomas Cook som years including their aircrafts.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



10179 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  19:10:06  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thomas Cook ceases operation: A nightmare for Gambia tourism sector
Tuesday, September 24, 2019


The ‘tremendous success’ making by The Gambia tourism sector as indicated by the President of the Republic, His Excellency Adama Barrow during the State Opening of the 2019 Legislative Year address is likely going to be cut short by the latest announcement from the UK Civil Aviation Authority that “Thomas Cook Group has ceased trading with immediate effect, with all flights and holidays cancelled.”

This latest announcement has become a nightmare to all tourism stakeholders in The Gambia as well as people of the Gambia as Thomas Cook Group remains the country’s biggest and leading tour operator that has been flying over half of the total number of arrivals to destination Gambia year-in-year-out without break for almost three decades.

Tourism Minister Hamat Bah said the collapse of Thomas cook will adversely affect Gambia’s economy which represents 30% of GDP.

“It was great shock to learn their bankruptcy. Government will make plans to put something in place to bring British tourists by inviting other airlines to cheap in to fill the gap,” Mr. Bah said.

Buna Njie, chairman of Gambia Hotel Association said: The closure of Thomas Cook is a serious blow in the tourism sector because the expected number this year which 57000 tourists who booked their flights will be decreased.”

“Hotels managers, officials of Gambia Tourism Board put a strategy plan to invite other airlines Gambia Experience, (British ) FTI German airline and 3 TUI – Anglo-German Tour Operator from UK to put more flights.”

Last year 209, 134 tourists visited The Gambia, which 52,103 were British.

This season, 40, 000 British tourists booked hotels,

17,000 booked flights to come to The Gambia without staying hotels.

For the first time, in 2018, in the destination, Thomas Cook Group increased its weekly frequency flights from UK and Holland to nine which tremendously added to 209,135 the number of tourist arrivals by air to the destination in the last season.

Since the Gambia is not exempted per the UK Civil Aviation Authority announcement, it will cause a big blow in the expected season which is at the corner as many employees might face redundancy.

Through a telephone conversation, Charbel Hobeika, CEO and managing director of Gambia Tours, and also an agency of Thomas Cook in The Gambia responsible for transportation of guests from and to airport and hotels declined commenting on the issue, citing contractual agreement between Thomas Cook Group and Gambia Tours.

He, however, referred this reporter to the Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) and Ministry of Tourism and Culture for better comment.

The director of the GTBoard could not be reached to comment on this latest development at the time of going to press. This reporter was made to understand that they were on an Emergency Risks Assessment (ERA) meeting in the afternoon to ascertain the level of damage this latest development will cost the sector.

Meanwhile, Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook has apologised to millions of their customers and thousands of their employees saying the tour operator’s collapse was a “matter of profound regret.”

Veteran Journalist Pap Saine contributes to this reporting.
Author: Yunus S Saliu

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/thomas-cook-ceases-operation-a-nightmare-for-gambia-tourism-sector

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



10179 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  23:54:25  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The article is quite long this small quote below is an ongoing development in the saga.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


"Germany's state of Hesse, where collapsed travel group Thomas Cook's German airline Condor is located, said it is ready to help the airline's application for a federal government bridging loan.

"Obviously we will have to look whether there is a basis for help by the state, just as with every other company," said state leaders in a joint statement issued in the capital Wiesbaden on Monday, affirming their readiness to support Condor.

The statement came after Condor asked the government for help.

"Condor ... is continuing operations," the German airline said in a statement.

Thomas Cook says there are roughly 140,000 holidaymakers currently traveling with its German units. "

https://www.businessinsider.com/thomas-cook-subsidiary-condor-to-receive-bailout-loan-from-germany-2019-9?r=US&IR=T

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 25 Sep 2019 00:12:24
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toubab1020



10179 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2019 :  00:04:50  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Europe

Alan Tovey, Industry Editor

24 September 2019 • 6:38pm

Thomas Cook’s implosion has left aircraft owners facing a $500,000-plus bill per day while the failed holiday company’s jets are grounded.

Rather than own the aircraft it used to fly holidaymakers around the world, Thomas Cook leased its fleet of jets from giant aviation letting businesses as is common practice in the industry.

But the holiday company’s collapse into insolvency means the $300,000-plus per month payments it handed over for each jet to have stopped, leaving the airliners’ owners scrabbling to find new homes for them.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/09/24/airliner-owners-face-500000-a-day-bill-thomas-cook-collapse/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



10179 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2019 :  00:09:56  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote


By. Harriet Russell

24 September 2019 • 10:23pm

Thomas Cook's auditors face a probe into their conduct after the historic travel company collapsed under a £1.6bn debt mountain.

The firm's accountants EY and PwC will be investigated by the industry watchdog amid mounting anger over the state of its finances in the years before the failure.

Critics claim that Thomas Cook used controversial accounting techniques to boost a key measure of profit before going bust on Monday, leaving 150,000 Britons stranded abroad and costing 21,000 workers their jobs.

Chief executive Peter Fankhauser - whose bonus was linked to the company's profits - pocketed £8.3m during his five years at the helm, even as its share price plunged 97pc.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/09/24/city-watchdog-joins-chorus-calling-thomas-cook-investigation/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



10179 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2019 :  00:21:02  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Lamin Cham September 24, 2019

The sudden collapse of world acclaimed tour operator, Thomas Cook of the UK could drastically cut the number of tourist arrivals in The Gambia in the coming season, officials lamented yesterday.

“Thomas Cook carried the largest share of the 200,000 arrivals last year and it would have remained so this year,” an official who begged anonymity told The Standard yesterday.

The news of the collapse of the operator has since sent chills down the spines of the Gambia Tourist Board officials, with director general Hydara spotted yesterday rushing to a crisis meeting in Banjul.

He said he was not in position to immediately give any details about the full impact of the incident on Destination Gambia this year or what remedial strategies would be put in place. “But it will certainly affect arrivals,” he said.

Another expert in the field said the absence of Thomas Cook will wipe out between 30 to 50 percent of bookings to The Gambia.

“Whereas travelers may get refunded, this could take time and even if they get refunded would they be keen to take expensive alternative carriers, if there is any, to come for holiday?” one anxious tourism operator asked.

The Standard encountered with tourist taxi operators discussing the disturbing news around the Senegambia strip.

”This is worse than the much talked about Three Years Jotna. This is uncontrollable and deeply worrying.

Whereas we could talk among ourselves and resolve political differences, this one seems to be a natural calamity about which we can do little,” one driver lamented.

Last year, The Gambia received over 200,000 tourists, majority of them were transported by Thomas Cook.

This year, the GTB is expecting 238,000 arrivals starting from next month again to be carried by Thomas Cook.

With the sudden collapse of the firm which declared bankruptcy, there is deep fear that the season will be seriously affected.

https://standard.gm/thomas-cook-collapse-threatens-tourist-arrivals/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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kiwi

Sweden
612 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2019 :  13:11:40  Show Profile Send kiwi a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Thomas didn´t Cook well enough

kiwi
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