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  #1  
Old 03-27-2008, 05:20 AM
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Costs and Finances of the Belgian Royal Family

According to a senator of N-VA party, the Belgian monarchy costs 28 million a year, which is much higher than the dotation the members receive annualy.
Read an article in Dutch about it here.

The dotations add up to 12 million euros annualy but the 'hidden' costs that are placed at other depatments are 16 million euros. The senator also wants to stop the dotation for Prince Laurent and Princess Astrid.

--

Always curious how people keep going after the costs of a monarchy while it is proven that republics are more expensive and 'make' less money than a monarchy. It is all right if people are republican and such, but IMO the argument of 'costs' is falsifying the debate.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:49 AM
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It's the zillionth time the costs of the royal family are discussed, it's getting pretty boring :)
Although I don't agree with everything this politician is saying, he has some good ideas.

I think it would be a good idea to raise the dotation to cover all the costs. And not keep costs hidden in other departments, because that's only good for speculation.

I agree with the idea that only the king and the crown prince should get a dotation. But I think it would only be fair to start with that with the grandchildren of the present king. It's not fair to Astrid and Laurent to give them a dotation and then take it away again and tell them to go find a job.
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:38 AM
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Dotations of Members of the Belgian Royal Family under Discussion

Parlament decided yesterday (18 april 2008) that of Phillipe and Mathilde's children only Princess Elisabeth will receive a dotation in the future, the others will have to provide an income themselves. Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent can keep there dotation for now, but a discussion about it will be reopened when the King turns 75 or if he dies before that age.

It seems that no senator actually looked at the 'work'that Astrid, Laurent and Claire do on behalf of Belgium, which is much larger than for example the two younger sons of the Queen of the Netherlands. Cutting allowances willcertainly stop such an involvment.

Senator Lambert also asked for the goverment to give an annual sheet with all the costs of the RF. He claims that this already exists in the Netherlands (which is not tru, but the government is working on it).

An article in Dutch here.
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:29 AM
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Marengo, are these dotations to Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent meant to cover their expenses when they're on royal duty?
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:09 AM
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According to ' Het Laatste Nieuws' the Belgian RF is getting a raise of 5% this year. The budgetted costs are 13.043.000 Euros. Queen Fabiola is getting a raise of 73.000 euros, her dotation is now E 1.5 million a year.

The article in Dutch here.
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:38 AM
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According to newspaper 'Het Laatste Nieuws' the dotation of Prince Laurent will be even more under discussion as the senate started an ad hoc advice group who will take a look at the dotations of the royals. Apparently some dotations will be decreased while others will disappear completely.

And no surprise: the Flemish parties will be proposing this while it is expected that the Walloon parties will block it. Newspaper ' de Morgen' calls it a new dilemma like Brussel-Halle-Vilvoorde, but that is over the top IMO, unless this issue will paralise Belgian politics for the next decade or so (which won' t happen of course).

Article in Dutch here.

And the original article in Dutch of 'De Morgen' here.

---

What I don' t understand is why the dotation of Prince Laurent is ' in danger' while they do not mention the one of Princess Astrid (who is in the same position as her brother).
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Parlament decided yesterday (18 april 2008) that of Phillipe and Mathilde's children only Princess Elisabeth will receive a dotation in the future, the others will have to provide an income themselves. Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent can keep there dotation for now, but a discussion about it will be reopened when the King turns 75 or if he dies before that age.
It seems to be in line with what's happening in the Norwegian royal house, only they're instituting it themselves - and therefore have a lot more power over the proceedings.
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:41 AM
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So if Gabriel, Emmanuel and Eleonore do not receive an allowance from the state will they not take part in any royal duties? They will cease to be members of the royal family?
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:52 AM
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I have a feeling that this is a temporary fix for a government that is in trouble, and they are trying to look good, although I suspect that this move will not make them look good in the least.

I don't see the siblings of Elisabeth being cut out entirely, as she will need help with Royal duties when she gets older. Nope, I just don't see this one as having staying power!
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:05 PM
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Perhaps it will also be like in the Netherlands where only the reinging Monachrc and his/her spouse, the former monarch and his/her spouse and the heir and his/her spouse will get an allowance by the State. But the cots of official duties of the other members of the Royal House are covered by the King/Queen.
I think it is fair in the cases of Gabriel, Emmanuel and Eleonore that they know they will not get an allowance from the State. But for Laurent and Astrid it ist not as they had where not prepared for it in the way of their job-choice etc.
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:11 PM
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This might be an instance in which Laurent's frequent bad headlines are causing Parliament to look for a way to ensure that future generations do not cause as many problems -- by forcing them to work.
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:27 PM
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I agree, the most sensible thing for the future is to give the reigning couple and the direct heirs + spouses a dotation, and not the other children of the monrachs. I like how the dutch do it, just give the monarch a bit more and let he pay his relatives.
However I do not think that halfway the game you should change the rules. Astrid and Laurent planned their future, education etc. on the fact that they would be representing the RF and not have a normal job, so if they don' t get any money any more what should they do all of a sudden?
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:52 PM
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That's what they did in the UK when they shrank the Civil List a few years ago. Mostly it was a reaction against the younger royals, especially the Queen's younger children and their various spouses, but the Civil List was slashed so that long-term recipients like the Kents, Gloucesters, and Princess Alexandra, who had worked hard all their lives and, in the case of the Duke of Gloucester, given up a career to take on public duties, were all of a sudden cut loose. But the Queen is repaying them herself for continuing to take on public duties, so I assume there was some sort of agreement between her senior people and the Government that these junior royals wouldn't be left high and dry after all these years. The same is probably true of the Queen's younger children, who are continuing to perform public duties as they did while they were still on the Civil List. However, it does send a message to people like Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie that they might have to find other ways of supporting themselves when they get out of college. The chances are that they'll have a lot less involvement in royal life than the Queen's cousins did.
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:45 AM
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I think its an interesting situation - I can see why they want to cut back but it is very difficult. If you cut the donation to the longer serving royals, do you increase the Queen/King's to recognised their increased expenses? And surely in doing so you'd eliminate the benefit of making the original cut...
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:22 AM
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'Het Laatste Nieuws' reports that the royal family had 119 private flights in military airplanes from 2004 to 2007.

Article in Dutch here. The article specified which member had the most private visits in militairy airplanes; if the article is right it seems that the King is 'responsable' for 100 of them.

The costs:

2004: 626.277 euro
2005: 680.626 euro
2006: 470.240 euro
2007: 492.902 euro

Now since the government is responsible for the safety of the king you would suppose that the king is travelling with these airplanes on their advice, so I don't get much of the controversy.

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As ever at the HLN website the anonimous comments are vitriolic at best.
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:48 AM
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The minister defended the RF against attacks from extreme right party Flemish Interest (VB) in parlament. The King needs to be protected, according to the minister. The state has no intention of changing that policy. It also has been a courtesy to the former Queen Consort to allow her 3 private airplane flights a year, again the minister does not feel like changing that either.

The debate: video - Vlaams Belang: 'Koning Albert voortdurend op vakantie'

Since 2005 the princes do not use the military planes for private travels.

And the VB also critisized the king for being on holiday too often, which they based on the high amount of his private flights, mainly to Italy, Spain and France.
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:59 AM
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I agree with the idea that only the king and the crown prince should get a dotation. But I think it would only be fair to start with that with the grandchildren of the present king. It's not fair to Astrid and Laurent to give them a dotation and then take it away again and tell them to go find a job.
That is true, but if the Belgian people give them a dotation, they should "work" for it by appearing as official representatives of the RF. Prince Laurent does very little in that way, so it is not very fair to give him any amount of money. If he has anything on his agenda, he hardly ever turns up in time (if he turns up at all). Princess Astrid, on the other hand, still has a rather full agenda, she's always turning up at happenings to represent the RF, and she is also very active in the charity field, so that's not really a problem.
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:47 AM
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Prime Minister Leterme told Paris Match that he wants to cut the civil list. The only members that will receive a dotation will be the King and the crownprince!

Article in Dutch here.

CD&V/NV-A are working on a proposal for parliament abou this. It will be difficult though, as many politicians see any change of the monarchy as an attempt to temper with Belgians unity and many will vote against such a change.
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:41 PM
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So, Leterme finally starts to work and comes up with suggestions. Fine. Apparently there´s former royalty journalist Pol Vandendriessche behind it, who is now a member of the Belgian Senate and announced a “revolutionary bill” some time ago. Nothing wrong with limiting the dotations to the core family and more financial transparency is indeed desirable as all these hidden costs discussions cause some damage. That´s why Albert seems to support a reorganisation of the finances. And it is also more or less obvious since years that Astrid and Laurent will loose their dotation when Albert dies.
But in my opinion it´s rather unfair not to grant a payment to retired monarchs or widowed queens. A retired head of state deserves a pension. And since it´s expected that the spouses of the king and the crown prince stop their career to represent the country and also have to agree in division of property in case of divorce a dotation, how small it may be, is due too imo. So far Paola and Mathilde don´t receive a payment. Vandendriessche and co. eagerly refer to the way it´s done in The Netherlands, but to my best knowledge Juliana and Bernhard received a payment too till their death and they also conveniently forget about the dotation for Princess Maxima.
I´m not surprised that Vandendriessche is already pointing out how difficult it will be and that he starts playing the "the francophones are against it" card, that´s just the convenient CD&V/NVA way of doing politics lately.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:17 AM
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According to Belgian TV Programme 'Royalty' prince Laurent earns a net amount of 8666,- euros for each workday. Last years his dotation was 312.000 euros for 36 public events. An official event on average lasts 2 hours.

For Filips and Mathilde that came on an average of 6328 euros. They earn 924.000,- euros and have 148 public events.

Article in Dutch here.
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