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  #21  
Old 01-14-2013, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
It all seems very petty and mean spirited for a bunch of politicians (who couldn't even agree to put a government together for over a year) and journalists (who have an equally politicial agenda) to attack an elderly lady in declining health who has devoted most of her adult life to serving Belgium, the church and charity.
Discussions continued over the WE on tv discussion panels and in the press, coming to conclusions quite near to our comments and arguing that the regime about the foundations is too tolerent and the yearly allowance allocated to Fabiola too generous.
A few facts can be established : she is employing 3 drivers and 5 secretaries/office staff. While it is admitted that she still gets a lot of letters, 5 staff members might be excessive, and bearing in mind she now participates in very few activities, there is probably little pressure on the 3 drivers...
Politicians recognize their responsibility in not having completed the revision of the rules on allowances to individual members of the royal family, actually initiated in 2009; but in the meantime we have had the longest government crisis ever in 2010/11. We can expect that there will now be developments, unfavorable to Fabiola, which will indeed look mean. I see more sympathy for her from abroad than from Belgian citizens actually.
I have also understanding for our Prime Minister who really had a hard time in looking for an agreement on the budget.
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  #22  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:15 AM
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Belgium's elderly Dowager Queen Fabiola has annual allowance cut - Telegraph

I find it strange when things like this are so important that the palace did not know about it and that they were not better advised.
Perhaps they were given excellent advice but were not able to listen to it.
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  #23  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:26 AM
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Just for the record, these informations are public since 2011 apparently. Don't know why the press is just make a scandal now...
And apparently what's very shocking too is that prince Lorenz was/is in charge of Fabiola's money. IMHO, that's very normal since he's the husband of her niece and a financial expert...

I think I'm officially giving up understanding press
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  #24  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:47 AM
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so the palace did know

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Originally Posted by Blue_ View Post
Just for the record, these informations are public since 2011 apparently. Don't know why the press is just make a scandal now...
And apparently what's very shocking too is that prince Lorenz was/is in charge of Fabiola's money. IMHO, that's very normal since he's the husband of her niece and a financial expert...

I think I'm officially giving up understanding press
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  #25  
Old 01-16-2013, 11:08 AM
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It is quite surprising to learn about Queen Fabiola's tax avoidance. The European royal advisers/counselors are totally useless and short-sighted. They tend to react to controversies instead of being proactive.
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  #26  
Old 01-16-2013, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by susan alicia View Post
so the palace did know
it was published for the first time begin november 2011. There's an official belgian lawyer newspaper and it was published there...
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  #27  
Old 01-16-2013, 11:30 AM
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I may be wrong, but dont you think the annual stipend of 1.2 million euros is a bit too much for a Dowager Queen with hardly any public engagements? I mean compared to the British royals (I have no idea about other Royals), because each of Queens children receive 249000 pounds, working at the peaks of their life.
And one more thing, I agree that the palace advisors are doing a very bad job. They could have averted this embarassment.
BTW, didnt Queen Mother also divert most of her money into Trust funds for her great-grand kids, sparing it of inheritence tax? But that was smartly managed..
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  #28  
Old 01-16-2013, 12:38 PM
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Belgians do things differently to the British.
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  #29  
Old 01-25-2013, 01:26 PM
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Announced today on belgian public tv that Queen Fabiola will get rid of the Pereos foundation, she is quoted to say she regrets the controversy the foundation had caused in recent weeks.
The government will still re-assess the dotation the various members of the royal family receive...
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  #30  
Old 01-25-2013, 01:43 PM
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How bad were her Advisers, starting a Foundation unknown by he Royal Palace.
Her Lawyer said The Queen regrets the many reactions among the Belgians.
The bad thing is as said Lumutqueen the new re-assessment of the royal Dotations .
I really like Queen Fabiola and am sad about all this.
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  #31  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:02 PM
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not her advisers fault probably, only the best are hired and I find it hard to believe a woman of her age does these kind of finacial matters without her relatives knowing anything about it, that is the royal palace.

I think she received too much money so it is good

QUOTE=maria-olivia;1509183]How bad were her Advisers, starting a Foundation unknown by he Royal Palace.
Her Lawyer said The Queen regrets the many reactions among the Belgians.
The bad thing is as said Lumutqueen the new re-assessment of the royal Dotations .
I really like Queen Fabiola and am sad about all this.[/QUOTE]
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  #32  
Old 01-26-2013, 04:03 AM
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TBH I can't see why this fund is such a big deal, she just uses the Belgian system, and isn't even moving the fund to Guernsey (like princess Christina) or elsewhere. And as said, only inherited money is part of the fund. I wonder how many politicians use the tax system in simular ways.

I find it very odd that prime minister di Rupo was so quick in dropping'' the Queen and taking away 1/3 of her dotation. Esp. since most of the information was untrue or incomplete.
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  #33  
Old 01-26-2013, 04:52 AM
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are you sure the information is untrue or incomplete? Then it is a bit strange, but as someone remarked on this thread the Belgians do things differently (to the English)

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TBH I can't see why this fund is such a big deal, she just uses the Belgian system, and isn't even moving the fund to Guernsey (like princess Christina) or elsewhere. And as said, only inherited money is part of the fund. I wonder how many politicians use the tax system in simular ways.

I find it very odd that prime minister di Rupo was so quick in dropping'' the Queen and taking away 1/3 of her dotation. Esp. since most of the informotion was untrue or incomplete.
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  #34  
Old 01-26-2013, 06:51 AM
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TBH I can't see why this fund is such a big deal, she just uses the Belgian system, and isn't even moving the fund to Guernsey (like princess Christina) or elsewhere. And as said, only inherited money is part of the fund. I wonder how many politicians use the tax system in simular ways.

I find it very odd that prime minister di Rupo was so quick in dropping'' the Queen and taking away 1/3 of her dotation. Esp. since most of the informotion was untrue or incomplete.
I agree Marengo,I found it all rather baffling/bizare to say the least.
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  #35  
Old 01-26-2013, 12:22 PM
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TBH I can't see why this fund is such a big deal, she just uses the Belgian system
That's a good point. It is all perfectly legal and allowed by the Belgian law; if Belgians or Belgian politicians do not want people to create such foundations, why don't they repeal the law which allows them?
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  #36  
Old 01-26-2013, 02:48 PM
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... [snipped]
I find it very odd that prime minister di Rupo was so quick in dropping'' the Queen and taking away 1/3 of her dotation. Esp. since most of the information was untrue or incomplete.
As noticed in the thread devoted to Prince Laurent, I too found Prime Minister Di Rupo's desire to swiftly punish surprising.
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  #37  
Old 01-26-2013, 03:32 PM
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What the queen attempted to do so that her family can avoid inheritance taxes, is actually completely legal and being done every day by people around the world. She made it very clear she wasn't using her stipend (should her stipend have been reassessed...probably, but not to be callous, it probably should have been reassessed when King Baudoin died). If the PM was that concerned, there are ways to determine the source of Queen Fabiola's funds for her "foundation".
Recall what princess Margaret did do avoid inheritance taxes...she gave her son her villa on Mustique. And then, Lord Linley and Lady Chatto still had oodles of taxes to pay, and had to start selling off P. Margaret's jewelery, art work etc. Imagine the outcry then, after Queen Fabiola passes, when her family, not the royal family, HER family, starts selling of her jewels, and art work, etc to pay inheritance taxes. There will be public outcry then that "Outsiders" are selling the royal familys loot, when in reality, its Fabiola's...to do with as she wishes. She doesn't strike me as the most materialistic of people either (truthfully, none of the Belgian royals strike me as being diamond chasing money grubbers, which is kind of nice), but it would be nice to see Princess Mathilde, Princess Elisabeth, and maybe even Queen Paola, wearing some of Fabiola's beautiful pieces that we haven't seen for years. It remains to be seen what will happen after her passing, hopefully many years from now, as to how her estate will address the tax implications they will be faced with.
Prime Minister seems like the biggest "drama queen" of them all :)
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:27 AM
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are you sure the information is untrue or incomplete? Then it is a bit strange, but as someone remarked on this thread the Belgians do things differently (to the English)
I am not sure about anything, but neither is the press. According to Queen Fabiola herself and 'sources' close to her, the money in the fund

1) only came from an inheritance, not from her dotation. However press, parlament and public opinion discuss the matter as if she is deviating her dotation.

2) AFAIK the main aim of the fund is to help catholic charities. But insome cases, catholic nephews and nieces can apply for a sum of money, if they are in financial hard times or need funds for study etc.

So this is quite different from the impression that most have, namely that Fabiola is deviating millions and millions of her dotation.

Now, of course Fabiola and her spokes people may be lying (don't find that very likely), but the prime minister should at least have done some research to see what is actually going on, instead of panicking & immediately scrap 1/3 of Fabiola's income. An income that parlament itself has approved after the death of king Boudewijn.

ETA: according to Pierre-Yves Monette, former advisor of King Boudewijn, the fund was meant for the memory of the late king. He also adds that Queen Fabiola is 'hurt':
"Fabiola gekwetst door ongeloof rond stichting" - HLN.be
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  #39  
Old 01-27-2013, 08:17 AM
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The fault of this sad affaire is for her private advisers who should at least inform the King. The whole royal belgian RF is surrounded and protected of a middle age staff.
Is is sad for Queen Fabiola being Queen Consort for more than 50 years and who received for the first time heavy critics.
Please don't blame our excellent Prime Minister , times are difficult for Belgium nowadays (Arcelor Mittal , Ford Genk etc...and he is working hard for the moment.

The Fabiola affaire was one present more for the non royals to blame our Royals.

He is wright to wrap Queen Fabiola's incomes decided in 1993 after her husband'd death.
Nowadays she is very old, does not attend many events anymore and is hurt in her old age .
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  #40  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:30 PM
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From what I have read people look at it as tax avoidance, which it is but it is also perfectly legal.
I guess most people (obviously including the Belgian PM) have not realised that tax "avoidance" schemes are avery strong instrument of a government to channel money where it is needed. Eg. if the government wants to get private investigation into renewable energies, it simply makes these investments tax deducable. Guess where people will invest?

And if they allow foundations to save money from inheritance tax, than there must be an interest in continuity of money bound and used for a certain purpose. Like charity. And who says you cannot add your own family to the recipients of charity if they, too need it?

It is such a non-topic, really and I feel sad for old queen Fabiola who has to suffer such indignity when it comes to her own money and her own purposes - after she served Belgium for so long!
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