Belgian Yacht Controversy Continues

  September 4, 2009 at 5:39 pm by

The controversy surrounding the purchase of a new yacht by the Belgian King and Queen continues. Public opinion cries out injustice about this luxury expense in times of economic hardship, as this purchase shook up especially the southern part of the country.

RTBF journalist Cristophe Deborsu, the same journalist who asked former Prime Minister Yves Leterme to sing the Brabançonne but got the Marseillaise in return, pulled another stunt interview. During the celebrations of the golden wedding anniversary of the King and Queen on 30 August, he approached the King and Queen, accompanied by a camera crew, and simply asked them if they felt affected by the controversy surrounding their yacht purchase.

View the image at Zimbio

While the King dutifully ignored the question and his bodyguards tried to get the journalists out of the way, the Queen responded to the question anyway. “Of course we feel the criticism is not fair. We’ve always had a yacht, since our marriage, so for the past 50 years. We started out with a small boat of about 2  – no 5 meter”.

By then, the bodyguards had succeeded in getting the journalists out of the way. Palace spokesman Pierre-Emmanuel De Bauw said in a statement that he was very dissapointed with the RTBF journalist. He stated that it had been explicitly forbidden to pose any questions to the King and Queen while microphones were in front of them, as is standard following Belgian protocol rules. This breach of protocol, according to the spokesman, is clearly a problem of deontology.

For an article, see here (French).

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2 Responses to Belgian Yacht Controversy Continues

  1. lucien says:

    Public outcry?Really.This is the very first I hear of it.
    And instead of a positive attitude as the RF invests and thus
    saves jobs,they get this?Ungratefull lot.

  2. LadyLeana says:

    Well, lucien, the thing is, this time it is especially in the (French-speaking) south this has caused a public outcry. I can’t remember having more than one mentioning of it in the Flemish press. And the yacht is Italian, so it probably didn’t generate much jobs in Belgium.
    Apart from all this, it’s plain right ridiculous, because they bought it over a year ago, when there wasn’t such an economic crisis yet.

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