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Thread: Walloon socialist party in corruption scandal - again !

  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Walloon socialist party in corruption scandal - again !



    After the municipal and provincial elections 2 weeks ago, judges have started a witch-hunt on Belgium's notoriously most corrupted party ever, the Walloon socialist party.

    The former socialist mayor of Namur (the Wallonian capital), Bernard Anselme, faced a triple charge of illegal support of private companies, the usage of falsified documents and illegal personal enrichment. Other Socialist politicians were also arrested (see Expatica article) last week. The Socialist Party was ousted from office by an unusual alliance between the 3 other main parties (Liberals, Greens and Christian-democrats), as none of them wanted to share power with them.

    Last Friday, the former mayor of Charleroi (Wallonia's 2nd biggest city), Jacques van Gompel, admitted charges of fraudulent dealings estimated to 425.000 euro (see Expatica article). Several other top socialist politicians were involved as well, so that Charleroi is still waiting for its new mayor, to be chosen among the Socialist majority once all the bad sheep have been evicted.

    Other similar scandals of fraud, embezelment and illegal favours hit the region of Charleroi, as well as other Walloon municipalities, in the last few months.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 24-10-06 at 18:19.
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    The list of scandals in the Walloon Socialist Party continues (will it ever end ?). This time, one of the highest ranking member is implicated, a former minister and president of Wallonia.

    Expatica : Van Cauwenberghe implicated in Immo-Congo scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by Expatica
    New evidence reveals that politician Van Cauwenberghe was involved in shady business dealings involving the securing of a contract for leasing a building for the use of the Walloon delegation in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    ...
    The contract is worth EUR 270,000 per month for twenty years.
    There have been lots of talks about banning the far-right parties "Vlaams Belang" and "Front National" in Belgium. I wonder if it would not be more relevant at this point to ban the Socialist Party (at least the Walloon section), which has caused much more scandals and damages to the country so far.

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    Will it never stop ?

    Expatica : More corruption surfaces in Charleroi

    It reminds me of the Augusta scandal between 1988 and 1998, where several high-ranking members of the Walloon Socialist Party (PS) and Flemish Socialist Party (SP) were indicted in one of the biggest corruption scandal the country has ever known. It involved :

    - Guy Spitaels (PS ; Minister-President of Wallonia from 1992 to 1994)
    - Guy Mathot (PS ; former Minister of Defense)
    - Guy Coëme (PS ; former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transportation)
    - Frank Vandenbroucke (former Chairman of the SP, several ministerial position, currently the Flemish minister of Education)
    - Willy Claes (SP ; foreign minister of Belgium from 1992 to 1994, Secretary General of NATO from 1994 to 1995)

    What disgusts me in this story is that all of them probationary jail sentences (which means they didn't serve them) and ridiculous fines amounting from 150 to 1500 euro, when they had received millions in bribes. What is more they were not all deprived of their political rights, like Frank Vandenbroucke who continued his career as a minister to this day.

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    OMG... and here I thought all the belgians that complained about such things were exagerating. Anyways this is not new stuff for me. Coming from the Balkans this is like a given in politics.

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    RTL-TVI reported today that Bertin Mampaka, a Christian-Democrat deputy mayor of Brussels City of African origin, has been involved in nepotism, giving tens of thousands of tax-payer money to people close to him. Among other abuses, his annual phone bill at the town hall amounted to 20,000 euro !

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    And for our weekly socialist scandals : Expatica : Report outlines Charleroi's catastrophic governance

    Quote Originally Posted by Expatica
    The audit of Charleroi's public finance shows major malpractice and a general disrespect of protocols.
    ...
    Charleroi's politicians and administrators seem to have carried out their projects on their own, only asking for approval when absolutely necessary. Projects and operations are rarely evaluated. Travel expenses and various receptions are reimbursed with no justifications. In many ways Charleroi's budget operated on a 'grab and go' protocol, spend now and worry about it later.
    ...
    The city's emergency funds were also spent recklessly and abusively. In 2005, more then EUR 1.7 million of emergency funds were spent. In most cases the money was not allocated to any particular use on paper.
    ...
    Attention is also drawn to public contracts. Not only were the same suppliers and independent contractors always selected, a large majority of the public contracts were made to be just under EUR 5,500. This had two advantages: firstly, procedures and approval protocols are simplified for contracts under EUR 5,500 euros and secondly, it limited competition by rival companies. Here again Delvaux says the absence of control is notable.
    ...
    The worse in all this is that I am persuaded that these corrupted officials and politicians will get the minimal sanction by the court. After all it is another Walloon socialist that is Justice Minister. How convenient !

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    Here is our weekly Socialist corruption scandal. We stay nearCharleroi, in the neraby town of Fontaine l'Eveque, where the mayor (Georges Rovillard, PS) and most city councillors (all Socialists or Christian-Democrats) seem to be implicated in a new scandal, involving 23 abusive "business trips" to tropical destinations as well as expensive cars paid at the expense of tax-payers. (source : RTBF)

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    This time no less than 12 Socialist politicians from Charleroi were indicted for corruption, money laundering, etc. Secret accounts were found in Guernesey and other fiscal paradises. This time the amount of tax-payers' money stolen beats everything ever seen before.

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