Belgian helicopter scandal widens
Tuesday 21 February 1995
There have been links made in the Belgian press between the long-running bribery scandal and two Belgians who have gone on to better things in international organisations. Willy Claes, the secretary-general of Nato, and Karel Van Miert, an EU Commissioner, yesterday both denied any involvement in or knowledge of any financial misdoings.
Mr Van Miert, leader of the party during the helicopter purchase, flew back from holiday in Latin America yesterday. Sources close to him said that he had no knowledge of any wrong-doing, but that he was more than ready to co-operate with any investigators. Commission rules give him immunity if he wishes.
Mr Claes, who was minister for economic affairs, will speak to Nato ambassadors today to explain his position. "He will reassure them that there's nothing in this," said a Nato official. The renewed scandal may have been one factor in the government's decision to bring forward general elections,to 21 May.
The Flemish Socialists are part of the four-party ruling coalition with the French Socialists and the French and Flemish Christian Democrats, led by Jean-Luc Dehaene.
However, the main reason for the decision is that Mr Dehaene wants a further round of cuts in the fiscal deficit. Belgium is technically ineligible for membership of a single European currency because of its high level of government debt. Mr Dehaene wants to put the economy back on track for monetary union.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...