22-10-13

Belgium is responsible for terrorism in Syria

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Reports said that Syrian 'rebels' have begun receiving weapons from France and Belgium, via Saudi Arabia

6/17/2013

Reports on Monday said that Syrian rebels have already begun receiving weapons from various sources, as they attempted to wrest control of the country from the control of President Bashar al-Assad. While a debate is taking place in the U.S., Britain, and other countries about helping the rebels with arms, the reports said that rebels have already gotten advanced weapons with the assistance of Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and France.

According to a report by Reuters Monday, all three countries have been working together to supply the rebels with a variety of weapons for several months. Saudi Arabia delivered missiles to rebel groups, obtaining them from sources in Belgium and France. France, the report said, paid for the missiles.

Photos: Belgian moslim fundamentalist Jejoen Bontinck and a Belgian weapons specialist - Verhofstadt, leader of the European liberals, who pleaded for a military intervention in Libya and is actually pleading for a military intervention in Syria, talking with the so called Syrian opposition.

Belgium is reponsible for terrorism in Syria

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Press Release of the European liberals

11/9/2013

On the situation in Syria, ALDE President Guy Verhofstadt said today the efforts to put chemical weapons under international control is commendable but what is needed is an end to bloodshed and the criminal regime of Al Assad. Assad is using delaying tactics by accepting to put chemical weapons under international control and said "Carrots need sticks, Assad will only react to a credible threat of force".

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On the situation in Syria, ALDE President Guy Verhofstadt said today the efforts to put chemical weapons under international control is commendable but what is needed is an end to bloodshed and the criminal regime of Al Assad.   Assad is using delaying tactics by accepting to put chemical weapons under international control and said "Carrots need sticks, Assad will only react to a credible threat of force".

Guy Verhofstadt continued "I  am very sceptical about the proposal on the table to take chemical weapons out of the equation.   It is a delaying tactic by Al Assad who is merely buying time to recover strength.  His regime has massacred over 100,000 people using conventional weapons yet we only take steps to act when he crosses a red line on 21 August and starts killing using chemical weapons.   This is immoral, hypocritical and irresponsible of the international community."

He continued "What we are effectively saying to Assad is that - put chemical weapons under international control then you can get back to massacring your people using conventional methods.  We have a historic responsibility to stop the continued suffering of the Syrian people."

He concluded "If Assad is allowed to continue to use his airplanes, airports and helicopters to massacre his people the only effective credible deterrent is a comprehensive military strategy which includes a no fly zone"

http://www.alde.eu/press/press-and-release-news/press-release/article/guy-verhofstadt-on-syria-carrots-need-sticks-42017/

Photo: Georges Bush and Verhofstadt

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Verhofstadt, a spokesman for the Belgian-European arms and oil industry

Verhofstadt became president of the Flemish Liberal Student’s Union (1972–1974) while studying law at the University of Ghent. He quickly became the secretary of Willy De Clercq, who was at that time the president of the Flemish liberal party (Party for ‘Freedom and Progress, PVV). In 1982, at age 29, he became president of the party.In 1985 Verhofstadt was elected into the Chamber of Deputies, and became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Budget under Prime Minister Wilfried Martens. Because of his economic views and his young age, he became known as “Baby Thatcher“. Another nickname from that era is “da joenk“, a Brabantian dialect expression meaning “that kid” (in a pejorative sense, referring to his rather iconoclastic and immature style).In 2004, Verhofstadt was suggested as a candidate to replace Romano Prodi as the next President of the European Commission.

In the 2009 European Parliament election, he was elected a member of the European Parliament for the term 2009–2014. He also has been put forward as the possible candidate for replacing José Manuel Barroso as the president of the European Commission by a coalition of greens, socialists and liberals.
On July 1, 2009 he was elected President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament.
Verhofstadt is also a member of the Club de Madrid, an organization of more than 80 former statesmen. The group works to promote ‘democratic governance and leadership worldwide’.

Since 2012 is Verhofstadt a Board Member of the Brussels-based, Brussels-quoted Sofina holding (petroleum gas and oil platforms). He can look forward to a fee which is in line with that of the other directors, who last year received an amount between 42.000 134.000 euros. The Belgian industrialist Viscount Etienne Davignon is Honorary Director of Sofina.

Current directorships and offices held by Davignon: Chairman of Compagnie Maritime Belge, Compagnie des Wagons-Lits, Recticel, Sibeka, SN Airholding and Palais des Beaux-Arts (Belgium), Vice-Chairman of SUEZ-TRACTEBEL (Belgium), Director of Accor (France), Cumerio, Real Software, SN Brussels Airlines (Belgium), and Gilead (United States).
He is Chairman of the Bilderberg Group and of CSR Europe.
According to the Suez website, Davignon holds 11,111 Suez shares, which are currently worth more than 350,000 euro.

Verhofstadt pleads actually for supply of heavy weapons to the so called ‘Free Syrian Army’. It is part of Verhofstadt’s idea of a Greater Europe with its own army. On 20 February 2009 the European Parliament voted in favour of the creation of Synchronised Armed Forces Europe (SAFE) as a first step towards a true European military force. SAFE will be directed by an EU directorate, with its own training standards and operational doctrine. There are also plans to create an EU “Council of Defence Ministers” and “a European statute for soldiers within the framework of Safe governing training standards, operational doctrine and freedom of operational action”.

http://diversmorkhoven.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/guy-verhofstadt-a-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing/

Photo: Guy Verhofstadt, MEP and President of ALDE Group; Mr Jacques Delors, Founding President of ‘Notre Europe’ and Etienne Davignon.

Belgium is responsible for terrorism in Syria

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19 October, 2013

Belgian arrested on suspicion of terrorist acts in Syria

An 18-year-old Belgian man was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of carrying out terrorist acts, after spending eight months in Syria, according to state prosecutors cited by the Belga news agency.

The man, identified as Jejoen Bontinck, is suspected of having gone to Syria at the behest of Fouad Belkacem, the former spokesman of Sharia4Belgium, an internet group promoting the introduction of Islamic law to Belgium.

Bontinck has denied this, however, telling various media outlets that he went to Syria for humanitarian reasons and worked as a driver for medical workers.

Police arrested Bontinck at his mother's house in Antwerp, and questioned him for several hours.

He had left for Syria on February 22, according to Belga. He is suspected of having fought with Islamist rebels opposing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Bontinck's father reportedly travelled twice to Syria to bring his son home, to no avail.

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Photo: The picture was placed yesterday on Islamic Site: 'Belgian New Weapens in hands of Americanized Mujaheeds from the Al nusra Brigade'

06-08-13

Breaking News: A miracle in Brussels

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In the village of Sint-Gillis which is part of Brussels (Belgium), a miracle happened.

A man crippled since more than almost 1 year, is healed in a miraculous way.

The case is similar to the miraculous way in which Jesus healed a cripple man in the city of Capernaum some 2000 years ago.

The healed man of Sint-Gillis now uses the Brussels public transport to explore Brussels. Yesterday he was seen in a Brussels forest.

Scientists wonder where Jesus is.

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A Paralyzed Man in Capernaum

In the city of Capernaum there lived a paralyzed man who could not walk.

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The paralyzed man's friends wanted to take him to see Jesus.

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The men took up the paralyzed man on his mat to take him to the house were Jesus was preaching.

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They made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.

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When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you."

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And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, "This Man blasphemes!" But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins".

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Then he said to the paralytic, "Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house." And he arose and departed to his house. Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men."

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http://www.ebibleteacher.com/chalmers/palsy.htm

24-07-13

Bilderberg Group

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USA 200 Dosoris Lane, Glen Cove, NY 11542,                              Harrison Conference Center - Bilderberg
    11.05.-13.05.1990  Bilderberg


about USA 50 Rockefeller Plaza, Rockefeller Center, NY 10020,           Associated Press/
          Antiwar and civil-rights activist + congressman               Scene of the Crime
          Allard K. Lowenstein (51)
          14.03.1980 murdered (disguised murder)

about USA GE Bldg, New York City, NY 10112,                             General Electric Building
          Peter Lanza

after USA 1211 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036,                             News Corporation - Headquarters
          Multi International Media Corporation
          German Multinational Media Corporation
          Rupert Murdoch


+


USA 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019,                    UBS Financial Services
    Warburg


about USA 1211 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036,                             News Corporation - Headquarters
          Multi International Media Corporation
          German Multinational Media Corporation
          Rupert Murdoch

about USA 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036,                            Bertelsmann Inc/Building
          German Multi International Media Corporation

after USA 200 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036,                     Scene of the Crime
          06.03.2008 "bombing"                                          (US Army Recruiting)


+


USA 55 Water St, New York, NY 10004,                                    Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb
    Kuhn Loeb (FED)


USA 33 Liberty Street  New York, NY 10045,                              Federal Reserve Bank -
                                                                        Rockefeller, Goldman Sachs,

                                                                        Rothschild, Kuhn, Loeb  ..

USA 199 Church Street, New York, NY 10007,                              Controlled Demolition, Inc
                                                                        11.09.2001 (WTC)


+


USA 55 Water St, New York, NY 10004,                                    Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb
    Kuhn Loeb (FED)


about USA New York, 10007 NY,                                           WTC 1 + 2 - Scene of the Crime

after USA 200 West Street #200  New York, NY 10282,                     Goldman Sachs HQ


-
Allard K. Lowenstein
offenders: Dennis Sweeney

Sweeney was eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed
to a full-time psychiatric treatment for schizophrenia.

Photo: Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the European Liberals (Sofina holding, Bilderberg,) and Etienne Davignon (Sofina holding, Bilderberg, Friends of Europe, Notre Europe,)

14-07-13

Belgium: The dirty fingers of Laurette Onkelinx

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As a reminder:

20.2.2007 

For the past few months, with public accusations being arrowed in, with house searches – even arrests, the trials & tribulations of the Belgian Muslim Executive has been making front pages news, alas more on the judiciary side than on the religious side. Although Islam is still the only large recognized religion that is not treated on an equal footing with others, one can see in the continual external interferences (and the action of those that want to profit from it) the germ of ruin. 
To measure the scope of this disaster, some knowledge of earlier events is a must. The Executive of the Muslim of Belgium (EMB) is the officially recognized negotiator by the Belgian government on matters of Muslim faith. It was created by a royal decree on 3rd July 1998. One year earlier, following the shock following the gruesome discovery of the little Loubna Benaïssa’s body, the political world had at long last taken heed of the necessity to hurry Islam institutionalization’s process, which had dried out since 1974, year of its recognition in Belgium. There had been, already, a Higher Muslim Council of Belgium, but without real competences and above all without means. 

There is no choice but to accept that even before its creation, suspicions and questionable compromises punctuated a decade (the 90s) when the milestones of a shaky EMB were put together. Every candidate had to sign a charter to reassure the democratic parties, which stipulated: “I assert on my honor that I adhere to the Islam faith, respecting its prescriptions and its teachings of fellowship, tolerance, integrity, and to take a stand with regard to my functions in the faith’s exclusive interest and this in the respect of the Kingdom’s Constitution, of the laws and institutions of the Belgian people”. But this was not enough for the Justice Minister of the times, Tony Van Parys (CD&V), who laid down as a further condition to the EMB’s creation the possibility to have a “right to examine” the elected candidates. 
This screening allowed the Justice Minister, on basis of State Security secret reports, to rule out from the outset about 20 “undesirable” candidates, without any grounds, nor possibility for the failed candidates to resort to an appeal. Anyway, it was the best possible way to stir up suspicion regarding an Institution that was lauded by foreign observers as being a European 1st. But this violation of the basic democratic rules enabled many political opponent voters to be reassured. A “compromise à la Belge”…. with colonial scents. 

Some Members of Parliament, even the catholic President of the Equality of Chances Center, Johan Leman, played also a role in this organised suspicion….. Several days after the first election on 13 December 1998, the Dominican Father dared state this shocking phrase: “15% of the elected members were subversive elements”. Thus it is one of the master pieces of this case that does not hesitate to discredit the Institution under construction. The media headlines of the times are persuasive: “The Brussels Muslim in Panic” (La Lanterne –the Lantern), “Elections being boycotted?” (La Libre Belgique – the Free Belgium), “Are the elections already disputed?” (Le Vif – from life/on the spot), “Extremist risk due to political desert?” (La Libre), “Danger of a fundamentalist takeover in the Assembly of the Muslims”, “the process is at risk” (le Vif). 

Blackmail 

The Muslim notables, for reasons of “realpolitik”, accepted with a heavy heart this blackmail: short listing or revocation of the EMB. Condoning thus, in one go, a dangerous and liberticidal distortion. The EMB could have provoked a healthy crisis by protesting and in giving back its mandate due to “interferences from the political power”. Unfortunately the EMB preferred to play with a fickle political logic in order to hope, on the very long term, for a real “recognition”. In itself, a typical instance of the rapport: “dominated – dominating” as one can recognize it in the relations North-South….. 

Yassin Didier Beyens, the President of the Belgium Higher Council of Muslims (predecessor of the EMB), will have the honesty to admit: “We were all extremely disturbed to have to pay such a high tribute for the success of the project”. But were we not the prisoners of the social contract with the State, the very same we knew we had, from the start, to give up some of our freedom to? No, that day, the State was not the “Providence” for Muslims”. Without any guilt, the Justice Minister Van Parys discarded an unwanted card onto him by sending a surprising and perfidious letter to a failed Turkish candidate following the screening: “If Dr. Beyens stated that your are an undesirable, one has to see this attitude in the light to what happened before. Hoping that these explanations will enable you to understand the reasoning behind Mr. Beyens’ decision, Your’s most sincerely…..” For Yassin Beyens, “the politic opponent was throwing back to me the hot bucket without clarifying his position and was indeed fusing up a delayed action bomb”. 

During the 1999 elections, the financial inspector Nordin Maloujahmoune took over from Dr. Beyens as the first elected representative of the Muslin faith. Under suspicion of embezzlements and misappropriations, he was the object of an internal “putsch” in 2003. Re-instated in his functions by a court decision, he was anyhow relieved from his duties by a vote of no confidence. A very lengthy and costly inquest, bedecked with 11 house searches and inflammatory press articles, did, in the end, fully, exonerate Nordin Maloujahmoum…. in June 2005! 

In 2003, the General Assembly elected a new President, the economist Mohamed Boulif. With the then Justice Minister, Marc Verwilghen (VLD)’s refusal to ratify the new composition of the Executive, the Kern (the limited council of ministers) proposed two mediators, the Senator Meryem Kacar (SP-A) and the Senator Philippe Moureaux (PS), to formulate propositions to clear the situation. The upshot of it was a “Moureaux Report” which helped to “thaw” somewhat the relations. The team presided over by Boulif was finally accepted by the Kern. But a few months later, the climate worsened again, with suspicions and accusations of “embezzlements”. 

Thus from 1999 to 2005, the EMB went through a troubled period, when cases were often blocked. The task is nevertheless vast: recognition of mosques, of Imans, their training (the Islamic faith teacher’s status), the Muslim “patches” in the cemeteries, the chaplaincy….. In a general (Muslim) indifference, the EMB tried to resolve one or the other of these case, between two scandals. 


A “new” EMB 

Meanwhile, the new (and present) Justice Minister, Laurette Onkelinx (PS), alerted by a letter dated February 2004 signed by Kissi Benjelloul, member of the General Assembly of the Executive and President of a handful of cultural associations, decided to introduce a bill to set up a Commission to deal with organizing general elections for the renewal of the temporal representative organs of the Muslim faith. However, in June 2004, the State Council gave a negative notice because it would have been a disproportionate interference. Following this “mishap” the Minister got a law voted on the sly, on 20th July 2004, one of the fastest laws of the History of the Belgian Parliament, and this without any referral to the EMB still presided by Mohamed Boulif. Although, on 17 November 2004, during her speech in the Brussels’ Town Hall , the Minister Onkelinx was laudatory towards the President Boulif : “I would already like to state, Mr. Boulif, it is years now since we work together, and it is always a great pleasure for me, because there is always this will from you, with the Executive, to build, to be partners not only reliable but enthusiastic, credible too, partners who constantly make efforts to be close to the Authority to bring solutions for the benefit of the whole Muslim community”. How does one explain this 180° about-face by the Minister? Was Mohammed Boulif thus paying his proximity with the CDH? Was he considered too independent? This remains a mystery….. 

The commission setting up new elections, planned for May 2005, was set up only a few weeks later, after the law was voted, with two Muslim “guarantors”, one of them the Sociologist Hassan Bousseta (…. gone over since to the PS). The EMB as well as several Muslim associations applied for legal remedy to the Council of State and to the arbitration Court to render null this process declared “illegal”, until now without any success. 

It is thus in a dreadful climate that, on 20 March 2005, the election of a new EMB took place, boycotted by almost all the whole Moroccan community, which felt that this ballot was indeed an election farce, while the Turks rallied by the Diyanet (institution for Turkish religious affairs), monopolized de facto the ballot….. A foreseeable result, which gave rise to a certain embarrassment for the Minister, as she did absolutely not want to cut herself from her Belgian-Moroccan election base….. The new team, presided by the Diyanet’s employee: Coskun Beyazgül, holder of the official Turkish religious teachings and of the ULB (free Brussels’ University), Philology and oriental History department, option Islamology. He made important concessions, during April 2005, to allow the Moroccans and notably Kissi Benjelloul, enthroned Vice-President with a minute result (about 400 votes), to hope for an hypothetical “representativeness” of the Belgian Muslims. It would have been understood, that these “arrangements à la belge” had as a goal to allow the Minister not to loose face and to reassure her Moroccan election base. 

The Justice Minister’s ex-husband, Abbes Guenned, seems to be playing a not negligible role in this case. His post in her cabinet (where he works on the “cults” case) allows him to take care of this fiery case which touches on the recognitions of mosques and of Imans. If for many, this man has a devilish reputation, he states that there is only a will to blacken the Minister, and that he had been fully cleared by the Moroccan judge who was dealing with the drug case that concerned him. He also won the Belgian trial against the satirical «catholic right-wing» newspaper Père Ubu for calumny. 

The «scandals» 

As we have seen it, straight from its inception the EMB has been the theater of financial accusations of all kinds, justified or not. In view of the recent happenings, it is still not finished! Thus the Minister of Justice (and of the Religions) had frozen in 2004 a subsidy granted to the EMB, following, one is told, the discovery that the accounting management was “careless”. In the month of December 2004, faced with a risk of being closed down, the EMB contracted a loan from a financial association “Hefboom” for a total of 80.000 euros, this, to pay the unpaid salaries and general outgoings. 
The subsidy granted by Laurette Onkelinx was, in the end, only paid in the month of June 2005…. and to the new team presided by Coskün Beyazgül. Will this new one repay the loan contracted by the old team? For the present President, Coskün Beyazgül, close to the Turkish Diyanet, the business is under « inquiry», and hence he cannot intervene. Abdelmajid Mhauchi, member of the old EMB, denies this solemn affirmation: the business would not really be under inquiry, and the present President would be using this pretext in order not to pay back the loan. Meanwhile, two months ago, several families received a bailiff’s visit, with some of them being at risk of loosing their personal property in order to pay back a sum that they had not at all stolen… In one word, Kafka under a political-Muslim sauce. 

More recently, on the Tuesday 16th January, Mohamed Boulif was incarcerated into the Forest prison for “breach of trust”, regarding a sum of 60.000 to 100.000 euros not (or not enough) justified. Furthermore, an invoice of 31.000 euros (to buy computers) via his brother-in-law’s business SGI, is raising as well some sort of problem. Do not forget that the SGI company is the EMB’s appointed creditor since 1998, well before Mohamed Boulif’s Presidency. The media speaks of “ghost” computers, but according to the EMB’s IT adviser, Imran Akhtar, they are stored in an EMB’s room and a bailiff drew up an inventory when the new team arrived. Why, then, is a certain press still spreading false information? This is a complete mystery! 

Here is another detail of this case: few months ago, a €100 postal money order was sent to the prisoner Trabelsi, sentenced for setting up a terrorist attack in Belgium. Some mass media did not hesitate to point the finger to Mohamed Boulif. However, this money order is anonymous: the only name on it is the “Muslin Executive”. As for the post office, it explains that for amounts of less than €1,000, it is not necessary to note down the sender’s name…The obvious goal seems to want to damage! Nothing in fact seems to spare Mohamed Boulif, a well appreciated and considered upstanding man by a large majority of the Muslims of this country, and that feel his arrest is unjust. 

This is not the end. The “Soir” dated of the 6th January 2007 revealed that invoices have been bumped up as well for the «Ramadan’s nights». The EMB “justified” the €15,000 through the press, but at the same time a few voices from the General Assembly are being heard criticizing a still non-open and unserious management… In the magazine Le Vif l’Express dated 18 January 2007, Marie-Cécile Royen paints an apocalyptic picture of the present EMB. Every which way, she states that Kissi Benjelloul, the present Vice-President of the EMB’s French speaking wing, could have contributed to Boulif’s downfall. Still according to her, complaints coming from the Belgium Mosques Union (UMB) and from one Mimoun Ayada (thrown out by the Al Mouhsinine mosque) are accusing this man regarding certain amounts. Moreover, the EMB would have squandered a lot of money in its investments which would have brought the institution into a “great poverty”, of which the staff would have been the major looser in December 2006. 

Who is benefiting from the crime? 

Since the beginning in 1999, the EMB has not had a moment of peace and quiet. The screening got the worm settled in the fruit: with the excessive interferences and the Muslim opportunists, the Institution has quickly become a bunch of people in the service of a political and law and order logic. 

The man on whom a lot of the resentments are focused today, is actually the EMB’s Vice President: Kissi Benjelloul. Many see in him a man ready to do anything in order to achieve his goals. Which ones? Retired butcher, he was trying to control the Halal meat (meat prepared according to Coranic law) through his own label. A juicy business that the EMB is trying to coordinate and about which Mohamed Boulif and others want also to say something, especially concerning the granting of the « Halal » label. Could Boulif’s reputation been smeared in order to be definitely pushed aside of this market? Kissi Benejlloul is defending this, showing disinterest for the case and stating his “brotherhood” with Boulif whom he hopes will be set free as soon as possible. Moreover, he pretends not to have any ties with the Ministrer and even less with the Moroccan Embassy. But, according to Le Vif-L’Express, this man would have pledged his allegiance to the King of Morocco. He would be known also in the Gulf States, and in Morocco he seems to command a real power, so he says….He remains a controversial man that arouses rejection for many, in spite of having a paradoxical side and being popular! In the month of December 2006, he was arrested in connection with buying a refrigerated lorry, but was set free the next day. 

The Brusselese examining magistrate Claise, who is the in-charge for several cases, thus will have a lot to do. Right now, the presumption of innocence is dominant, prudence is a must, as all, until proven guilty to the contrary are presumed innocent! 

When are all these uncertainties going to end? 

The first of these uncertainties…. Concerns the length of the present Executive’s mandate, which still needs to be determined by the General Assembly according to its present President. Ditto for the internal policy which still has not seen the light of day. Hassan Bousseta, himself, is criticizing its management – that says it all! Beside this, some Muslim citizens such as Abdelghani Ben Moussa continue to inform his fellow citizens on the political interferences (). Furthermore, he had been himself candidate at the 20th March 2005 ballot, but was ruled out by the “Commission” as he had not accepted to put his name down in the cultural ethnic categories (Turks, Moroccans, converts….), there are actually three pending demands for remedy of ultra vires on this very instance with the Council of State. A favorable and constructive decree can indeed any moment put paid to the 20th March 20005 electoral process. 

Mohsin Mouedden 
Article published in "Journal du Mardi" week of 23 January 2007
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/02/362864.html
Photo: Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx who is president of the French-speaking Socialists in Brussels. On June, 3th 2011 the newspaper Belang van Limburg wrote that 'Deputy Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx will possibly be the new Prime Minister of Brussels'.

13-07-13

NATO and Belgian Socialist Party

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Photo: NATO-meeting Chicago: Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo (Socialist Party) and Barack Obama.

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Victims of NATO-bombing of the Nasser University in Tripoli on June 12, 2011.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/breaking-news-photographic-evidence-nato-bombed-libya-s-nasser-university/25221

10-06-13

Syria: Etienne Davignon, Guy Verhofstadt, European Union, Bilderberg Group

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Belgian former Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt who is actually president of the European Group of Liberals, dreams of a federal European superstate: “A federal EU is the only option. The EU should have its own president, foreign minister, army and prosecutor” – Verhofstadt on Lybia: “The weak position of the EU makes me sick” – Verhofstadt on Syria: “The time for peace talks is over, we need action now. If the UN doesn’t react, then NATO should.”

In 2004, Verhofstadt was suggested as a candidate to replace Romano Prodi as the next President of the European Commission.
In the 2009 European Parliament election, he was elected a member of the European Parliament for the term 2009–2014. He also has been put forward as the possible candidate for replacing José Manuel Barroso as the president of the European Commission by a coalition of greens, socialists and liberals.
On July 1, 2009 he was elected President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament.
Verhofstadt is also a member of the Club de Madrid, an organization of more than 80 former statesmen. The group works to promote ‘democratic governance and leadership worldwide’.

Since 2012 is Verhofstadt a Board Member of the Brussels-based, Brussels-quoted Sofina holding (petroleum gas and oil platforms). He can look forward to a fee which is in line with that of the other directors, who last year received an amount between 42.000 134.000 euros. The Belgian industrialist Viscount Etienne Davignon is Honorary Director of Sofina.

Current directorships and offices held by Davignon: Chairman of Compagnie Maritime Belge, Compagnie des Wagons-Lits, Recticel, Sibeka, SN Airholding and Palais des Beaux-Arts (Belgium), Vice-Chairman of SUEZ-TRACTEBEL (Belgium), Director of Accor (France), Cumerio, Real Software, SN Brussels Airlines (Belgium), and Gilead (United States).
He is Chairman of the Bilderberg Group and of CSR Europe.
According to the Suez website, Davignon holds 11,111 Suez shares, which are currently worth more than 350,000 euro.

Verhofstadt pleads for the supply of heavy weapons to the so called ‘Free Syrian Army’. It is part of Verhofstadt’s idea of a Greater Europe and an European army. On 20 February 2009 the European Parliament voted in favour of the creation of Synchronised Armed Forces Europe (SAFE) as a first step towards a true European military force. SAFE will be directed by an EU directorate, with its own training standards and operational doctrine. There are also plans to create an EU “Council of Defence Ministers” and “a European statute for soldiers within the framework of Safe governing training standards, operational doctrine and freedom of operational action”.

25-05-13

Internet giant Google

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Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo is feeling lucky. Belgium’s search for investment has paid off, with internet giant Google GOOG +3.14% expanding its Belgian data center, just outside Mons, where he was mayor until becoming PM. Google said it is investing €300 million in the expansion, and that the facility will be one of the most energy efficient data centers in the world, using around 50% less energy than typical data centers. “Google’s significant investment shows that Belgium is a key business destination, including for new technologies,” said Elio Di Rupo. “Although we’re going through difficult economic times, we keep attracting major investments from international companies.”

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On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google…

American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium

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American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium

April 2013

Are US Companies Important to Belgium?

AmCham Belgium’s answer is a resounding YES, based on research that we carried out for our new report The Importance of US Companies in Belgium published on March 14. Our research revealed that the 50 largest US companies in Belgium employed 90,334 people and contributed €1.7 billion to government finances in taxes and social security in 2011, the last year for which official data are available.

The report includes an updated listing of the US Top 50 Companies in Belgium ranked by number of employees.  With 14,059 employees, ManpowerGroup tops our list for the second year in a row. Looking at the historical presence of US companies in Belgium, the top 10 companies in our list have been active in Belgium an average of 62 years. As Marcel Claes, Chief Executive of AmCham Belgium, said at the launch event, “These companies are here for the long term, and they want to be here for the long term.” What then is drawing them to Belgium?

People first

The Importance of US Companies in Belgium report was launched with a panel discussion between representatives of three of the US Top 50 companies. The panelists were quick to praise Belgium’s highly educated, multilingual and flexible workforce. This is important for Coca-Cola and Pfizer, both of which have major research centers in Belgium, and for Accenture whose ‘product’ is its people. Eric Lonbois of Accenture said, “Access to skills is very crucial.” He went further, equally stressing the mindset. Belgians tend to be very open towards other cultures, which is an important consideration for international companies.

Need for stability

The picture isn’t entirely rosy, however. The US Top 50 companies employed 2.3% fewer people in 2011 than in 2010. Asked for areas where Belgium can improve, all of the panelists called for stability. Peter Menu of Pfizer said it best: “I think that we need stability... We love to plan, in 1 year, in 5 years, in 10 years.” It’s difficult for companies that make big investments in Belgium to explain to their American headquarters that the rules have changed in the middle of the game.

Competitiveness was another concern. This includes not only the high cost of labor but also the tax regime. Jean Eylenbosch of Coca-Cola described the country as a sponge: “It’s small, it’s flat but it absorbs everything.” This has led Coca-Cola’s products to be 20-30% more expensive here than just across the border in France or Luxembourg.

Conclusion

Yes, US companies have made a significant and longstanding contribution to Belgium. The overall figures from the report are impressive to be certain – 90,334 employees, €1.7 billion – and this is not even the complete picture. Our research did not take into account two other important factors: indirect employment and employees’ fiscal contribution. In the pharmaceutical industry, for example, the multiplier has been placed at 2.5 – that is, for every employee hired by a pharma company, another 2.5 jobs on average are created outside of the company. Moreover, the US Top 50 companies paid out nearly €5 billion in wages and salaries, on which their employees must also pay taxes and social security. That’s up to €2.5 billion more for the Belgian state. And there are, of course, other elements which cannot be quantified, such as the high quality of jobs created by US companies.

Wrapping up the panel discussion, Scott Beardsley, President of AmCham Belgium, said, “If there was ever any doubt about it in people’s minds, US companies are still important in Belgium, but I would also say that Belgium is important for US companies.”AmCham Belgium will release its 2013 Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium with specific policy recommendations for the Belgian Government on May 29.

The panel discussion on March 14 was immediately preceded by AmCham Belgium’s Annual General Meeting. Eight new board members were formally elected. In addition to the six who have been serving in an advisory capacity since their nomination last September, the new board members include Joost Maes from Egon Zehnder and Roland Teixeira de Mattos from GE Europe.

The four board members whose term came to an end this year were also all re-elected: Ludo Deklerck of Bird & Bird LLP, Jean Eylenbosch of Coca-Cola Enterprises Belgium, John Largent of Magic Monkey and Eric Lonbois of Accenture.

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Building the Largest Free Trade Zone in the World

by Karel De Gucht, Trade Commissioner, European Commission

Two billion euros is the value of the goods and services that cross the Atlantic between the EU and the US everyday. Two trillion euros is slightly less than the value of the investment stocks that European and American firms hold in each other’s jurisdictions. The transatlantic relationship is the biggest commercial relationship in the world. 

But if trade already flows so abundantly, why negotiate a new EU-US trade agreement?

First, despite the success of our relationship, there is still a great deal of untapped potential. Though the tariffs we impose on imports are low 

– around 4% on average 

– the volume of our trade 

is enormous. As a result, every tariff we remove, even the lowest ones, will result in millions of euros of savings to companies, savings which can be reinvested for growth. For example, car parts sometimes cross the Atlantic more than once – as components on their first journey and then going back in the finished product – meaning they currently may pay tariffs twice.

But tariffs will only be a small piece of the deal. We are aiming for an even bigger package, which will include opening of markets for services and, very importantly, in public procurement. The most effort, however, will go into addressing those barriers that lie behind the customs border, such as differences in technical regulations, standards and certification requirements. These technical barriers to trade are estimated to have the same effect as if we had extra tariffs of between 10 and 20% per product.

As an example, rules in the US and the EU on car safety are similarly strict, as public safety is always our top priority. 

But even if they have the same objective – to make cars safe for the road – the technical rules to achieve that objective differ. A car producer who wants to sell his car both in Europe and in the United States has to get it safety checked twice. This costs time and money. If we aligned our standards, or accepted the principle that a car which is found to be safe on one side of the Atlantic is also safe enough on the other, we could make real savings both for the producers, the regulators and ultimately for the consumers. If we do it well, we would be able to maintain the same levels of health and safety, but boost growth and create jobs with less red tape.

Second, because we are the biggest trade relationship in the world, transatlantic standards could be embryos of future world standards. This would mean that our businesses would not have the extra cost of producing for a plethora of different standards around the world. And because the same would apply to companies in other parts of the world, an ambitious transatlantic agreement would in effect be a global public good.

So I believe that it’s certainly not exaggerated to say that such a ‘transatlantic economic alliance’ will be groundbreaking. In short, it moves beyond anything we have done before. It could boost our economies by between 0.5% and 1% of GDP and offer real returns to everybody – expected €545 per average household in Europe – for next to no investment. Truly, this is the cheapest stimulus package you can imagine. Given that both Europe and America are recovering from the biggest economic crisis in living memory, we cannot afford to ignore these gains now. And all EU Member States stand to gain. In Belgium, for example, as Europe’s second largest port, Antwerp will benefit from the overall increase in trading volumes. In addition, exports of key Belgian products like high-quality beer and food products can also be expected to be winners. 

Can we achieve it? Reaching an ambitious deal will not be easy. The more we seek to achieve, the more protected vested interests will seek to oppose us. And finally, we want to do this as quickly as we can – in two years, if possible – though speed will not trump quality. I am ready to go the extra mile to achieve it. ¦

Karel De Gucht has been European Commissioner for Trade since February 2010. Together with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, he worked on a report recommending the launch of negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which was announced by US President Barack Obama, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on February 13, 2013.

A lawyer by training and a Belgian liberal (Open-VLD), he has held numerous political offices at both national and European level. He was first elected as a Member of the European Parliament at the age of 26 and has more recently been both Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2004-2009) before first joining the European Commission as Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid (2009-2010).

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AmCham Belgium is a membership-led and -funded organization and the undisputed leader in providing business advocacy for doing business in Belgium. With its lobbying efforts and numerous conferences, publications and studies, we invite you to discover how we can play a pivotal role for your business in Belgium.

AmCham Belgium thanks its 2013 Diamond Sponsors: Deloitte, McKinsey&Company, Pfizer, Swift and would also like to thank its 2013 Gold Sponsors: 3M • AWEX • Baxter • Brussels Invest & Export Agency • Center for Creative Leadership • Conac • DHL Global Forwarding • Donaldson • Du Pont de Nemours • Eli Lilly • Ernst & Young • ExxonMobil • Flanders Investment & Trade • Gosselin Moving • Metropole Hotel • St John's International School • Steptoe & Johnson

American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium ASBL/VZW, rue du Trône 60 Troonstraat, 1050 Brussels - Tel. +32 (0)2 513 67 70 - Fax. +32 (0)2 513 35 90 - E-mail: gchamber@amcham.be

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Photo: Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and Obama at the NATO Summit in Chicago, May 21, 2012 

The U.S. ranks as Belgium’s 5th principal trading partner; with Belgium ranked 18th for largest U.S. trading partner.  Bilateral trade was worth over $41 billion for the year 2010.