Nothing else is talked about in Belgium. On the front pages of the newspers and opening the radio and television news for days, the entire country is awaiting the evolution of ‘Pipigate’, the great issue of political rentree in the country of Rene Magritte, father of surrealism.
Vincent Van Quickenborne (Flemish liberal), Belgian Minister of Justice, wanted to celebrate his 50th birthday in style. For such an occasion, taking into account that lives under police protection because he is threatened by organized crime who dominates the drug trade, had to organize a party at his home in Courtrai on the night of August 14-15. And things got out of hand.
Three of his guests pear in security camera recordings urinating on the side of a police van.
From the same Police that is permanently next to the minister’s house as a security measure. The official says that he didn’t know anything, that he was inside the house when his friends came out and that he is not guilty of anything.
But the political opposition, especially the extreme right of the Flemish NVA, saw the point and could not resist. The minister is now forced to go to Parliament to give explanations. In the recordings the minister also pears pretending that he is urinating on a man and shortly after proaching the Police van and opening the door. The minister repeats day after day that he found out from the press.
The Flemish public television VRT assures that the minister did know what had hpened. Based on the recordings, he estimates that hours after his three guests urinated, the minister went out again with a friend and after leaning on the back of the police van, he made a gesture as if he were urinating, although in the images It is not clear if he will do so. According to the VRT, the minister then opened the door of the truck and after a few seconds closed it again.
He says that he did it because it was closed badly and he wanted to close it well. He also says that he took his mobile phone out of his pocket “to take a selfie and maybe I made some gestures that could lead to misinterpretations given what hpened a few hours before, but those interpretations are not correct.”
Van Quickenborne must go to the Parliament’s Justice committee because that is what the president of said commission, the Flemish nationalist Kristien Van Vaerenbergh, has ordered. The meeting was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Flemish nationalism, months away from the legislative elections next May in which the Flemish liberals will be one of its main rivals, is pressing the issue.
Van Vaerenbergh said that it is, in essence, “that the people who protect the Minister of Justice day and night deserve respect” and that “if it is proven that the Minister reported the incident incorrectly he simply will not be able to continue in supposed”. The Vlaams Belang neo-Nazis directly demand the resignation of the minister.