King Albert receives more letters for help
Every year some 40,000 letters are sent to the Royal Palace.
4 November 2008
Every year some 40,000 letters are sent to the Royal Palace. Most of the letters contain questions; about 10,000 per year are letters explicitly asking for help, according to the King's spokesman.
The letters are mostly from people who have trouble paying their bills or have housing problems. Over the past few months, the number of letters to the King asking for help has increased.
The King's spokesman does not have an immediate explanation but it is likely to be a consequence, at least in part, of the financial crisis.
Everyone who sends a letter to the King gets an answer.
A small number of them, some 250 per year, even get some financial help: they get a gift of about €200 from the Queen's relief fund.
Most of the letters are sent on to the responsible ministers to deal with the questions or requests.
The Walloon Housing Minister André Antoine says that he receives about 21 letters from the King every week.
Flemish Housing Minister Marino Keulen also gets many letters. "About 5 a day," says the minister's cabinet. The letters are then forwarded to the competent authorities.