King’s private yacht eats into Belgian defence budget
Military presence to guarantee the security of the king’s private yacht made a EUR 34,307 dent in the defence budget in 2008 and EUR 20,237 so far in 2009, said Defence minister Pieter De Crem.
Many Flemish representatives have expressed indignation that the state finance budget should be spent on the private ventures of Belgium’s head of state.
“The taxpayer does not exist to finance the king’s hobbies. There is a donation for that,” complained the ecologist representative Wouter De Vriendt.
The announcement over the summer that King Albert II had bought a new yacht drew negative reactions from officials across the country.
On National Day the head of state had called for a return to fundamental values and scolded the “more and more materialist character” of Belgian society.