Namen mayor embroiled in fraud scandal
30 May 2006, BRUSSELS — Controversy has erupted in the city of Namen over the links Socialist PS Mayor Bernard Anselme has with the real estate sector.
30 May 2006
BRUSSELS — Controversy has erupted in the city of Namen over the links Socialist PS Mayor Bernard Anselme has with the real estate sector.
At the centre of the controversy is the mayor's partner Rita Maillard, who is the director of various real estate firms and a research bureau that regularly wins government contacts in the Wallonian capital.
If Maillard was the official partner of Anselme, the mayor would be unable to attend a large number of meetings over property issues. But because they are not married, there are no legal impediments.
However, newspaper 'Vers l'Avenir' has obtained a list of recent construction projects funded by the city in which Maillard's research bureau, Sotegec, was involved in the planning. The newspaper cites various dossiers that raise suspicions.
An accusing finger was also pointed to the city housing company Joie du Foyer. Anselme's son is the company director. Besides being the chairman of the local PS bureau, Anselme is also the Joie du Foyer chairman.
The controversy in Namen is only the latest in a series of corruption scandals involving the Francophone Socialists.
In Charleroi, the city mayor offered his resignation last week, but has since received renewed backing from party colleagues despite widespread corruption allegations in the Wallonian city.
Several high-profile PS local politicians have already been implicated in the scandal.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news