Portuguese president snubbed on Belgian visit
20 October 2005, BRUSSELS – The crowds failed to turn out for the Portuguese president when he visited the Belgian town of Arlon during a state visit.
20 October 2005
BRUSSELS – The crowds failed to turn out for the Portuguese president when he visited the Belgian town of Arlon during a state visit.
On Thursday, Le Soir reported that Arlon, in the Luxembourg province of Belgium, has a Portuguese population of 246 families, one percent of the total population of the town. The paper added that thousands of Portuguese also live in the rest of Belgium.
However, when on Wednesday, President Jorge Sampaoi and his wife Maria Jose Ritta arrived during their three-day visit to Belgium, few seemed interested.
Nor did many residents turn out to see the Belgian King Albert II and wife Paola who accompanied them.
In fact, the streets between Arlon town hall and the provincial palace were so empty that a plan for the royals and the Portuguese to greet the residents from the palace balcony was cancelled.
Those residents who did turn out were able to talk to the president as the group went for a walk-about. Sampaoi answered questions in French and Portuguese, shook hands and signed autographs.
Afterwards Sampaoi visited the Euro Space Center in Transinne.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news