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Diplomats not paying parking fines

Published on 22/03/2004

22 March 2004

BRUSSELS – Foreign diplomats living in Belgium regularly refuse to pay their parking fines, La Derniere Heure reported on Monday.

According to the newspaper, the Brussels city authorities have noticed that an increasing number of foreign embassy staff are using their diplomatic immunity to avoid paying when they are fined for parking illegally.

In 2003, the city’s traffic wardens slapped a total of 2,397 parking tickets onto cars carrying diplomatic number plates, but only 945 were paid.

The figure marks an increase of over 30 percent on the number of parking tickets diplomats refused to pay in 2002, the newspaper added.

Diplomats posted to Belgium are supposed to respect the country’s laws, including its traffic rules.

But diplomatic immunity makes it hard to prosecute embassy staff who refuse to play fair.

Officials who work for the EU institutions on the other hand were extremely responsible drivers, said the city authorities.

Almost 80 percent of Eurocrats pay up when they receive a parking ticket.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news