Expatica news

Scandal over minister’s office renovation bill

10 December 2004

BRUSSELS – Marie Arena, the Socialist minister president of the French community government, has come under fire for an alleged EUR 300,000 office renovation bill.

Arena has insisted that the amount concerns renovation of the entire 11,000-square-metre building at place de Surlet de Chokier in central Brussels.

However, since last week, the Belgian press has been unveiling new documents every day showing that the money is earmarked only for the fourth floor, where Arena has her offices.

On Tuesday, members of opposition parties are set to give Arena a grilling during a session of Parliament. Arena will get the chance to respond the following day.

Taking a typical tongue in cheek approach, Belgian tabloid La Derniere Heure offered Arena tips on what kind of showers she might like to install.

The newspaper suggested either a EUR 10,000 Italian luxury style featuring tiled walls and chrome facets or a more modern design featuring jet streams for the more reasonable — but still high price — of EUR 6,000.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news