Paul Vanden Boeynants

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Paul Vanden Boeynants
Paul Vanden Boeynants.jpg
Prime Minister of Belgium
In office
20 October 1978 – 3 March 1979
Monarch Baudouin
Preceded by Leo Tindemans
Succeeded by Wilfried Martens
In office
19 March 1966 – 17 July 1968
Monarch Baudouin
Preceded by Pierre Harmel
Succeeded by Gaston Eyskens
Minister of Defense
In office
1972–1979
Prime Minister Gaston Eyskens
Edmond Leburton
Leo Tindemans
Preceded by Paul Willem Segers
Succeeded by José Desmarets
Personal details
Born (1919-05-22)22 May 1919
Forest, Belgium
Died 9 January 2001(2001-01-09) (aged 81)
Aalst, Belgium
Political party Humanist Democratic Centre

Paul Emile François Henri Vanden Boeynants (Dutch: [pɒˑu̯l vɑndənˈbuɪ̯nɑnts]; 22 May 1919 – 9 January 2001) was a Belgian politician.[1] He served as the 41st Prime Minister of Belgium for two brief periods (1966–68 and 1978–79).[1]

Career[edit]

Vanden Boeynants (called "VDB" by journalists) was born in Forest / Vorst, a municipality in the Brussels-Capital Region. Active as a businessman in the meat industry, he was a Representative for the PSC-CVP between 1949 and 1979. From 1961 to 1966 he led the Christian democrat PSC-CVP (which was in those days a single party). He led the CEPIC, its conservative fraction.

In 1966, he became Prime Minister of Belgium; he stayed in this post for two years. Later in 1978-1979 he led another Belgian government. He left politics in 1995, and died of pneumonia after undergoing cardiovascular surgery in 2001.

One of his famous words, in a unique mixture of Dutch and French: Trop is te veel en te veel is trop. ("too many is too much and too much is too many").

Fraud[edit]

Convicted in 1986 for fraud and tax evasion, Vanden Boeynants escaped jail but was sentenced to three years' probation.[2] This prevented him from pursuing mayoral aspirations in Brussels. He underwent a political rehabilitation during the early 1990s.

Kidnapping[edit]

In a bizarre incident that is still the subject of dispute, Vanden Boeynants was kidnapped on 14 January 1989 by members of the Haemers criminal gang.[3] Three days later, the criminals published a note in the leading Brussels newspaper Le Soir, demanding 30 million Belgian francs in ransom. Vanden Boeynants was released (physically unharmed) a month later, on 13 February, when an undisclosed ransom was paid to the perpetrators. Patrick Haemers, the head of the gang, later committed suicide in prison,[4] whereas two members of his gang managed to escape from the St-Gillis Prison in 1993.

Literature[edit]

  • N. HIRSON, Paul Vanden Boeynants, Brussels, 1969.
  • Paul DEBOGNE, Les Amis de Paul Vanden Boeynants et leurs Affaires, Ed. Vie Ouvrière, Brussel, 1970.
  • R. STUYCK, Paul Vanden Boeynants, boeman of supermen?, Brussels, 1973.
  • Els CLEEMPUT & Alain GUILLAUME, La rançon d'une vie. Paul Vanden Boeynants 30 jours aux mains de Patrick Haemers, Brussels, 1990.
  • D. ILEGEMS & J. WILLEMS, De avonturen van VDB, Brussels, 1991.
  • P. HAVAUX & P. MARLET, Sur la piste du crocodile, Brussels, 1994.
  • Armand DE DECKER, In memoriam Paul Vanden Boeynants, Belgian Senate, 18th January 2001.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b January 2001. Rulers. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  2. ^ De Standaard - In memoriam, 9 January 2001
  3. ^ Dick Leonard: Paul Vanden Boeynants. The Independent, 16 January 2001, Retrieved 3 April 2011
  4. ^ Death sentence for gangsters. The Independent, 30 January 1994, Retrieved 3 April 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Pierre Harmel
Prime Minister of Belgium
1966–1968
Succeeded by
Gaston Eyskens
Preceded by
Paul Willem Segers
Minister of Defense
1972–1979
Succeeded by
José Desmarets
Preceded by
Leo Tindemans
Prime Minister of Belgium
1978–1979
Succeeded by
Wilfried Martens