André Cools

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André Cools
Andre Cools.jpg
Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium
In office
22 January 1969 – 26 January 1973
Prime MinisterGaston Eyskens
Preceded byJoseph-Jean Merlot
Succeeded byWilly De Clercq
Minister for the Budget
In office
Prime MinisterGaston Eyskens
Chairman of the Socialist Party
In office
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byGuy Spitaels
Co-President of the Belgian Socialist Party
In office
Preceded byEdmond Leburton
Succeeded byParty abolished
Personal details
Born1 August 1927
Flémalle-Grande, Liège, Belgium
Died18 July 1991(1991-07-18) (aged 63)
Liège, Liège, Belgium
Manner of deathAssassinated
Political partySocialist
Other political
Belgian Socialist (until 1978)
Domestic partnerMarie-Hélène Joiret

André H.P. Cools (1 August 1927 – 18 July 1991) was a Belgian politician and a senior figure within the Walloon Socialist Party (PS) in the Liège region.[1] He was assassinated in 1991 and the subsequent investigation uncovered widespread graft within Belgium's two socialist parties.[2]

Political career[edit]

Cools had a long and distinguished political career. He was the Belgian budget minister from 1968 to 1971, Deputy Prime Minister from 1969 to 1972, head of the Walloon section of the Belgian Parti Socialiste (PS) from 1973 to 1978, chairman of the national party from 1978 to 1981, president of the Walloon Council from 1982 to 1985, and minister of the government of the Walloon Region from 1988 to 1990. He was also given the honorific title of Minister of State in 1983. In 1990 he retired from the national political scene after an internal power struggle within the PS but he remained influential in the local party in Liège.[1]

Cools was noted for his pithy pronouncements. For example, when in 1984 he commented on who he thought the four greatest United States presidents had been, he said: 'Roosevelt, Roosevelt, Roosevelt and Roosevelt'.

His nickname was "Le maître de Flémalle" ("Master of Flémalle"). Cools had been mayor of Flémalle-Haute [fr] from 1964 to 1977 and after the merger with Flémalle from 1977 until his death.

Assassination and aftermath[edit]

He was shot dead in Liège in 1991.

While the police were investigating the assassination, several scandals involving André Cools became public (like the Agusta-affair).

In 2003, a Liège trial started, accusing Richard Taxquet (former personal chauffeur and secretary for Alain Van der Biest [fr], a Parti Socialiste minister), Giuseppe "Pino" di Mauro, and others of involvement in the Cools murder. In January 2004, Taxquet and di Mauro were sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wilsford 1995, pp. 70–76.
  2. ^ Jeroen Maesschalck and Steven Van de Walle, "Policy failure and corruption in Belgium: Is federalism to blame?." West European Politics 29.5 (2006): 999-1017 online
  3. ^ Maesschalck and Van de Walle, 2006.

Works cited[edit]

  • Wilsford, David (1995). Political Leaders of Contemporary Western Europe: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-28623-0. Retrieved 30 September 2020.