As a reminder: Moammar Gadhafi visits Brussels


United Press International in its article ‘Gadhafi Lights Up Brussels’ about Gadhafi’s visit to Brussels of April 27, 2004:

…’The Moammar Gadhafi road show rolled into Brussels Tuesday, complete with a Bedouin tent, khaki-clad female bodyguards and cheering Congolese supporters, as the Libyan president embarked on his first visit to Europe for 15 years’…

… ‘In recent months, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi have both been greeted in a similar tent as they made pilgrimages to Gadhafi’s desert headquarters to reward Tripoli for renouncing its support for terrorism and halting its nuclear program.’

… ‘In a break with tradition, European Commission President Romano Prodi personally greeted Gadhafi at the airport and drove with the colonel’s motorcade to the drab EU district of Brussels.’

… ‘The two men arrived at the commission’s headquarters to a riot of color as hundreds of pro-Gadhafi supporters thronged for a glimpse of the African liberation hero. The Libyan leader is used to this kind of stage-managed adulation, but Prodi — a bashful former economics professor — is more accustomed to people protesting against him than for him.’

…’Beating drums and dancing in the spring sunshine, the mainly Congolese supporters wore T-shirts with Gadhafi’s craggy features and waved banners with such unlikely slogans as “Vive la Belgique” and “Gadhafi — Defender of the African People.” Some even held placards venerating Prodi, the much-mocked commission president whose term expires in November.’

… Not everyone was delighted by the red carpet rolled out for the man once described by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan as a “mad dog.” After its first fact-finding mission to Libya for 15 years, Amnesty International released a report slamming “on-going human rights violations, a continuing failure to investigate and resolve past abuses and a climate of fear in which most Libyans are afraid to raise concerns over current and past violations.”

… Several dozen Libyan civil rights campaigners also held their own counter-demonstration just yards from the official welcoming committee. Holding placards comparing Gadhafi to a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” the protestors accused the Libyan strongman of being a “criminal,” a “terrorist” and a “murderer.”

… ‘Gadhafi, who still describes himself as “the world revolutionary leader” on his Web site, is due to meet with Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and local businessmen and parliamentarians before heading back to Tripoli Wednesday.’

…’Given the sudden improvement in relations between the West and Libya, this will probably not be the last time the West’s former enemy No. 1 steps foot on European soil — especially as Tripoli now looks set to become a member of the EU’s Euro-Med process aimed at bringing free trade and democracy to the bloc’s southern flank.’


Photo: Guy verhofstadt and Moammar Gadhafi


Guy Verhofstadt: A wolf in sheep’s clothing

In 2004, Verhofstadt was suggested as a candidate to replace Romano Prodi as the next President of the European Commission.

On July 1, 2009 he was elected President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament.

Verhofstadt is also a member of the Club de Madrid, an organization of more than 80 former statesmen.

Since 2012 is Verhofstadt a Board Member of the Brussels-based, Brussels-quoted Sofina holding (petroleum gas and oil platforms). He can look forward to a fee which is in line with that of the other directors, who last year received an amount between 42.000 134.000 euros. The Belgian industrialist Viscount Etienne Davignon is Honorary Director of Sofina.

Verhofstadt on Lybia: “The weak position of the EU makes me sick”
Verhofstadt on Syria: “Today we face three crises: Syria, the failure of our foreign policy, Cyprus, the failure of our euro policy and Hungary, the failure to uphold our European democratic principles and values”. - “The time for peace talks is over, we need action now. If the UN doesn’t react, then NATO should”. - “The European Commission knows what needs to be done, so they should go ahead and use every means possible, including less orthodox ways if needed”.

Verhofstadt pleads on a fanatic and, in a certain sense, ridiculous way, for weapon deliveries to the so called Free Syrian Army ‘otherwise we risk seeing many more children die from starvation and cold’.

Because of his economic views and his young age, he became known as “Baby Thatcher“. Another nickname from that era is “da joenk“, a Brabantian dialect expression meaning “that kid” (in a pejorative sense, referring to his rather iconoclastic and immature style).


Photo: Verhofstadt and General Selim Idris


Guy Verhofstadt: ‘The weak position of the EU makes me sick’


Guy Verhofstadt, board member of the Belgian holding Sofina who aspires to the presidency of the european union: ‘We have all been watching the most horrendous pictures of dozens of children who have been brutally murdered. This is once more an intolerable crime against humanity. How many more must we witness before we acknowledge that the Annan peace plan has not worked? The time for peace talks is over, we need action now. While the UN Security Council is meeting, the same massacre is happening in Hama. After Homs and Houla, this will be the third Syrian Srebrenica. If the UN doesn’t react, then NATO should.’

20:15 Gepost door Jan Boeykens in EU, European Union, Guy Verhofstadt, Latest News | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


Baby Thatcher Verhofstadt: “The weak position of the EU makes me sick”


Verhofstadt on Libya: “The weak position of the EU makes me sick”


Today at a meeting in Parliament to assess the results of last week's European Council, Guy Verhofstadt denounced the inability of the EU to take decisive action on the Libyan crisis. "This makes me sick," he declared.

"I want to use this opportunity to salute the fifty heroes, the fifty heroes in the power plant of Fukushima, the fifty heroes who at this very moment risk their life in order to save the people of Japan from a nuclear catastrophe. But Japan, for all its tragedy, is an event we cannot change. We can help. We must help. But unfortunately we cannot change.

"In Libya on the contrary we can change the course of events.  In Libya there are heroes as well. Thousands of them. Sacrificing their life for nothing else then freedom and democracy.  And what are we doing in order to prevent this? What are we doing to prevent what is in fact a new Srebrenica, a new Rwanda, a new Darfur?  Are we helping them? Defending them? Supporting them with arms or a no fly zone? Are we recognizing the opposition government? Are we trying to keep the democratic revolution alive?  No, we are sending fact finding missions".

"Have we learnt nothing from the past? It is now or never".



Verhofstadt and the 'federal European superstate':


Belgium’s ‘Baby Thatcher’ caught in tussle over top EU job:


‘Baby Thatcher’ returns as Belgian PM:


Blair backs ‘Baby Thatcher’ for Commission:


Syria: Guy Verhofstadt, nicknamed "Baby Thatcher"


"It is time to stop waiting for Russia and China to agree to a UN resolution. If the Americans don't have the courage then why not the Europeans?" (Verhofstadt, 11.9.2012)


Guy Verhofstadt ( April 11, 1953) became president of the Flemish Liberal Student's Union (1972–1974) while studying law at the University of Ghent. He quickly became the secretary of Willy De Clercq, who was at that time the president of the Flemish liberal party (Party for Freedom and Progress, PVV). In 1982, at age 29, he became president of the party. In 1985 he was elected into the Chamber of Deputies, and became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Budget under Prime Minister Wilfried Martens. Because of his economic views and his young age, he became known as "Baby Thatcher". Another nickname from that era is "da joenk", a Brabantian dialect expression meaning "that kid" (in a pejorative sense, referring to his rather iconoclastic and immature style).

After being ousted from government he became leader of the opposition. After a failed attempt to form a government in November 1991, he changed the PVV into the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD). This new party attracted many politicians from other parties, notably from the Volksunie (VU) and the Christian People's Party (CVP).

However, despite the fact that many had high expectations, the party did not manage to outstrip the CVP. Verhofstadt resigned and disappeared from the political scene, only to return to the party's presidency in 1997 with a less radical image. He gradually moved away from neoliberalism (partly under the influence of his brother Dirk, a social liberalpolitical philosopher), and became more of a 'centrist' figure.

Partly because of a food scandal that broke out just before the 1999 elections, the VLD became the largest party in the country, obtaining over 22% of the vote in Flanders. He quickly formed a coalition with the socialist and the green party in Flanders and was appointed Prime Minister on July 12, 1999, the first liberal to hold that office since 1938.

In the Flemish regional elections of June 13, 2004, his party lost votes, slipping into third place in Flanders. Though this has had no direct impact upon his position as Prime Minister, there were rumours that the Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V) party that won the elections, would participate in federal government. Verhofstadt was suggested as a candidate to replace Romano Prodi as the next President of the European Commission, but his candidacy was opposed and rejected by a coalition led by Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi.

In the 2009 European Parliament election, Verhofstadt was elected a member of the European Parliament for the term 2009–2014. He also has been put forward as the possible candidate for replacing José Manuel Barroso as the president of the European Commission by a coalition of greens, socialists and liberals.

On July 1, 2009 he was elected President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament. On July 14, 2009 he took up his seat in the newly sworn-in European Parliament to which he had been elected in June 2009.

On September 15, 2010 Verhofstadt supported the new initiative Spinelli Group, which was founded to reinvigorate the strive for federalisation of the European Union (EU). Other supporters are: Jacques Delors, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Joschka Fischer, Andrew Duff, Elmar Brok.

Verhofstadt is also a member of the Club de Madrid, an independent organization of more than 80 former 'democratic' statesmen. The group works to promote 'democratic governance and leadership' worldwide.

Since 2012 is Verhofstadt an independent Board Member of the Brussels-based, Brussels-quoted Sofina holding.

Sofina, Société Financière de Transports et d'Entreprises Industrielles, is a Belgian holding company which, after World War 2, invested primarily in the United States, in the areas of electricity and oil.  It is headquartered in Brussels, and invests in several industrial sectors such as Telecommunication (7%), Portfolio companies, Banks and Insurance (6%), Private Equity (6%), Services within the Company (18%), Consumable Goods (31%), Energy (6%), Distribution (8%) and various other sectors (10%). Geographically Sofina has investments located in Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and North America. The company has participations in Richemont, Colruyt, Danone, SES S.A., GDF Suez, Eurazeo and Delhaize. 

In Belgium, Sofina plays an important role, especially in the rationalization and coordination of generation and transmission of electricity. In 1964 it passed under the joint control of the groups Boël and Société Générale de Belgique.