Belgian politics in 1997

  • Stefaan Fiers
  • Mark Deweerdt


The so-called 'Dutroux-case'- the revelation of the kidnapping and the murder of four underaged girls and the apparent malfunctions of the judiciary and the police forces, was the most important issue on the 1997 political agenda.  Unanimously, the Chamber of Representatives agreed upon the recommendations of a parliamentary inquiry into the bungled police investigation. Yet the unanimity disappeared quickly when the recommendations on the reorganisation of the police forces had to be implemented.
New revelations of the Dassault-case, and the involvement of both socialist parties, put the government underpressure. The events themselves, and the discontent they caused in some majority parties, urged the government to revise the governmental programme. Guy Spitaels, chairman of the Walloon parliament resigned. Guy Coëme, former minister of Defence, alleged ofpassive corruption in the Dassault-case, was referred to the Supreme Court of Appeal by decision of the Chamber of Representatives.

How to Cite:

Fiers, S. & Deweerdt, M., (1998) “Belgian politics in 1997”, Res Publica 40(3-4), 377-396. doi:

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Published on
30 Dec 1998
Peer Reviewed