Paul Vanden Boeynants


Paul Vanden Boeynants

Paul Emile François Henri Vanden Boeynants (IPA2|pʌuˑɫ ˌvɑndənˈbujnɑnts)(22 May 1919 – 9 January 2001) was a Belgian politician. He served as prime minister of Belgium for two brief periods (1966-68 and 1978-79).

Vanden Boeynants (called "VDB" by journalists) was born in Forest, a municipality in the Brussels-Capital Region. He was active in the meat-industry, and was a Representative for the PSC-CVP between 1949 and 1979. He lead the PSC-CVP between 1961 and 1966 (then still a unitary party). Vanden Boeynants became Prime Minister of Belgium in 1966 and served as prime minister until 1968. Later in 1978, he led another Belgian government which lasted until 1979. He left politics in 1995, and died of pneumonia after undergoing cardiovascular surgery in 2001.

Fraud

In 1986, Vanden Boeynants was convicted for fraud and tax evasion, and sentenced to three years probation. This prevented him from pursuing mayoral aspirations in Brussels. He was rehabilitated in the early-1990s.

Kidnapping

Vanden Boeynants was kidnapped on 14 January 1989 by members of the Haemers criminal gang. Three days later, the criminals published a note in the newspaper "Le Soir", demanding 30 million Belgian francs in ransom. Vanden Boeynants was released a month later, on 13 February, when an undisclosed ransom was paid to the perpetrators. Patrick Haemers, head of the gang, later committed suicide in prison, although two members of his gang managed to escape from the St-Gillis Prison in 1993.


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