Paul Vanden Boeynants

Last updated

Paul Vanden Boeynants
Paul Vanden Boeynants 1966.jpg
Paul Vanden Boeynants in 1966
41st 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
Preceded by Pierre Harmel
Succeeded by Gaston Eyskens
Minister of Defense
In office
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
Died9 January 2001(2001-01-09) (aged 81)
Aalst, Belgium
Political party Humanist Democratic Centre

Paul Emile François Henri Vanden Boeynants (pronounced [ˈpʌul vɑndɛn ˈbuinɑnts] ; 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]



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.

Forest, Belgium Municipality in Belgium

Forest is one of the nineteen municipalities located in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium. It is bordered by Anderlecht, Ixelles, Uccle, Saint-Gilles and Drogenbos. In common with all the Brussels municipalities, it is legally bilingual (French–Dutch).

The term meat industry describes modern industrialized livestock agriculture for production, packing, preservation and marketing of meat. In economics, it is a fusion of primary (agriculture) and secondary (industry) activity and hard to characterize strictly in terms of either one alone. The greater part of the entire meat industry is termed meat packing industry- the segment that handles the slaughtering, processing, packaging, and distribution of animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep and other livestock.

The Christian Social Party (PSC-CVP) was a Christian democratic political party in Belgium, which existed from 1945 until 1968 when it split along linguistic lines.

Vanden Boeynants served as minister for the middle class (1958-1961). In 1966, he became Prime Minister of Belgium; he stayed in this post for two years. From 1972-1979 he served as minister of defense. In 1978–1979 he led another Belgian government. Vanden Boeynants then served as chairman of the PSC (1979-1981). He left politics in 1995, and died of pneumonia after undergoing cardiovascular surgery in 2001.

Pneumonia Infection of the lungs

Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung affecting primarily the small air sacs known as alveoli. Typically symptoms include some combination of productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Severity is variable.

One of his famous expressions, in a unique mixture of Dutch and French, was: Trop is te veel en te veel is trop. ("too many is too much and too much is too many"). [2]


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

Brussels Capital region of Belgium

Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.


In an 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 unharmed a month later, on 13 February, when an undisclosed ransom was paid to the perpetrators. The gang members were caught and imprisoned. Patrick Haemers, the head of the gang, later committed suicide in prison, [4] and two members of his gang managed to escape from the St Gillis Prison in 1993.

<i>Le Soir</i> Belgian newspaper

Le Soir is a French-language daily Belgian newspaper. Founded in 1887 by Emile Rossel, it was intended as a politically-independent and traditionally Liberal source of news. It is one of the most popular Francophone newspapers in Belgium, competing with La Libre Belgique, and since 2005 has appeared in Berliner format. It is owned by Rossel & Cie, which also owns several Belgian news outlets and the French paper La Voix du Nord.

Patrick Haemers was a Belgian criminal who was head of a gang which carried out robberies of security vans and kidnapped former Belgian prime minister Paul Vanden Boeynants.

The kidnapping was referenced in a 1989 novelty song by the New Beat band Brussels Sound Revolution called Qui...? , which featured samples from the press conference Vanden Boeynants gave after his kidnapping. [5] [6] [7] It was a hit on both sides of the Belgian language border. In Flanders, Belgium it reached the 28th place in the Radio 2 hitparade at the time for one week. [8]



Related Research Articles

Pierre Harmel Belgian politician (1911-2009)

Pierre Charles José Marie, Count Harmel was a Belgian lawyer, Christian Democratic politician and diplomat. Harmel served eight months as the 40th Prime Minister of Belgium.

<i>Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams</i> political party in Flanders/Belgium

Christian Democratic and Flemish is a Christian-democratic Flemish political party in Belgium. The party has historical ties to both trade unionism (ACV) and trade associations (UNIZO) and the Farmer's League. Until 2001, the party was named the Christian People's Party.

Centre démocrate humaniste political party in French-speaking Belgium

The Humanist Democratic Centre is a Christian democratic French-speaking political party in Belgium. Until 2002, the party was known as the Christian Social Party. The cdH currently participates in the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, the Government of the French Community the Walloon Government, but no longer, following the May 2014 national elections, the Belgian federal government.

Edmond Jules Isidore Leburton was a Belgian politician and former Prime Minister.

Benoît, Baron de Bonvoisin is a Belgian far right activist.

Théo Lefèvre Belgian politician (1914-1973)

Théodore Joseph Albéric Marie "Théo" Lefèvre was a lawyer at the Ghent court of justice. In 1946 he became deputy of the Belgian parliament for the PSC-CVP. Between 25 April 1961 and 28 July 1965 he was the 39th Prime Minister of Belgium.

Kapllan Murat is a Belgian criminal of Albanian descent. He is nicknamed "Getaway King", for his multiple successful prison escapes. He was a driver for the notorious Haemers gang, who kidnapped former Belgian Prime Minister Paul Vanden Boeynants in 1989.

Gaston C. S. A. Geens was a Belgian politician and minister-president of Flanders.

Michel Demaret was a Belgian politician.

Joseph Pholien Belgian politician

Joseph Clovis Louis Marie Emmanuel Pholien was a Belgian Catholic politician and member of the PSC-CVP. He was born in Liège, and volunteered to serve with the Belgian army during World War I, being commissioned as a first lieutenant. He was Minister of Justice under Paul-Henri Spaak from May 1938 to February 1939 and was the 37th Prime Minister of Belgium from 16 August 1950 to 15 January 1952. In 1966, he became a Minister of State.

Herman Vanderpoorten was a Belgian liberal politician. He was a son of the politician Arthur Vanderpoorten, the father of Marleen Vanderpoorten and an uncle of Patrick Dewael.

Martens I Government

The Martens I Government was the national government of Belgium from 3 April 1979 to 23 January 1980.

The Belgian Democratic Union was a short-lived political party in Belgium after the Second World War.

New Beat is a style of Belgian underground music and subculture that fused techno and acid genres that flourished in Western Europe during the late-1980s. It is a type of electronic dance music and electronic body music that was played at a slower speed and influenced the evolution of industrial dance music.

Brussels Sound Revolution was a Belgian new beat band who had a novelty song hit in their home country with the 45 tours single Qui...? (1989), which featured samples of the speech Belgian former Prime Minister Paul Vanden Boeynants gave after he had been kidnapped by the gang of Patrick Haemers that year.

Qui…? is a 1989 Belgian novelty song hit by the New Beat band Brussels Sound Revolution. It features samples of the speech Belgian former Prime Minister Paul Vanden Boeynants gave after he had been kidnapped by the gang of Patrick Haemers that same year. It was a hit on both sides of the Belgian language border. In Flanders, Belgium it reached the 28th place in the Radio 2 hitparade at the time for one week.

Split of the Catholic University of Leuven

The Catholic University of Leuven was one of Belgium's major universities which split along linguistic lines after a period of civil unrest in 1967–68. It is commonly known as the "Leuven Affair" in French and, based on a slogan of the time, as "Flemish Leuven" in Dutch. The crisis shook Belgian politics and led to the fall of the government of Paul Vanden Boeynants. It marked an escalation of the linguistic tension in Belgium after World War II and had lasting consequences for other bilingual institutions in Belgium within higher education and politics alike.


  1. 1 2 January 2001. Rulers. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  2. 1 2 "In memoriam", De Standaard, 9 January 2001
  3. Dick Leonard (16 January 2001) Paul Vanden Boeynants. The Independent , Retrieved 3 April 2011
  4. Death sentence for gangsters. The Independent, 30 January 1994, Retrieved 3 April 2011
  5. "'Qui..?' van Brussels Sound Revolution".
  6. Grommen, Door: Stefan. "25 jaar geleden werd 'VDB' ontvoerd: "Gemarchandeerd zoals op de beestenmarkt"".
  7. "Brussels Sound Revolution's 'Qui...?' - Discover the Sample Source". WhoSampled.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 "VAN DEN BOEYNANTS".
Political offices
Preceded by
Pierre Harmel
Prime Minister of Belgium
Succeeded by
Gaston Eyskens
Preceded by
Paul Willem Segers
Minister of Defense
Succeeded by
José Desmarets
Preceded by
Leo Tindemans
Prime Minister of Belgium
Succeeded by
Wilfried Martens