Belgian PM cuts royal's stipend22 January 2013
Belgium plans to slash the annual stipend of the dowager Queen Fabiola after an uproar from politicians who learned she had set up a private foundation to provide for nieces and nephews and for her favourite Catholic charities after her death.
Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo has told parliamentarians he wanted quick action on the proposal to cut the payment from €1.4 million to €923,000 effective this year.
Criticism from politicians, especially Flemish nationalists, focused both on the Catholic destination of some funds and on the fact the foundation would help the Spanish-born Fabiola, 84, to dodge Belgian death duties legally.
The widow of the late King Baudouin - a devout Catholic - insisted the money came from property and art works inherited from her Spanish family.
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