Tuesday, 19 September 2017
A must-see visit after parliament resumed following the summer recess. The 65 candidates running for the title of Miss Belgium had the chance to explore the federal parliament in Brussels on Monday.
After a swift tour of the premises and the traditional souvenir photo, the stunners were able to have a short lesson on Belgium delivered, according to tradition, by Herman De Croo. As always on form, the former President of the House of Representatives, and indeed the former minister, delivered a non-chronological history of Belgium. He began with the First World War (which he explained was “a terrible situation”), going through to the setting up of Autoworld (“by me!”).
It was in the interest of all candidates to be highly attentive to everything that was said. This is because, during the upcoming selection round next Wednesday, they will be questioned upon the series of figures which the Flemish Liberal quoted to them from memory. They thus learned on Monday that Belgium is 537 times smaller than Russia, but that the country produces 77% of ice-cream cones made in the world.
A member of the organisation, Luk Coopman, considers it important that candidates know more about the country that they will be representing during the year. When the examination takes place, there is clearly a great deal more to do.
Surveyed within Belgium’s corridors of power, some French-speaking candidates stated, with great certainty, the Prime Minister’s name. That said, there was a complete lack of knowledge as to the name of the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, despite his hitting the front pages of all newspapers in recent days, after he tweeted about the “clean-up” of the Maximilian Park in Brussels.
Fortunately for these ladies, they made rapid progress though. When asked the name of their guide for the day, he appeared to already enjoy enhanced fame. One of them quickly responded, “The Minister Herman Déco.”
The Brussels Times