Ministers need car ‘with standing, not a Toyota’, says Ben Weyts
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    Ministers need car ‘with standing, not a Toyota’, says Ben Weyts

    D'haese stated that the monthly leasing price of several ministerial cars is higher than the wages many Flemish people make. Credit: Belga

    During a discussion in the Flemish Parliament on Wednesday, Minister for Education Ben Weyts said that ministers need “a car with standing, not a Toyota.”

    According to Jos D’haese, the chairman of the far-left PVDA party, it is outrageous that the fleet of the nine ministers consists of 34 luxurious leased cars. D’haese submitted a parliamentary question to the Flemish Minister-President, Jan Jambon, but due to his absence, fellow party member and former Minister for Mobility Ben Weyts answered.

    D’haese stated that the monthly leasing price of close to €2,500 of several ministerial cars is higher than the wages many Flemish people make, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

    “You are making us out to be freeloaders,” Weyts said, adding that D’haese should not distort the truth. “I agree that they are luxury cars, but I think that as a minister, when you are in touch with heads of government, heads of state, top CEOs, there must be some standing,” Weyts added (video).

    When asked if all of that “standing” was necessary, Weyts said that it was. “We could also come by bus or a Toyota Corollo (sic),” he said. “Your great inspirational example, the head of state in North Korea, even comes by train. Although it is his own train,” he added.

    Weyts remark garnered a lot of attention on Twitter.

    Translation of Tweet: “A Toyota or public transport are too little for Minister Weyts, because ‘As a minister you can have some standing’. Indeed, imagine yourself among the ‘common people’; you know, the people who vote for you at the elections.”

    Translation of Tweet: “In an almighty attempt to justify his expensive luxury limousine, minister Ben Weyts insults Toyota Belgium, which employs 1,200 people in our country. And then complaining about the image of Flanders abroad.”

    Translation of Tweet: “Ben Weyts was responsible for De Lijn for 5 years. During that time, our public transport got everything but ‘standing’.”

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times