King handed out €150,000 to cash-strapped Belgians in 2021

King handed out €150,000 to cash-strapped Belgians in 2021
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The King of Belgium handed out just shy of €150,000 last year to people approaching the palace directly for help.

Officials said the money was shared among 788 recipients, which works out at just over 190 euros per applicant.

Philippe and his queen Mathilde received more than 57,000 calls for aid in 2021, their social secretary identifying almost 1,900 explicitly seeking cash assistance, according to Belga News Agency.

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Typical requests involved everyday cost of living pressures including rising energy bills – currently the subject of various proposed social aid measures in the Belgian parliament.

Royals staff sift letters from all over, redirecting the vast majority to public bodies such as the communal CPAS network tasked with providing a safety net for those in most distress.

A CNN probe into the cost to taxpayers of European monarchies put the 2020 bill for the Belgian royals at about €13 million per year and rising.

The exact amount is published in the Belgian government’s General Expenditure Budget of the Federal State.

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