Joseph Maraite, former Minister-President of the German-speaking Community died on Sunday aged 71, Health Minister Antonios Antoniadis announced on social media.
Maraite was born on 11 September 1949 at Waimes and was a German teacher from 1972 to 1976 before leaving the classroom to devote himself entirely to politics.
In 1977, he became a member of the German-speaking Community’s council on culture, which later became its parliament.
From 1984 to 1986, Maraite was a minister in the Community’s first government, led by Bruno Fagnoul, whom he replaced in 1986.
His three terms were marked by critical institutional reforms that gave greater autonomy to the smallest of Belgium’s federated entities.
In addition to the German-speaking Community, Maraite also played an active rôle in the commune of Burg-Reuland, where he was a municipal councillor, alderman and finally mayor between 2004 and 2017, before handing over his mayor’s sash to Marion Dhur.