Leaders of groups across the Belgian political spectrum paid homage on Sunday to the former mayor of Brussels, Freddy Thielemans, who died on Saturday at the age of 77.
Pensions Minister Karine Lalieux remembered him as “a great humanist, a real man of the left and a mayor appreciated by everyone.” She added: “Freddy Thielemans was an indispensable figure in Brussels. He incarnated the Brussels that we love: open to culture, diversity and festivity. You taught me so much, Freddy. We’re going to miss you.”
For the head of the Socialist group in the Chamber, Ahmed Laaouej, the former mayor was “a unique, endearing and popular personality” who “incarnated the Brussels spirit and our values of progress.”
A man who ‘truly loved’ the city he represented
Ecolo’s joint president, Rajae Maouane, deplored the loss of a “real guy” who “marked the City of Brussels with his wit, his smooth tongue and his personality.”
Défi President François De Smet stressed that “Freddy Thielemans marked the history of the City of Brussels,” noting that “his endearing personality worked greatly in the service of all inhabitants of his city, which he loved so much.”
Deeply saddened. #RIP Freddy Thielemans #Brussels mayor! He was my close neighbour. I still remember our discussions about EU political parties or writing that it’s a mistake to build on @Donderberg2 and we need to fix that! @AnsPersoons @FabianMaingain @rudivervoort @alainmaron https://t.co/lwOxeVb4G9
— Cristina Vanberghen (@VanberghenEU) January 30, 2022
Mouvement Réformateur’s President for Brussels Region, David Leisterh, paid homage to “the great gentleman, the great Brussels resident, the great man that was Freddy Thielemans,” adding that “Brussels has lost one its beautiful emblematic figures.”
Beloved across the political spectrum
Didier Wauters, head of the cdH/CD&V group in the City of Brussels, hailed the late former mayor as a “man of conviction and dialogue.”
Freddy Thielemans est à jamais lié à #Bruxelles, notre capitale. Maniant les langues avec brio, il incarnait la Ville qu’il aimait tant. Au nom du @MR_officiel toutes nos condoléances à sa famille, ses proches et amis ainsi qu’aux militants socialistes dont il est issu. #RIP
— Georges-L BOUCHEZ (@GLBouchez) January 30, 2022
Translation: Freddy Thielemans is forever linked to #Brussels, our capital. He was a master of languages and the embodiment of the city he loved so much. On behalf of the @MR_official our condolences to his family, his relatives and friends as well as to the socialist activists from which he came.
For his part, Open Vld president Egbert Lachaert addressed his condolences to the Socialist family which, he said, has lost a “colourful figure.”