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Yearbook 1999

1999 BelgiumBelgium. Finally, the Belgians got something to look forward to - the fairytale wedding between Crown Prince Philippe and Belgian noblewoman Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz. After the pedophile and dioxin scandals, which gave the country a disgraceful reputation, the Belgians froze in this romantic event, which took place on a cold and frozen December Saturday. It is the first time since the nation was formed in 1830 that Belgium received a native crown princess. No wonder that during the autumn, pure Mathilde fever prevailed throughout the country, which would otherwise appear as a divided nation because of its different cultures and languages.

1999 Belgium

Just a few months before the royal house announced the engagement between Mathilde and Philippe, the population was subjected to a food scandal in the class of mad cow disease in the UK a few years ago. Chickens and cattle had been fed with feed poisoned by dioxin. The shelves in the shops were emptied of anything that could contain contaminated meat, eggs or dairy products. Chicken, steak and veal, salami, milk and cheese were removed, as well as everything containing eggs, e.g. pasta and cookies. Finally, the shelves of the grocery stores gaped empty. For several weeks people were delusional and did not know what to eat. When they thought the danger was over, a new alarm about dioxin in pigs came. The dioxin scandal had such serious consequences for the Belgian business community that the government was forced to revise its growth forecast for 1999 from 2.0 to 1.7%.

According to Countryaah official website, the scandal involving dioxin-poisoned foods became the culprit for the Belgian population. When it was discovered in early June that Belgian chickens, cattle and pigs had been fed dioxin-poisoned feed, it emerged at the same time that the government had known about the dioxin danger for a couple of weeks without warning the public. The dioxin scandal was revealed two weeks before the parliamentary election, which became a major defeat for both Flemish and Walloon Christian Democrats. Winning the election became the Liberal parties, the Flemish Flemish Liberal a Democrat, VLD, and the Walloon Party Reformer Libéral, PRL. With VLD's Guy Verhofstadt as Prime Minister, the Liberal parties now lead a coalition government together with the two Socialist parties Socialist Party, SP, and Parti Socialiste, PS.

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