Sex and Second Life

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Belgium’s new gay Socialist premier: Elio Di Rupo

BRUSSELS, Dec 6 – Elio Di Rupo, who becomes Europe’s second openly gay government leader when sworn in on Tuesday as Belgium’s new premier, is a 60-year-old career politician with a storybook background.

Born to an Italian coalminer father and illiterate mother in a 1951 migrant shanty-town, Di Rupo will be the first French-speaking leader of language-divided Belgium in more than 30 years and its first Socialist prime minister in almost four decades.
A statement from Albert II’s palace said late on Monday: “The King this evening received Elio Di Rupo at Belvedere castle and named him prime minister.”
He takes over from Flemish centre-right caretaker premier Yves Leterme after negotiating an end to the longest political impasse in the country’s history – a dubious world record 541 days without a government.
According to a just-released book of interviews, he came out a little by chance in the mid-1990s after being wrongly accused of abuse during the scandal caused by Belgian serial child killer Marc Dutroux.
He is quoted as saying: “‘This is totally false,” I said as a crowd of journalists milled around. One of them said: ‘But people say you’re homosexual?’ I turned around and said ‘Yes. So what?’ I’ll never forget that instant. After my reply everything went silent. It was a sincere reply, the truth.’”
Tactically astute, Di Rupo has been hailed for striking coalition deals that kept his party in office in a string of governments. He also successfully steered it through a series of devastating corruption scandals.
But his one black mark is his controversially poor Dutch.
His thick laboured accent is all the talk in the media, particularly after mixing his verbs in a recent speech by calling on Belgians to drink (drinken) when he meant to say it was urgent (dringen) to agree to austerity.
He’s ready to be prime minister, apart from his Dutch,” said the biggest Flemish daily Het Laasste Nieuws.
I’m going to work on it,” Di Rupo promised. “I will reply in Dutch in parliament, even with mistakes.”
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This entry was posted on December 6, 2011 by in Belgium, Elio Di Rupo, premier, SPIKE CLEMENCEAU.

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