United Press International in its article ‘Gadhafi Lights Up Brussels’ about Gadhafi’s visit to Brussels of April 27, 2004:
…’The Moammar Gadhafi road show rolled into Brussels Tuesday, complete with a Bedouin tent, khaki-clad female bodyguards and cheering Congolese supporters, as the Libyan president embarked on his first visit to Europe for 15 years’…
… ‘In recent months, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi have both been greeted in a similar tent as they made pilgrimages to Gadhafi’s desert headquarters to reward Tripoli for renouncing its support for terrorism and halting its nuclear program.’
… ‘In a break with tradition, European Commission President Romano Prodi personally greeted Gadhafi at the airport and drove with the colonel’s motorcade to the drab EU district of Brussels.’
… ‘The two men arrived at the commission’s headquarters to a riot of color as hundreds of pro-Gadhafi supporters thronged for a glimpse of the African liberation hero. The Libyan leader is used to this kind of stage-managed adulation, but Prodi — a bashful former economics professor — is more accustomed to people protesting against him than for him.’
…’Beating drums and dancing in the spring sunshine, the mainly Congolese supporters wore T-shirts with Gadhafi’s craggy features and waved banners with such unlikely slogans as “Vive la Belgique” and “Gadhafi — Defender of the African People.” Some even held placards venerating Prodi, the much-mocked commission president whose term expires in November.’
… Not everyone was delighted by the red carpet rolled out for the man once described by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan as a “mad dog.” After its first fact-finding mission to Libya for 15 years, Amnesty International released a report slamming “on-going human rights violations, a continuing failure to investigate and resolve past abuses and a climate of fear in which most Libyans are afraid to raise concerns over current and past violations.”
… Several dozen Libyan civil rights campaigners also held their own counter-demonstration just yards from the official welcoming committee. Holding placards comparing Gadhafi to a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” the protestors accused the Libyan strongman of being a “criminal,” a “terrorist” and a “murderer.”
… ‘Gadhafi, who still describes himself as “the world revolutionary leader” on his Web site, is due to meet with Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and local businessmen and parliamentarians before heading back to Tripoli Wednesday.’
…’Given the sudden improvement in relations between the West and Libya, this will probably not be the last time the West’s former enemy No. 1 steps foot on European soil — especially as Tripoli now looks set to become a member of the EU’s Euro-Med process aimed at bringing free trade and democracy to the bloc’s southern flank.’
Photo: Guy verhofstadt and Moammar Gadhafi
Guy Verhofstadt: A wolf in sheep’s clothing
In 2004, Verhofstadt was suggested as a candidate to replace Romano Prodi as the next President of the European Commission.
On July 1, 2009 he was elected President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament.
Verhofstadt is also a member of the Club de Madrid, an organization of more than 80 former statesmen.
Since 2012 is Verhofstadt a Board Member of the Brussels-based, Brussels-quoted Sofina holding (petroleum gas and oil platforms). He can look forward to a fee which is in line with that of the other directors, who last year received an amount between 42.000 134.000 euros. The Belgian industrialist Viscount Etienne Davignon is Honorary Director of Sofina.
Verhofstadt on Lybia: “The weak position of the EU makes me sick”
Verhofstadt on Syria: “Today we face three crises: Syria, the failure of our foreign policy, Cyprus, the failure of our euro policy and Hungary, the failure to uphold our European democratic principles and values”. – “The time for peace talks is over, we need action now. If the UN doesn’t react, then NATO should”. – “The European Commission knows what needs to be done, so they should go ahead and use every means possible, including less orthodox ways if needed”.
Verhofstadt pleads on a fanatic and, in a certain sense, ridiculous way, for weapon deliveries to the so called Free Syrian Army ‘otherwise we risk seeing many more children die from starvation and cold’.
Because of his economic views and his young age, he became known as “Baby Thatcher“. Another nickname from that era is “da joenk“, a Brabantian dialect expression meaning “that kid” (in a pejorative sense, referring to his rather iconoclastic and immature style).
Photo: Verhofstadt and General Selim Idris