New Conditions Demanded After Congo Curfuffle

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The government has proposed the creation of a new code of conduct for King Albert’s youngest son, Laurent, after his involvement in several recent scandals.

The annoucement follows last month’s visit by the 47-year-old prince to the Congo, a former colony of Belgium, against the wishes of both his father and the Belgian government. While there he met with President Joseph Kabila without diplomatic clearance from the foreign ministry.

Advisors to the prince have said that the discussions regarded environmental issues, an issue Laurent has spoken on several occasions in recent years.

Prime Minister Yves Leterme told parliament on Thursday that the new conditions, which could reduce Laurent’s annual stipend of around €300,000 “should make a continuation and repeat of the unacceptable activities and behaviour impossible.”

Earlier this week an advisor to Laurent further antagonized relations with the royal palace and the Belgian government by complaining to the Flemish radio and television magazine Humo that the palace plays a bizarre role in such disputes.

As third child of the king, Laurent is unlikely to become king.