Paul Beliën - 1990 Baudouin Abortion Question

1990 Baudouin Abortion Question

Belien was editor at the foreign desk of the Gazet van Antwerpen, until he got fired in April 1990.

Belien had received information in October 1989, that the Belgian King, Baudouin, would not sign the new abortion law. Although the editor in chief of the Gazet van Antwerpen, Lou de Clerck, found this information to be too sensitive to be published, Belien published it anyway in the Wall Street Journal on 1 November 1989 and also later in NRC Handelsblad. In reaction to this, De Clerck refused to let Beliën write in foreign newspapers, mentioning his relationship to the Gazet van Antwerpen.

An op-ed of Belien for the NRC Handelsblad (published 6 April 1990) mentioned that Belien was working "for a newspaper in Antwerp, which name he could not mention". A couple of days later Beliën was fired. Jos Huypens, deputy editor of the Gazet, said that the cause of Belien's firing was a "conflict that was dragging on for years". Shortly later, the Wall Street Journal published another Beliën piece, detailing the connections between political parties and the media in Belgium.

Leo de Haes, a former journalist at Humo, alleged that Belien was fired in order to rid the Gazet from "Vlaams Blok elements".

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