April 25, 2014 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

Belgian King Not Granting Titles Again

Posted in: Belgium

For the second consecutive year, King Albert II will not bestow aristocratic titles to anyone because of the inability for Belgium’s political groups to form a government. The country has gone for over a year without it, and the King is more than frustrated.

Belgian King Queen 222x300 Belgian King Not Granting Titles Again

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In a rare statement earlier this month, His Majesty said that “given the gravity of the political situation, the King wishes that each of the country’s political leaders take a few days of reflection to measure the consequences of the political situation and seek avenues towards a solution”.

The statement came after another of King Albert’s appointed mediators, French speaking Elio Di Rupo asked to be dismissed from his position after a draft was rejected by the country’s largest political party, the separatist Flemish N-VA.

Party leader Bart De Wever and Di Rupo would never sit side-by-side in a government, said commentator Liesbeth Van Impe in the daily Het Nieuwsblad, forecasting an early election. “De Wever has given Di Rupo, with all due respect, the middle finger.”

Belgium’s troubles are due to decades of tension between the Dutch speaking Flemish people and the Francophone Walloons.

Since there has been no government since June 2010, the country is heading towards financial troubles, with national debt hovering at 100 percent of its GDP. There are fears of another European financial fallout.

Thursday is Belgium’s National Day. It would be interesting to see what King Albert II will say in his annual speech and how the day’s celebrations will go on.

Sources: AFP, LeSoir

Swazi Queen Pleads to be Rescued from House Arrest

Posted in: Swaziland

A year since she supposedly was caught in bed with a former justice minister of her husband’s, Nothando Dube is pleading to be set free from house arrest and the emotional abuse that came with it. Dube, who was King Mswati III of Swaziland’s 12th wife, spoke to a South African newspaper about her troubles.

Swazi Queen Swazi Queen Pleads to be Rescued from House Arrest

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“My side of the story was not heard. Ever since that scandal happened, we haven’t been talking with this man that I married. Things have been bad and now they are worse. I really, really want out and I can’t, he is just not letting me go. It’s like I am in prison; I am under 24-hour surveillance,” she told The Mail & Guardian.

“My friends and family have been banned from seeing me and I really feel like I don’t want to be here any more because I feel like I am in jail. This is not healthy and I can’t live like this forever and I see no point of sticking around.”

23 year old Dube married the King when she was 16 years old and had three children with him, the youngest almost 2 years old. She claims that she cares for her children and Mswati does not. “He doesn’t even know their grades or date of birth.”

While Dube is allowed to see her children, security is tight around them. Last month, she and her eldest child were allowed to leave Swaziland and go to a South African hospital because the child had burn injuries.

“I had so much security with me because they have this mentality that I would run away because my father was South African. Because of their carelessness the residence is not well taken care of and my daughter got burned. They are frustrating my three children and me. I am a human being, I deserve to be treated humanly and not to be enslaved,” Dube said.

A spokesman for the Swazi royal family denied to the Mail & Guardian that Dube was being mistreated.

“I don’t know that. If she has any problems, she must address them with the queen mother, who will then inform the king. She has a beautiful house where she lives with her three children, a maid that works for her and cars that take her anywhere she wants. I don’t know what you are talking about,” he said, and hung up the phone.

This isn’t the first time one of King Mswati’s numerous wives have found that being royal wasn’t all rosy. Six years ago, two of his queens feld the country.

Source: The Mail & Guardian