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Public money paid for Reynders’s Légion d’Honneur ceremony
The ceremony at which foreign affairs minister Didier Reynders was awarded the Légion d’Honneur was paid for with public money, it has been revealed. On March 27, Reynders was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. As reported in Le Vif at the time, the ceremony, which was held at the Palais d'Egmont, was attended by 318 Belgian and foreign dignitaries, 16 of which were then treated to a celebratory dinner. The total cost of the ceremony was €4,886.65, which was paid for not by Reynders himself but by the foreign affairs ministry. Green party MP Georges Gilkinet takes exception to the ceremony being paid for with public money, claiming it sets a precedent which now makes the Egmont Palace open to anyone who receives a foreign award. "I'm glad to hear that every Belgian citizen awarded the Légion d’Honneur will be allowed to use the Palais d'Egmont free of charge," he said ironically.