Belgium: Parliament rejects ban on free alcohol

The Belgium Parliament has rejected a proposal by a member of the ethics committee to ban free beer and wine in the parliament building. Members of the Belgium Parliament receive free drinks since the 1990s when the governing body realized that a free drink prevents members of parliament from walking out in the middle of regularly scheduled meetings.

The unnamed ethics committee member argued that “some MPs tend to become quite unpleasant if they have been drinking.” Furthermore removing free alcohol would “improve the quality of debate.”

Siegfried Bracke, speaker of the Belgium parliament was asked to reconsider this policy but decided against it after consultation of the involved party leaders. 

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