Trans­parency Roils a For­mer Dic­ta­tor­ship

Bloomberg Businessweek (Europe) - - GLOBAL ECONOMICS - “Busi­ness is not govern­ment. He had to learn that the hard way”

gov­er­nance. With a pop­u­la­tion of 1.2 mil­lion, Brus­sels has “six po­lice de­part­ments and 19 dif­fer­ent mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties,” Bel­gian In­te­rior Min­is­ter Jan Jam­bon said in a speech last year. He then com­pared Brus­sels to huge New York. “How many po­lice de­part­ments do they have? One.”

Squab­bles be­tween Flem­ish- and French-speak­ing re­gions have led na­tional au­thor­i­ties to hand over more power and tax rev­enue to their re­gional coun­ter­parts. One re­sult is a short­age of law en­force­ment per­son­nel at the na­tional level: The govern­ment ad­mit­ted last year that its 750-per­son se­cu­rity ser­vice had 150 slots un­filled be­cause of bud­get con­straints.

The coun­try’s lead­ers, dis­tracted by lin­guis­tic and cul­tural quar­rels, “were un­able to de­velop an in­tel­li­gent pol­icy” to draw im­mi­grant fam­i­lies into main­stream so­ci­ety, says Leo Neels, di­rec­tor of the Itin­era In­sti­tute, a Brus­sels-based think tank fo­cus­ing on so­cial is­sues. Neels and oth­ers have long ar­gued that Brus­sels, a bilin­gual city that’s home to the coun­try’s big­gest im­mi­grant pop­u­la­tion, should be des­ig­nated as a fed­eral district sim­i­lar to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., with a uni­fied govern­ment. Politi­cians have re­jected the idea, he says.

Un­der Bel­gium’s con­sti­tu­tion, or­ga­nized re­li­gions deemed to of­fer “so­cial value” are of­fi­cially rec­og­nized by the govern­ment, which pays cler­ics’ salaries and pen­sions. But when Is­lam was granted of­fi­cial sta­tus in the 1970s, Bel­gium ac­cepted Saudi Ara­bia’s of­fer to fi­nance new mosques and send Saudi-trained imams to of­fi­ci­ate. Un­like in other Euro­pean na­tions where home­grown Mus­lim in­sti­tu­tions have taken The bot­tom line Brus­sels’ frac­tured mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment, as well as the weak­ness of Bel­gium’s cen­tral au­thor­i­ties, gave ter­ror­ists an open­ing. Paraguay makes pub­lic agen­cies dis­close em­ployee pay Ho­ra­cio Cartes, a busi­ness­man who was elected pres­i­dent of Paraguay in 2013, has an un­usual past for a re­former. He spent four years as a fugi­tive from Paraguay to­ward the end of dic­ta­tor Al­fredo Stroess­ner’s regime, over

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