Queen Fabiola annuls foundation seen as tax dodge
Belgium's Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, right, talks with a plain clothes police officer ahead of an emergency meeting to discuss the closure of an ArcelorMittal plant in Liege, Belgium, in Brussels, Friday, Jan. 25, 2012. The world's leading steel and mining company ArcelorMittal announced Thursday it will close a coke plant and six production lines in Belgium, in a move that threatens 1,300 jobs. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium's Queen Fabiola won't set up an inheritance foundation that was widely criticized as a dodge to shield some of her fortune from the tax man.
Two weeks after she was rebuked by Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, the 84-year-old widow of former King Baudouin announced her decision Friday and apologized that it had created "such negative reactions."
The government had called the queen's plan to create a private fund to deal with her inheritance ethically flawed even if it was strictly legal.
Fabiola, who is childless, insisted that none of the money granted to her by the government — almost €1.5 million ($2 million) a year — would have been used in the new fund, which would only include her private money.