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Bluff or double bluff? 7 March 2013

Posted by cooperatoby in Brussels.
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Here they comeI think I witnessed evidence of the subtlety of the Belgian state yesterday evening.  As I was walking home along the Avenue des Arts, having popped into Filigranes for some wine (a good substitute for books), I found that the rush-hour traffic on the ring, from both directions, was held up the police. Several hundred people were waiting in a kaleidoscope of blue flashing lights for the traffic to clear down Rue Belliard, so that a VIP convoy could set off from the ministerial offices facing the Park de Bruxelles. A jam duly built up, stretching from Arts-Loi to Trône and no doubt further. We waited. The peloton of motorcycle outriders set off across the lights… and we waited some more. Finally the convoy assembled itself and pulled out, saloons with tinted windows, numbered minibuses, tailed by an ambulance from the military hospital just in case. It set a steady pace towards the airport, and then something strange happened. A pair of cars, unmarked but with blue lights and sirens, shot out, swung to the left at speed and entered the ring heading north. Which of the convoys contained Shimon Peres we shall never know.

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