The Flemish nationalist N-VA, Belgium's largest party, was particularly critical on Wednesday. Other parties have now followed suit.
VRT's Brigitte Vermeersch explains that at present there is great sensitivity for anything that smacks of tax avoidance: "The Belgian government put the general tax issue on the political agenda. It is important to say that the queen is not doing anything illegal by using a foundation, but politicians feel that it's unsuitable for the royal family to establish constructions to stick on to as much public money as possible. In addition to her private means and what she inherited from King Boudewijn, the queen also received 27 million euros from the public purse to fulfill her duties. Some lawmakers have suggested that mixing up private and public means is a problem."
The Francophone liberals too are highly critical of what the dowager queen is doing. They are also unhappy with the religious side of the matter. The queen's foundation can dole out cash to her nieces and nephews and their children, but only to those who married as Roman Catholics.