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André Cools at Saint-Gilles
1 August 1927|
18 July 1991 (aged 63)|
André H.P. Cools (1 August 1927 – 18 July 1991) was a Belgian politician and a senior figure within the Walloon Socialist Party (PS) in the Liège region. He was assassinated in 1991 and the subsequent investigation uncovered widespread graft within Belgium's two socialist parties.
Cools had a long and distinguished political career. He was Belgian budget minister from 1968 to 1971, Deputy Prime Minister from 1969 to 1972, head of the Walloon section of the Belgian Parti Socialiste (PS) from 1973 to 1978, chairman of the national party from 1978 to 1981, president of the Walloon Council from 1982 to 1985, and minister of the government of the Walloon Region from 1988 to 1990. He was also given the honorific title of Minister of State in 1983. In 1990 he retired from the national political scene after an internal power struggle within the PS but he remained influential in the local party in Liège.
Cools was noted for his pithy pronouncements. For example, when in 1984 he commented on who he thought the four greatest United States presidents had been, he said: 'Roosevelt, Roosevelt, Roosevelt and Roosevelt'.
He was shot dead in Liège in 1991.
While the police were investigating the assassination, several scandals involving André Cools became public (like the Agusta-affair).
In 2003, a Liège trial started, accusing Richard Taxquet (former personal chauffeur and secretary for Alain Van der Biest, a Parti Socialiste minister), Giuseppe "Pino" di Mauro, and others of involvement in the Cools murder. In January 2004, Taxquet and di Mauro were sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment.
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