Last week I mentioned that the Belgian parliament has rejected advice from an independent integrity committee to ban the distribution of free beer and wine to MPs. Free booze was introduced in the late 1990 to discourage parliamentarians from sneaking off to the pub during debates.
This has become quite an issue over the past few days, with some saying that the free booze should be scrapped to improve the quality of debate while others (mainly MPs) have denied that there is any problem at all. However a compromise has now been reached and, while the federal parliament will continue to serve beer and wine, MPs will now be expected to pay for it.
Coffee remains free, as it should. For everyone.
However, as Politico notes:
It is unclear how much drinks will cost. Alcohol will remain free of charge in the regional parliament of Flanders, which had a similar policy, its speaker said last week.