The family, made up of two parents and three children, originally came to Belgium because the father needed a liver transplant operation that was not available in Albania. They stayed in Belgium after the operation because the father continued to need medication.
A protest was organised in Charleroi last week by the children’s schools in response to a decision by Belgian authorities that the father is now sufficiently healthy to return to Albania.
At a city council meeting, Magnette instructed local police not to deport the family, a move for which he is facing criticism and accusations of political disobedience.
Paul Magnette, the strong man of Charleroi, living in Liège? With his companion, he bought, a few months ago, a home in the historic heart of the Ardent City. But for personal reasons. Nothing to do then with any political aims.
“We are surprised to read the announcement of Mr. Magnette in the press, especially since he has never mentioned it before. All authorities must respect the law. This applies to both ministers and mayors. A mayor who encourages a family to stay illegally in Belgium and announces that it is forbidden for the police to execute a deportation is outside his powers,” said a spokesperson from the office of Maggie De Block (Open Vld), Le Soir explained.