Yvan Verougstraete joins Les Engagés and wants to make it a winning political enterprise

With his big bruises, his elegant silhouette and his very elaborate ideas, Yvan Verougstraete is a political oddball. This Saturday, during the signing of the manifesto of the Committed (the new CDH), Yvan Verougstraete will present himself as candidate for the vice-presidency of the party, announces Moustique magazine on its website. He made a huge bet, that of an innovative centrism and engine of a new path for Belgium. For him, politics cannot be the opposition of two blocks that are inveighing against each other. “There are good people everywhere like Thomas Dermine at the PS or Alexia Bertrand at the MR. But we have to rebuild society. The positioning of the Committed is to seek the best solution for everyone and not to address a only part of the population.”

Les Engagés, a start-up like Medi-Market

CEO of Medi-Market (the chain of para-pharmacy products), his genius idea, until June of last year, he gave up his position in full success for the sign and while he had been named manager of the year in 2020. For him, the former CDH, who became “Les Engagés” is like one of his start-ups that he managed to transform into a successful company. “To achieve this, you need two ingredients: good ideas and a good business plan and, then, the right teams that will be winners. I want to win with Les Engagés because I have the strong conviction that they are the ideas that need, in fact.”

He made Medi-Market because two things have always annoyed him: notaries and pharmacists. “Pharmacists organized themselves as a cartel where everyone followed the maximum recommended price without competition and the proper functioning of the market. They said they were liberal but they acted with privileges”, he pleads. His slogan for Medi-Market was “democratize health expertise”. It was a political act. “Well, to democratize the notarial act, it’s more complicated”, he said, laughing. A few months ago, he said to himself that to have the maximum impact, he had to go through politics and get involved. He wants to be useful and have an impact for the global good. He doesn’t go into politics to get a job because he doesn’t need it. But he believes that things can be done differently and that the Engagés project makes sense.

How ? He chooses one proposal among 150. “We must carry out a real tax revolution. No more taxes. But taxation must become virtuous again. The State is puncturing today where it is easiest, on work. I am for the globalization of tax. There is no reason that when you earn money, you should not be taxed except when you work. It’s more than a slogan that says to tax the rich. We need virtuous taxation and environmental. You have to dare to globalize income. And then make a much more logical progressiveness. Today, we are very quickly very heavily taxed and we try to compensate for that with tax loopholes that don’t make sense. “

His role model is Obama

His reference in politics is Obama. Downright. Yvan Verougstraete also looks at Emmanuel Macron. “But he was a banker at the start. I am an entrepreneur who made meals prepared with workers. I think he missed not being close to people“He has always been at the side of his workers and employees, he says. Moreover, his friends find him leftist while his career is that of a right-wing business leader. Politics is was his passion from the start. At 18, he was the young municipal councilor of Belgium, during the time of the PSC. He had Dominique Harmel on his right, Joëlle Milquet on his left and Benoit Cerexhe who was doing the synthesis. Laughing, Rheto, he had written that what he wanted to do later was President of the Republic. Then turned away from it. He did not want to be transformed by politics and run after the votes. He flew to d other challenges.

And the Christian pillar in all this? “Les Engagés have broken with the fact of being the representatives of a religion since the cdH of Milquet. With Les Engagés, a step further is taken in humanism which is the opposite of consumerism, exploitation of the land and is open to sharing with future generations”he asserts. “We think the state has a very strong role to play. There has to be a referee and rules of the game. But that’s not why the state has to be a player on the pitch like the socialists do it with always more public jobs.”

Simplify Brussels

Very Brussels, he castigates all the “brolls” that have been created such as linguistic sex. It does not correspond to what the people of Brussels experience as a reality. “We must abolish the linguistic colleges, reduce the number of parliamentarians, who are 89 because we have two opposing linguistic groups. To find a job in Brussels today, you have to speak Flemish. The only ones who shouldn’t are the politicians. They should be required to pass a language test.”

He gets on well with Maxime Prévot, who as president “had the courage to put everything back together”. He has admiration for Joëlle Milquet. Father of Valentine, Victor and Pierre, he considers the environmental crisis to be fundamental. It aims for energy reduction through behavior and technological developments. And you have to do it with a business plan. “Today, politicians have not been able to stick to quantified and global objectives. We hide behind a tree while the forest is burning. We must say what the CO2 budget is for the next month and find out if we are in the nails or not.”

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