Calls to extend nuclear reactors anger Belgian green parties

Calls to extend nuclear reactors anger Belgian green parties
Credit: Belga

Gilles Vanden Burre, parliamentary leader of the French-speaking green party Ecolo, has pushed back against a recent motion to extend the lifespan of Belgium's nuclear reactors introduced by Belgium's former energy minister Marie-Christine Marghem (MR).

The French-speaking liberal party MR is one of Ecolo's coalition partners. Divisions within the Federal Government were opened on Thursday regarding the issue of nuclear power, with Marghem crossing party lines to join the opposition in signing a motion to extend the lifespans of Belgian reactors.

Vanden Burre accused MR of betraying loyalty within the governing majority by going against the energy policy of Belgium's current energy minister Tinne Van der Straeten (like Vanden Burre a green politician but for the Flemish Groen party).

He called attention to the government agreement that had already been reached and signed by both parties. This only allowed the extension of Belgium's two most recent reactors – Doel 4 and Tihange 3.

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Vanden Burre cited recent controversy sparked by MR criticisms of the Federal Government and portrayed them as a disloyal coalition partner.

"We have agreements within the majority to enable us to function and today they were not respected," Vanden Burre concluded.

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