In respect of the UNIA scandal, the Flemish deputy Yasmine Kherbache (of the Alternative Socialist Party) stated yesterday (Sunday), “I believe that this is clearly a smear campaign.” She went on, “The only party which was systemically resorting to this tactic was Vlaams Belang. Now the New Flemish Alliance is making copies of their receipts.”
She was responding to criticisms levelled at UNIA by Liesbeth Homans and Zuhal Demir. UNIA is the former federal centre for equal opportunities.
On Saturday, the new federal Secretary of State, Zuhal Demir, specifically asked if UNIA had done enough to fulfil the purposes for which it had been originally been established.
Amongst other things, she considered the centre had made itself look “ridiculous” by only opening up recruitment procedures for women, implying that there had actually been a form of reverse discrimination on UNIA's part.
At the same time her party colleague, the Flemish minister, Liesbeth Homans, questioned the objectivity and neutrality of the organisation. This was on account of it refusing to defend the interests of “migrants.”
Yasmine Kherbache talks of an outburst of hysteria, resting upon the excess of erroneous information. The Flemish Socialist indicates, “Notably, Zuhal Demir confirms that UNIA had focused too much upon the discussions around Père Fouettard, but Demir is confusing the institution with the minority forum Minderhedenforum.”
The Flemish Socialist adds that this is not the first time that the party [the New Flemish Alliance] has attempted to do this and considers that, henceforth, the direction which it wishes to take is clear.
The Brussels Times