Flemish politician calls for weekly Dutch day in Brussels

Flemish politician calls for weekly Dutch day in Brussels

Mondays in Brussels should become “Dutch Day” – a day on which Flemish people communicate exclusively in their own language in Brussels, according to a Flemish politician.

We are already making enough concessions to the French-speakers, said Hendrik Bogaert, of the CD&V.

In an opinion piece for De Standaard, the former secretary of state called on Dutch speakers to only use their mother tongue in the capital on Mondays. “It is the ideal way to show French-speakers how much effort and concessions we make to adapt daily to the strongly frenchified Brussels,” he added.

What is currently happening in Brussels in an ethnocide, said Bogaert. “An ethnocide can lead to certain forms of culture and language being weakened generation after generation and eventually disappearing. The daily micro-aggressions that Flemish people undergo if they want to use their language in Brussels must stop,” he added.

At the end of last year, research showed that 90% of Dutch speakers at the counter switch to French if they are addressed in that language. Even though fewer and fewer Dutch speakers have problems with this according to the VUB language barometer.

Of course, everyone is free to choose their language. By only speaking Dutch for one day, we show that it is all too often Flemish people who adapt, said Bogaert.

Brussels State Secretary Bianca Debaets – Bogaert’s party colleague – emphasised that language choice in Brussels is a private matter. “People are free to speak the language they want.” Politics should not get tired of this, as long as the government’s services are bilingual, she added 

Recent figures from the federal home affairs ministry revealed that four out of ten police officers in Brussels speak no Dutch, in a force which is supposed by law to be bilingual, as previously reported. 

The Brussels Times

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