Vlaams Belang, who are leading the polls, call for splitting Belgium

Vlaams Belang, who are leading the polls, call for splitting Belgium
Credit: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck

Vlaams Belang, currently leading the polls in Flanders, stated on Sunday their demand for a Flemish Government to be established before beginning negotiations for a Federal Government formation following the June elections.

This would be a break in tradition not followed by other Flemish parties in previous elections.

Vlaams Belang is calling for a splitting of the country, beginning with a declaration of sovereignty in the Flemish parliament, the party president Tom Van Grieken, as reiterated on the “Zevende Dag” (VRT) TV programme on Sunday.

Seeking sovereignty: the proposed Flemish partition

This would be followed by five years of separation negotiations, resulting in a partition treaty, preceding a declaration of independence, he added.

As a far right formation, Vlaams Belang is rejected by all other parties, albeit less so by N-VA, which fundamentally opposes the idea of cordon sanitaire (refusal of Belgian parties to cooperate with the far-right).

If Vlaams Belang came out top at the polls in Flanders, Van Grieken stated that he would take the lead and invite all other parties for talks at least once, seeing more potential alliances with N-VA and possibly with CD&V on socio-economic issues.

Van Grieken differs from Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch right-wing extremist party, who came first in last month’s early elections in the Netherlands, by stating that he has no intention of announcing any willingness to compromise or abandon any aspects of his programme before the post-election Flemish negotiations.

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