Ghent’s candy war: cuberdon salesmen forced to stay 30m apart
Tuesday, 03 December 2019
One of the stalls selling (exclusively) cuberdons at the Groentenmarkt in Gent.
The latest development in the ongoing ‘neuzekeswar’ – or cuberdon war – in Ghent has seen salesman Carl Demeestere told to keep his stand 30 metres away from his competitor, decreasing the 50 metres ban initially put in place.
Salesmen Demeestere and competitor Younes Benzaza, both of whom sell cuberdons – locally know as neuzeke (little nose) – at the Groentenmarkt in Ghent, previously faced each other in court after Demeestere made a host of racist statements directed at Benzaza in a video seen around the world.
Both men have been involved for years in the famous ‘nose war’, in which they compete with each other for customers of the gelatinous cone-shaped Belgian candy from East Flanders. Both vendors say that their cuberdons are the best and claim that the other vendor is using unfair means to steal their customers.
The war reached new heights in November 2017 when Demeestere labelled his competitor as “a beast” and “a piece of shit on two feet that should have stayed in his own country” on a recording. The video – recorded by a tourist vlog- was seen around the world, resulting in a complaint of racism against Demeestere by Benzaza.
According to a subsequent verdict, Demeestere had to stay 50 metres away from his competitor. But his new stand on the other side of the Vegetable Market is only 37 metres away. He therefore asked the Court of Appeal to review this condition and to limit it to 30 metres.
“That way he can stay there. The situation on the Vegetable Market has now returned to normal and it is important for my client that he can keep his stand there. If not, a financial disaster is imminent,” said his lawyer.
As such, the court agreed and reversed the condition, decreeing that Demeestere’s stand should be only 30 metres away from its competitor.
This is not the first time the war has required civil intervention. After a number of incidents between the two vendors in 2014, the Mayor of Ghent Daniël Termont (socialist) decided to temporarily revoke the two traders’ licenses. In 2015 the Chamber of Commerce ruled that the vendor on the right-hand stall should pay a €1,000 penalty payment each time he bad-mouths his rival on the left-hand stall, according to NWS.