Theo Francken wants ‘historic agreement’ between nationalists and social democrats
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    Theo Francken wants ‘historic agreement’ between nationalists and social democrats

    © Belga

    “We are ready to conclude a historic agreement between Flemish nationalists and social democrats,” Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) parliamentarian Theo Francken said in an interview published on Sunday in De Zondag weekly.

    “These are the two largest political families in this country,” Francken argued. “Such a coalition would be legitimate in every region of the country and that will be necessary for the recovery.”

    For the former Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, the ideal scenario would be to form a new federal government with “a broad agreement on the institutional, socio-economic and – where I am concerned – ecological aspects for the next 10 years.”

    He feels an agreement with Parti Socialiste (PS) President Paul Magnette is possible even though the Flemish nationalists and the French-speaking socialists have greatly divergent positions on many aspects. “We both wish to strengthen purchasing power and increase the lowest salaries,” he noted. “That could be a start. His consumer-credit idea is also interesting.”

    A government involving the P.S. and N-VA “has to function,” he argues, stressing that “the Vivaldi coalition is not an option and this crisis is unprecedented.”

    He also reiterated his call for confederalism. Referring to the results of a recent poll conducted by the VRT and De Standaard daily, which showed that the extreme right Vlaams Belang (VB) party could be the choice of a quarter of the voters, the Flemish nationalist said “that is because of the negotiations.”

    “We are trying to secure a historic agreement,” he added. “That can cost votes, when there is no result. Moreover, many people are angry that Vlaams Belang is not in the Flemish Government.”

    For Francken, the winner of an election has to be part of the government or at least be involved in policy. “That was not possible because no other party wanted to team up with VB.”

    Asked about the possibility of his succeeding Bart De Wever at the helm of the N-VA, the Lubbeek mayor responded that this was “not on the agenda.”

    The Brussels Times