Far-right Vlaams Belang calls for drastic measures to curb Antwerp drug violence

Far-right Vlaams Belang calls for drastic measures to curb Antwerp drug violence
Credit: Belga

The far-right Vlaams Belang party has demanded that the Antwerp city council meets early to discuss the increasing drug violence in the area, after at least three attacks took place in one week.

A series of explosions took place in the Antwerp districts of Borgerhout and Deurne last week, which are thought to be linked to conflicts in the international cocaine smuggling environment.

"The neighbourhoods are in the hands of the drug mafia," said Antwerp municipal councillor of Vlaams Belang Filip Dewinter on Flemish radio on Monday morning.

"We have to stop the hostile takeover of whole Antwerp neighbourhoods. The legal upper world is making way for the criminal underworld," he said. "The mayor and the police commissioner are being replaced by the drug baron and the mafia boss."

'More than tired of underdog attitude'

In a reaction to the explosions last week, mayor Bart De Wever said that "the Federal Government does not see organised crime as a priority," and that "the safety of our city is not important to the politicians in Brussels."

Dewinter, however, is "more than tired" of the way "De Wever is positioning himself as the underdog," and said that "he cannot continue to hide and pass the buck to others," he said, demanding an early meeting of the Antwerp city council so that the mayor can be called to account.

"It is high time that other and much more efficient means than the present ones are used to put an end to this once and for all," Dewinter said. He and his party propose operation 'Hades' to tackle the drug mafia by creating "a shock effect."

"We want the army to be deployed and a national crisis cell to be set up to coordinate security policy," he added.

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