N-VA and Vlaams Belang are ‘pitting people against EU,’ says MEP
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
The parties are "abusing the pandemic to inflame the population against the European Union." Credit: Belga
The Flemish rightwing N-VA and far-right Vlaams Belang parties are spreading false information about the new coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis to turn people against the European Union, according to MEP Kathleen Van Brempt.
The parties are “abusing the pandemic to inflame the population against the European Union,” said Van Brempt (socialist sp.a) in a Twitter thread.
Vlaams-nationalisten verspreiden desinformatie met xenofobe saus. #COVID19
Van Brempt pointed to a tweet by federal MP Tomas Roggeman, which claimed that the EU was paying Morocco €450 million in “European corona money” while Flanders would only receive 6 million, according to him. Vlaams Belang MP Dries Van Langenhove relayed the same comparison.
€450 miljoen Europees coronageld naar Marokko (516 besmettingen)
€6 miljoen Eur coronageld naar Vlaanderen (7064 besmettingen)
“The truth is that no €450 million of ‘corona money’ goes to Morocco, and that Flanders does not receive ‘only’ 6 million from the EU either,” Van Brempt said. “As far as the latter amount is concerned, it concerns the reallocation of existing funds from the cohesion funds that can now also be used for Covid-19, but that is only a tiny fraction of the support measures that the EU issues,” she added.
“What N-VA, but Vlaams Belang too, are doing now, is deliberately and maliciously spreading disinformation and pouring a xenophobic sauce on it, with the intention of exploiting a pandemic to stir up the population against the European Union,” said Van Brempt.
Last week, N-VA MEPs were among the only ones in the European Parliament to abstain during a vote on the redirection of these funds, partly because Wallonia was receiving more than Flanders. On Monday, Belgium even abstained during a vote on approving €37 billion in EU funding for member states’ response to the coronavirus, as Flanders did not accept the distribution key.