A presentation by the Secretary of State for Migration and Asylum, Theo Francken (New Flemish Alliance) anticipated to take place yesterday evening (Tuesday), at the Free University of Brussels was cancelled. This came after students blocked the entrance. Both Theo Francken and the Free University of Brussels Rector, Caroline Pauwels, condemned the action by the students.
An hour before the presentation was due to start, some 50 to 100 students, asserting that they had leftist leanings, blocked the entrance to the auditorium where the Secretary of State was expected to arrive.
Once it was evident that they would not move and the university authorities could not ensure security at the event, the presentation was cancelled.
This is the first time that the Secretary of State has had to abandon such an event. He has previously delivered presentations at the University of Leuven and Ghent University.
Mr Francken commented, “The other students should be allowed to listen, and if left-wing extremists are not interested that is their problem. However, it is not because they are not interested in the way that others are, that this minority do not wish to hear how the Belgian political system is run, and the effect that this has on the country.”
The Rector of the university considered the situation unacceptable and has called for an inquiry.