Bart Dhondt, claimed on Tuesday, “Ecolo-Groen is opposed to the prohibition of wearing the veil by staff behind counters in public administrations, but we are alone in this point.” He is one of the leaders of the Brussels Groen party. He reacted thus to the contents of an article in De Standaard, which indicated that the Greens agree to such prohibition in Brussels. In Antwerp, the Leader of Groen, Wouter Van Besien, argues for the removal of the prohibition.
Disseminated in the Tuesday morning edition of De Standaard, the article puts forward the wish of the Antwerp Greens to bring an end to the prohibition of wearing the veil, and maintaining the prohibition, in Brussels, where the Ecolo-Groen grouping is preparing to enter a majority coalition with the Socialists, led by Philippe Close. The current and future Mayor is a staunch defender of the principle of neutrality, including in outward symbols worn by municipal officers.
Bart Dhondt said, “We have achieved a non-strengthening of the prohibition and the Cabinet’s decision around labour regulations is to be applied in the city of Brussels.” He says that, under the previous legislature, the Conservative-Liberal Reformist Movement (MR) in the majority were wanting a strengthening of the prohibition.
Mr Dhondt acknowledged that the Ecolo-Groen grouping, in principle opposed to the prohibition, currently have no political partner with which to give concrete expression to this point of view.