Sander Loones, the New Flemish Alliance Vice-President, is seeking “allies who think that Belgium is no longer a country but the sum of two countries.” He said this today (Thursday) on La Première radio station. He stated, “As far as I am concerned, the sixth state reform was the last. Now we wish to have an adult conversation in favour of confederalism.”
Head of the think tank Objectief Vlaanderen, (which roughly translates as “The Objective of Flanders”) Mr Loones intends to create a stronger support base for the confederalist ideas of his party in Flanders.
However he also wishes to target French-speaking areas. Their participation would be necessary to develop the country’s institutional structure within a confederalist state.
He explained, “We are not a revolutionary party. We want evolution not revolution. We know that it is difficult to change anything in this country. We are therefore seeking the [necessary] majorities.”
The New Flemish Alliance second in command thinks that there is “an appetite for community policy-making” developing in the south of Belgium.
This is in particular the case, for example, when he hears “Ms Onkelinx (from the Francophone Socialist Party) speaking of a movement in the Flemish direction, and adopting everything Flemish.”
He is seeing evolution in the behaviour of the French-speaking community, which previously confined itself to “Edith Piaf style politics of the ‘no, nothing at all’ variety” on community issues.
Mr Loones says that confederalism would give back to the people, the policies which they voted for.
He says, “A large number of French-speakers wish to vote for the PTB (Workers’ Party) or the PS. They have the right to desire a centre-left or leftist policy. The only way to guarantee them this” is confederalism.