Wednesday, 30 September 2020
Future opposition parties N-VA and Vlaams Belang took to twitter on Wednesday morning to react to the news of Belgium’s new government agreement.
During Belgium’s last elections on 26 May 2019, Flanders voted overwhelmingly to the right, with N-VA obtaining just under 25% of the vote and the far-right Vlaams Belang gaining just over 24%.
Both parties, however, missed out on being part of the new government, as 493 days later, an agreement was reached for a coalition made up of socialists, liberals, green parties and the Flemish Christian democrats.
“Purple-green government landed. Flemish lion hung out. In protest,” tweeted N-VA’s Theo Francken. The Flemish lion (Vlaamse leeuw) is Flanders’ official flag. Francken lamented that the new government has “no Flemish majority. No confederal envelope. No democratic legitimacy in Flanders.”
N-VA has repeatedly pushed for a confederal Belgium, in which the country would be split into two confederate states capable of making their own political decisions.
“We will fight this project on land, at sea and in the air. From Opgrimbie to De Panne,” Francken said, calling on people to also hang out their Flemish flag and post a photo of it.
Paarsgroene regering geland. Vlaamse leeuw uitgehangen. Uit protest.
Geen Vl meerderheid.
Geen confederale omslag.
Geen democr legitimiteit in Vl.
We z dit project bestrijden ter land, ter zee en id lucht. Van Opgrimbie tot De Panne.
Hang uw vlag ook uit en post een foto! 💪 pic.twitter.com/sHeH2welAU
— Theo Francken MP (@FranckenTheo) September 30, 2020
Francken’s colleague and N-VA House leader Peter De Roover tweeted his summary of the new government: “Flanders can pay but not decide.”
Vivaldi-project samengevat. pic.twitter.com/TCGhuafVXm
— Peter De Roover (@PeterDeRoover1) September 30, 2020
Meanwhile, Vlaams Belang president Tom Van Grieken tweeted that his party is “ready to organise the resistance” while the new government is ready to divide ministerial posts.
— Tom Van Grieken (@tomvangrieken) September 30, 2020
Later, during new prime minister Alexander De Croo’s press conference about the agreement, Van Grieken tweeted that “De Croo talks about ‘respect’ in his press conference, but where is the respect for the Flemish majority? What a hypocritical attitude!”
Vlaams Belang has been vocal about its opposition to the Vivaldi government, blocking the Rue de la Loi last week because the Rue de la Loi blocks Flanders, and organising a mass protest at the Heysel on Sunday.
The new government also faced criticism from the left-wing Workers’ Party, with its president Peter Mertens denouncing that “this is just the same policy of the previous government” and adding that the new policy is not what people voted for on in May last year.
Dit is gewoon zelfde beleid als de vorige regering. Het is liberale continuïteit: er komt géén miljonairstaks, géén verlaging pensioenleeftijd naar 65 jaar (ondanks alle beloften), en de lonen blijven geblokkeerd. Daarvoor hebben mensen op 26 mei niet gestemd. #delinkseoppositie pic.twitter.com/v52eZfLWVN
— Peter Mertens (@peter_mertens) September 30, 2020
Even within the government parties, the new agreement is receiving criticism, with Flemish liberal Ward Vergote leaving his party as “a coalition has been formed with parties that are going to make demands that I do not support.”
The Brussels Times