‘Ready to organise the resistance’: Flemish right reacts to government agreement
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‘Ready to organise the resistance’: Flemish right reacts to government agreement

Credit: Belga

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.

Francken’s colleague and N-VA House leader Peter De Roover tweeted his summary of the new government: “Flanders can pay but not decide.”

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.

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.

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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.

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.”

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times