While the N-VA’s Theo Francken takes issue, for example, with the approach of Vlaams Belang’s Filip de Winter on at least one issue, he still believes the extreme right party must be taken into consideration in the search for a ruling majority in Flanders.
“Filip Dewinter will end up like Geert Wilders: a total failure,” the former State Secretary for Asylum Affairs is quoted as saying in De Zondag newspaper. “Always talking about Islam, hammering Muslims, is tiring,” he said, adding that while the Nieuw Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) “also has problems with Islam,” the party was not out for “war”.
That said, Francken feels Vlaams Belang needs to have a chance in the negotiations being pursued with a view to forming a majority in Flanders, where the extreme right party made the strongest gains at elections on 26 May.
“Let them bring their proposals to the table, we’ll measure the risks,” Francken said. “If we form a Flemish government, it will be a government for all Flemish people. We shall not yield a millimetre on our inclusive nationalism.”
This is possible with current VB President Tom Van Grieken, when one considers his trajectory, according to Francken. On the other hand, Filip Dewinter, another key figure in Vlaams Belang, is “a big problem,” he said.