Bouchez and De Wever exchange blows over Flemish independence

Bouchez and De Wever exchange blows over Flemish independence
Credit: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck

The Flemish nationalist leader Bart De Wever (N-VA) and Georges Louis-Bouchez, who leads the Francophone liberal party MR, have entered into a war of words after De Wever claimed to “not really like” Bouchez.

The main point of contention between both politicians seems to be De Wever’s push for Flemish independence, while Bouchez also criticised the nationalist's political achievements. The MR leader describes himself as a proponent of Belgian unionism.

He told LN24 on Tuesday that “Bart De Wever is someone who has been discussing confederalism for twenty years and has not succeeded in reforming the state.”

Bouchez added that “I'm not saying he's a loser, but I do find it misplaced of him to talk about the concrete actions of others.”

Bouchez's words are in response to De Wever's words expressed during an interview with Bel-RTL on Sunday, De Wever explained that his dislike was due to the liberal having a lot to say, while also “imagining a lot,” which "is often far from reality.”

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Nonetheless, the clash will have come as a blow to the Bouchez, who recently stated his preference to re-enter into government with De Wever's N-VA after next year’s elections. 

In early April, he stated that his party MR would be the Flemish nationalists’ “best partner” on socio-economic issues, with both parties sharing a similar economic programme based on their liberal and free-market views.

Moreover, both parties had previously been in government together between 2014 and 2018, which Bouchez had praised as "way more efficient” than the current Federal Government.

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