Belgian officer who criticised 'Flemish-isation' reinstated

2nd November 2010, Comments 0 comments

A French-speaking colonel in the Belgian army, who was relieved of his command after having denounced a "Flemish-isation" of Belgium's army, was reinstated on Tuesday by a top administrative court.

Luc Gennart, who was prevented from taking part in a military ceremony last week and ordered to relinquish his post four weeks early on November 3, was told he was free to return to his command, Belga news agency reported.

Gennart fanned the flames of longstanding linguistic differences between Belgium's French-speaking Walloons and Flemings by suggesting that Dutch-speakers controlled the Belgian army.

"The Flemings decide everything," Gennart told RTBF public television station in unusually blunt remarks for the military, with the French-speakers "shunted aside," he said, either sent "to schools or overseas."

His remarks come amid an ongoing political crisis in Belgium, which remains without a new government four months after elections.

Last week, King Albert II tasked a Flemish socialist senator to mediate between French speaking parties and breakaway-minded Flemish hardliners.

© 2010 AFP

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