CD&V goes soft on the Blok

16th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

13 November 2003 , BRUSSELS – Opposition Flemish Christian Democrat (CD&V) leader Yves Leterme caused uproar after he said his party should have no qualms about voting for "sensible" propositions put forward by the extreme right Vlaams Blok group.

13 November 2003

BRUSSELS – Opposition Flemish Christian Democrat (CD&V) leader Yves Leterme caused uproar after he said his party should have no qualms about voting for "sensible" propositions put forward by the extreme right Vlaams Blok group.

 
The comments were seen as breaking the “cordon sanitaire” (quarantine line) pact among Belgian's mainstream political parties by which they have agreed never to officially recognise, nor collaborate with, the extreme right.

“The policies have to be evaluated through respect for the 750,000 people who vote for the Vlaams Blok – if they make acceptable propositions, why not pass them?” said Leterne, president of the CD&V in an interview with the Belgian daily La Libre Belgique.

“At the regional level, the Vlaams Blok recently suggested that footpaths be widened so as to allow wheelchairs to pass – must we vote against this simply because it was put forward by a Vlaams Blok party member?” he continued.

Leterme insisted that not all those who vote for the Vlaams Blok are racist and intolerant. Rather than voting against a multicultural Belgium, they are voting against a system which is failing to function, like on issues of insecurity in many neighbourhoods, he claimed.

The Flemish Greens (Ecolo) lashed out against the CD&V’s proposals Wednesday, calling them electoral calculations and asking the question whether the move signalled that the CD&V was no longer shocked by a far right party line.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

 

Subject: Belgian news

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