Flemish parties reject 'block the blok' plan

28th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

28 April 2004, BRUSSELS - Flemish political parties have rejected a plan put forward by their French counterparts that would have prevented the far-right Vlaams Blok from being able to bring the Brussels regional parliament grinding to a halt, it was reported on Wednesday.

28 April 2004

BRUSSELS - Flemish political parties have rejected a plan put forward by their French counterparts that would have prevented the far-right Vlaams Blok from being able to bring the Brussels regional parliament grinding to a halt, it was reported on Wednesday.

Three French-speaking parties - the socialists (PS), the centre-right reform movement (MR) and pro-environment party Ecolo - wanted to change the way votes are weighted between Dutch speaking and French speaking parties in the Brussels chamber. 

They say their plan would not have decreased the influence non-racist Flemish parties have in the parliament. But it would have prevented the Blok, which was last week declared legally racist by a Gent court, from gaining a controlling vote in the chamber if it scores well in next month's regional elections.

But the Flemish socialists (SP.A) and the Flemish Liberal Democrats (VLD) rejected the plan on the grounds that it was an attempt by the French speakers to gain the upper hand in bilingual Brussels.

MR parliamentarian Olivier Maingain expressed disappointment but little surprise at his Flemish colleagues' actions.

"The amendment would not have diminished the Flemish influence at all," he told Le Soir newspaper.

"We will have to wait to find out what their plan is. If they think that by allowing the institutions to become gridlocked they will achieve some institutional gains they can forget it!" he added.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news

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