Thousands of Flemish in anti-French protest

10th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

10 May 2004, BRUSSELS - Thousands of Flemish people took to the streets on Sunday to demand that French-speaking political parties be banned from presenting candidates in a large Brussels electoral district.

10 May 2004

BRUSSELS - Thousands of Flemish people took to the streets on Sunday to demand that French-speaking political parties be banned from presenting candidates in a large Brussels electoral district.

The protest took place in the Brussels-Hal-Vilvoorde (BHV) electoral district.

BHV is a 'mixed' area, which means both French and Dutch-speaking parties can campaign there during next month's regional and European elections.

But the protestors want it to be re-designated part of Flanders so that only Flemish parties can stand. 

A group of mayors from 28 Flemish towns have already threatened to boycott next month's polls if French-speaking parties are allowed to canvass in BHV.

While there are more Flemish than French speaking Belgians living in BHV, the Flemish are nonetheless in a minority in the district.

This is because BHV has a large population of voters from other European Union countries.

Flemish inhabitants account for 48 percent of local residents, French speakers 32 percent and the EU expats, who have the right to vote in the June poll and tend to back French-speaking parties, make up 20 percent.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news

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