Flemish nationalists to strengthen ties with Netherlands
The Flemish Interest party says no to merger; yes to more cooperation between the two regions.14 May 2008
FLANDERS - The Flemish nationalist party Flemish Interest wants to strengthen ties with The Netherlands.
Its leader, Filip de Winter, feels that the regional government of Flanders should initiate cooperation in areas other than language, culture, education and science.
These remarks follows a proposal by Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders for a merger between The Netherlands and the Dutch speaking region of Belgium.
De Winter said that a merger would be taking things too far, but said that Flanders should have the courage to "look toward the north much more than it's doing now".
The Flemish Interest wants Flanders to break away from federal Belgium and continue as an independent Flemish state. The party has much popular support but no actual power as other parties have barred it from taking part in government coalitions.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]