King’s day starts with “slap in the face”
Flemish minister decides against appointment of mayors nominated by francophone parties.
15 November 2007
BRUSSELS – Belgium celebrates King’s Day today but not much celebrating of national unity seems to be in store. The decision from Flemish minister Marino Keulen not to appoint three mayors nominated by francophone parties in municipalities on the Brussels periphery has been received in the francophone camp as a “new provocation.”
“Flemish minister Marino Keulen’s decision is a new slap in the face for the francophone parties, at a time when the francophones are waiting for a sign from the Flemings to sit down at the negotiating table.” Democratic humanist party (CDH) leader Joëlle Milquet said in a reaction.
The decision is “entirely undemocratic,” Milquet said in a statement. “While the country needs reassuring signs in order to get the dialogue between the communities back on track, the VLD minister is sending out just the opposite kind of signal.”
Francophone liberal François-Xavier de Donnea warns this could lead to a delay of months. “The francophones will oppose this ridiculous decision en masse. This will cause weeks, even months of delay to the formation and create an unbelievable amount of trouble.”
The francophone party FDF says the failure to appoint the three mayors is a “provocation from minister Keulen.” The party noted that CDH member Myriam Delacroix-Rolin is being appointed in Sint-Genesius-Rode. Damien Thiéry, the rejected mayoral candidate put forward by the FDF in Linkebeek, says Keulen’s decision is aimed at frustrating the formation process and driving a wedge in the francophone front.
“An insult to the francophones and democracy.” With these words Olivier Maingain has launched a call on “all francophone parties to unit with the UF (Union des francophones), the party of the francophones in the periphery. Maingain wants to work out a common position and counterattack,” Le Soir writes on Thursday.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news