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Flemish Interest risks loss of public funding

Published on 30/11/2005

30 November 2005

BRUSSELS — The Council of State is to investigate whether extreme-right party Flemish Interest still has a right to public funding following recent inflammatory comments from party leader Filip Dewinter.

The necessary quorum of one-third of the commission of inquiry for election spending has requested the investigation after Dewinter said his party was “Islam phobic” in a recent interview with the US newspaper ‘Jewish Week’.

The Socialist PS asked Parliament speaker Herman De Croo on Thursday to examine the possibility of having the Council of State initiate proceedings to cut a percentage of the Flemish Interest’s finding.

The Francophone Socialists were responding to calls from multicultural youth group Kif Kaf and the French-speaking anti-racism organisation MRAX.

In the election expenses commission of inquiry, the Socialist SP.A and Spirit have backed the PS demands. The French-speaking Democrat Humanist CDH had earlier sided with the PS party also.
A head count indicated one-third of the commission supports the complaint, allowing for the dossier to be handed over to the Council of State. The council will now investigate whether Dewinter’s comment breached the European Convention of Human Rights.
The Flemish Interest risks losing part of its public funding for a period of three months to a year, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported on Wednesday.

The SP.A stressed that legislation states that breaches of the European convention must be assessed by an independent organisation, the Council of State. It said the same should apply to the current complaint against the Flemish Interest.

However, the Christian Democrat CD&V and Liberal VLD have refused to back the procedure. They said it would be better to confront the Flemish Interest in a parliamentary debate.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news