Expatica news

Flemish tourism boss ‘bans word Belgium’

2 February 2005

BRUSSELS – A Flemish minister in charge of tourism was accused on Wednesday of trying to ban the word ‘Belgium’ and the use of the national flag in promotional literature.

Geert Bourgeois, a member of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), which wants Flanders to break away from the rest of Belgium, wrote to the representative of the Flanders Tourist office in Germany stating that the use of the word ‘Belgium’ should be avoided.

According to Le Soir, which reported the events, Bourgeois instructed Pascal De Laet to use the expression ‘Flanders-Brussels’ instead.

The office was preparing to promote Belgium’s 175th anniversary.

Bourgeois also told De Laet not to use Belgium’s national colours in any of the promotional material.

He threatened that the Flanders government would pull its funding if the colours were used.

De Laet sent Bourgeois’ correspondence to his colleague, Marc Goulier, at the francophone tourist office who in turn took the matter to his bosses.

Bourgeois declined to comment on the story while his press office denied he had sent the correspondence.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news