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Papers must print VB ad

Published on 04/06/2007

4 June 2007

BRUSSELS – Newspapers Gazet Van Antwerpen and Het Belang Van Limburg and free paper Metro must publish an advertisement for Frank Vanhecke, chairman of extreme right party Vlaams Belang, by 10 June. The Standaard and a number of other papers are not required to print the ad.

The enterprise chamber of the court in Brussels decided this today in preliminary proceedings, Bart Siffert, the lawyer representing the VB chairman, announced. If the newspapers fail to print the ad they will be fined EUR 2,500.

The Standaard is not being forced to print the ad. Corelio, the publisher of the Standaard, has maintained in the past its right to refuse publication of an ad. “In offering advertising space we retain the right to refuse advertisements, without the need for further justification,” says Geert Steurbaut, member of the board at Corelio. The court appears to have recognised that this has always been the publisher’s policy.

Frank Vanhecke had started proceedings against the publishers of five Flemish newspapers, their publishers and advertising companies because all five refused to print an election ad for his far right, anti-immigration party.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news