Verhofstadt upbeat after euro poll
14 June 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt on Monday insisted that his party had fared pretty well in a European election that saw governments across the EU hit by protest votes.
Speaking after final election results were announced Verhofstadt said the score for his Flemish Liberal Democrat (VLD) party was, “not as bad as all that”.
The VLD secured 13.5 percent of the vote and managed to retain its three seats in the European assembly.
Ruling parties in many other European parties fared far worse, losing large numbers of MEPs.
Before the poll many commentators predicted the VLD would suffer a resounding defeat, with many of the party’s core Flemish voters angry at recent government initiatives.
However, the voters seem to have used the regional elections, which were held on the same day as the euro poll, to vent their anger with Verhofstadt’s team.
The French Socialist Party fared well in the Euro election, winning one new seat in the EU assembly and bringing its total number of Members of the European Parliament (MEP) up to four.
The centre right Flemish Christian Democrats also increased their number of MEPs from three to four.
The far right Vlaams Blok fared well too, mirroring the success of far-right and nationalist parties in many other European countries.
They won an extra seat and now have three MEPs.
Full Euro election results are available at:
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news