Belgian far right protests ‘anti-Flemish’ coalition govt
Several thousand supporters of Belgium’s far-right Vlaams Belang party staged a protest Sunday near Brussels against what they called an “anti-Flemish” coalition government currently taking shape in the country.
They parked some 4,500 vehicles flying yellow flags emblazoned with the Flemish lion in black in the giant car park of an exhibition centre north of the Belgian capital.
Vlaams Belang is the second strongest political force in Belgium’s Flemish region after the nationalist N-VA party.
Party president Tom Van Grieken, addressing the crowd, called on the N-VA to join its fight against what he called “this anti-Flemish and left-wing government”, according to the party’s Twitter account.
Belgium has had no stable parliamentary majority since December 2018, and legislative elections in May last year only made the arithmetic more complicated, as rival Dutch- and French-speaking parties have struggled to agree a programme.
Now a seven-party coalition is nearing consolidation grouping socialists, liberals and ecologists from the two linguistic regions along with a Flemish (Dutch-speaking) Christian-Democratic party.
French-speaking liberal Sophie Wilmes is serving as a caretaker premier conducting everyday business, but her three-party centre-right coalition controls only 38 of the 150 seats in parliament.
The two “formers” charged with putting together the government were set to present the coalition accord to the king on Monday.
The new lineup will face a confidence vote in parliament probably on Thursday.