Expatica news

Flanders struck by image crisis

12 July 2004

BRUSSELS – Flemish people are hard-working, entrepreneurial and productive – but are too inward looking, according to a new poll released on Monday.

A survey conducted among foreign ambassadors to Belgium by the Flemish administration also revealed that the rise of nationalism and increased support for the far-right Vlaams Blok are perceived to be the largest threat to the

The survey was launched by Flemish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Patricia Ceysens, as part of a Festival of the Flemish Community.

Of the 170 ambassadors who were contacted, 55 took part.

Despite recognising the qualities of the Flemish, the ambassadors were clear that their tendency to be obsessed with their own regional issues instead of being more outward looking was a definite weak point.

In 21 percent of cases, the ambassadors also denounced what they saw as a move towards nationalism, regionalism and provincialism.

The Vlaams Blok emerged as the single most popular political party in last month’s regional elections in Flanders.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian News