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Belgian Fascist/Separatist Party Gains in Parliamentary Elections

Com­ment: The Vlaams Blok, a party advo­cat­ing the par­ti­tion­ing of Bel­gium into French and Dutch speak­ing enti­ties, has done very well in recent elec­tions. The Vlaams Blok has strong fas­cist over­tones and is closely con­nected to other Euro­pean Euro fas­cist par­ties and individuals.

“Sep­a­ratist Party Wins Big in Bel­gian Elec­tions” by Robert Welaard [AP]; Yahoo.com; 6/13/2010.

Excerpt: A sep­a­ratist party that advo­cates inde­pen­dence for the Dutch-speaking region of Bel­gium, leav­ing the country’s Fran­coph­o­nes to fend for them­selves, scored an unprece­dented win in Sunday’s gen­eral election.

Final results gave the Dutch-speaking New Flem­ish Alliance — a fringe fac­tor until now — 27 of the 150 leg­isla­tive seats, up 19 from the 2007 vote.

The elec­tion out­come was seen as a clear warn­ing to Fran­coph­o­nes to nego­ti­ate seri­ously about grant­ing Dutch– and French-speakers more self-rule, or Dutch-speakers will bolt.

The New Flem­ish Alliance drew votes away from Pre­mier Yves Leterme’s out­go­ing coali­tion of Chris­t­ian Democ­rats, Lib­er­als and Social­ists — all split into Dutch– and French-speaking fac­tions — whose three years in office were marked by endur­ing lin­guis­tic spats that remained unresolved.

The Alliance’s suc­cess marked the first time a Flem­ish nation­al­ist move­ment over­took tra­di­tional parties.

Bel­gium com­prises Dutch-speaking Flan­ders in the north and French-speaking Wal­lo­nia in the south. Brus­sels, the offi­cially bilin­gual but largely Fran­coph­one cap­i­tal, is a third region.

Just about every­thing in Bel­gium — from polit­i­cal par­ties to broad­cast­ers to boy scouts and vot­ing bal­lots — comes in Dutch– and French-speaking versions.

Even char­i­ties such as the Red Cross and Amnesty Inter­na­tional have sep­a­rate chapters.

Bart De Wever, 39, leader of the New Flem­ish Alliance, urged “Fran­coph­o­nes to make (a coun­try) that works.”

In the elec­tion cam­paign, he accused eco­nom­i­cally back­ward Wal­lo­nia of bad gov­er­nance, immu­nity to reforms and oppo­si­tion to the Flem­ish desire for more self-rule.

But if De Wever becomes pre­mier of this coun­try of 6.5 mil­lion Dutch– and 4 mil­lion French-speakers, he will head a coali­tion gov­ern­ment that will inevitably force him to tone down his inde­pen­dence talk and nego­ti­ate for more regional self rule within Belgium.

True to tra­di­tion, the big win­ners in Wal­lo­nia were the Social­ists who won 26 seats, up six. Their leader, Elio di Rupo, also a would-be pre­mier, said: “Many Flem­ish peo­ple want the country’s insti­tu­tions reformed. We need to lis­ten to that.”

On Mon­day, King Albert is expected to begin talks with key politi­cians on what sort of gov­ern­ment can be formed. In 2007, gov­ern­ment for­ma­tion lasted more than six months.

Con­sti­tu­tional reform has gone far. Flan­ders and Wal­lo­nia already have auton­omy in urban devel­op­ment, envi­ron­ment, agri­cul­ture, employ­ment, energy, cul­ture, sports and other areas.

But Flem­ish par­ties want to add jus­tice, health and social secu­rity to that. Wal­lo­nia fears mak­ing social secu­rity a fed­eral respon­si­bil­ity marks the end of Bel­gium as a uni­tary state.

The divide goes beyond language. . . .


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