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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 [1] 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. [2]

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. . . .