Flemish parties quit Brussels language talks

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Wed Feb 2 17:01:50 UTC 2005

Flemish parties quit Brussels language talks

27 January 2005

BRUSSELS A coalition of Flemish political parties which had united against
the French speaking politicians in a bitter spat over the linguistic
future of a Brussels suburb has broken down. Newspapers reported on
Thursday that the fall-out came after a controversial debate on making the
bi-lingual commune of Brussels-Hal-Vilvorde a part of Flanders was
adjourned until 23 February.

The debate should have taken place on Wednesday. The Flemish Social
Democratic Party (SPA) and the Flemish Liberals (VLD)  finally agreed with
the francophone parties to let a working group composed of Flemish and
French representatives attempt to thrash out a solution to the row.

The group will meet every Wednesday from next week in the run-up to the
parliamentary debate. But the decision to delay the talks made the Flemish
Christian Democrats (CD&V) and the conservative New Flemish Alliance
(NV-A) see red. They accused the SPA and VLD of betrayal and announced
they would boycott the working group.

"The CD&V and the NV-A have always been loyal to the case of
Brussels-Hal-Vilvorde," said NV-A president Bart De Wever, accusing the
other parties of failing to keep their word. Although all Flemish parties
want to see BHV become Flemish, the SPA and VLD seem to have finally
decided not to force the government into a constitutional crisis. The
francophone parties had said they would walk out of the parliamentary
debate if the Flemish parties forced it through on Wednesday.

BHV has more Flemish speakers than French speakers, although because of
the large foreign population in the commune, Flemish Belgians are still in
a minority. The working group will look at solutions such as giving
compensation to Brussels for handing the commune to Flanders.

 [Copyright Expatica 2005]


More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list