Belgium’s general election appears to have brought the country closer to a split after the separatist Flemish party of Bart de Wever emerged the strongest force in parliament.
The 39 year-old NVA leader favours a break up of Belgium’s Dutch and French speaking factions as a way of ending a long-running political divide.
His party is projected to take 27 seats, up 19 from the 2007 election. There was a mixed reaction in Belgium’s divided communities.
‘‘There is a very clear signal from Flanders that things cannot continue as they were in the past. And we are very happy that it went that way…..’‘
If you know Belgium you know that there are two opposite states in Belgium which have proved that they have nothing to offer each other any more,’‘ one man said.
‘‘There will be some economic costs for Belgium because we look like a bunch of jokers abroad so foreign investors are a bit suspicious. There will be and economic backlash,’‘ another woman said.
It was also a successful outcome for the French speaking socialists. They emerged the second largest party.
Belgium’s King Albert is expected to summon leaders in an effort to try and form a coalition.