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Belgium's Flemings push for own free state

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Belgium's Flemings push for own free state


A group of Belgian right-wing politicians have again pressed their case for a Flemish state not joined with a Walloon state. As a protest against Belgium having no government for just over a year now, the Vlaams Belang party leader, Philip De Winter, briefly renamed the ‘Rue de la Loi’ in Brussels: ‘Flemish Street of Independence’. The police took his sign down.

De Winter said: “After one year of negotiations without any results I think it’s clear that there should be an alternative, and that alternative is the independence of Flanders and the independence of Wallonia. We need a Flemish republic because doing what we are doing now has no sense.”

There was some light pushing and shoving between politicians and police standing in the way of any more sign changing. Handcuffed protesters were carted away.

General elections last year failed to produce a new government and show-cased the divisions between Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia. This goes on. The Flemish separatists N-VA, led by Bart de Wever, hold the key to a deal.

Leader of the French-speaking Socialists, Elio Di Rupo is having another go at negotiating with the Flemish, who complain they are subsidising Wallonia in the south. If Di Rupo gets nowhere, there will be elections again.

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