It was all going according to plan. Launching their campaign for June’s European elections, Liberals from the EU had gathered in Brussels.
And then their gathering was gatecrashed by uninvited guests. Demonstrators burst into the conference hall to defend the rights of illegal immigrants. The protesters were swiftly ejected, with security men on hand. The plight of illegal immigrants is particularly high-profile in Belgium, with hundreds staging a hunger strike, in different locations, in the hope they will be granted legal status. As some demonstrators struggled with their captors, others spelt out their demands. The government however has warned it will not give way. Latest reports say hunger strikers occupying an underground car-park in Brussels have now ended their protest. Because of the medical problems they have suffered, they could be allowed to stay in Belgium, legally, for three months. After that, their future remains uncertain.