Tension is mounting in Belgium between French and Dutch speakers ahead of regional and European elections.
Several towns on the outskirts of Brussels have decided to stop French language campaign posters from being put up, even though municipalities are responsible for providing billboards for all the candidates. The Dutch-speaking mayor of Afligem said that town hall staff from will do the rounds checking posters every day and will cover over any French ones they find with white paper. Three towns outside Brussels are at the heart of the protest – sparking anger amongst French-speaking candidates. One of them warned: “If we find out that the town of Afligem is continuing with this project, we’ll lodge a complaint in court, and we could push it through in a few days.” The latest incidents are a stark reminder of tension between the two language communties, which came to a head in 2007 in a political crisis that is still not resolved.