As the voting for the EU elections begins today, our Road Trip around Europe comes to an end after visiting 14 countries over 10 weeks. Our correspondents Meabh McMahon and Jona Kallgren are in the Flemish city of Ninove in Belgium, where they listened to the concerns of local people for one last time, just ahead of the last leg of the tour heading to Brussels.
Ninove is a city of about 38,000 people, situated in between Ghent and the Belgian capital. With the red sofa set up in the market square, local people quickly decided to share their views.
Kristelle, a local resident said: “It is very difficult here. Many people are voting for a far-right party called Forza Ninove. I will vote this time, but I don’t have a favourite party yet.”
Tom, a foreign national living in Belgium said he does not feel welcome: “I’ve been living here for 12 years but I feel I am not welcome here. Every time I say something about Israel or about politics, my comments are not welcome.” He goes on: “The people in the EU Parliament, they (should be) equal for everybody and not only for the Belgians. I have been in Belgium for 12 years already and I am going to vote in the EU elections again.”
Another local resident called Matthias thinks racism is a problem in Ninove: “Here 40% (of the people) are for the right, there is one guy, he has 40% (of the vote share). And I think here there are a lot of problems with racism and everything.” He also said he does not want the retirement age changes in Belgium: “We have to work longer, but I disagree. I don't want to work until I am 67 years-old.”
Watch our special report from Belgium on the last day of Road Trip Europe in the player above.