"Abolish Brussels Region"

The leader of the Flemish nationalist party N-VA has drawn the ire of practically every single Francophone politician by suggesting that the Region of Brussels should be buried. Bart De Wever was speaking in a debate on VRT Radio1 on Monday morning.

Mr De Wever told Flemish radio listeners that there could be no question of any extra cash for the Brussels Region as long as the city's institutions were not cleared up:

"Brussels provides employment for 957 politicians. That is one politician for every 6 square kilometres. At the end of the day nobody is responsible. There are 19 mayors, six police zones, social services councils, an entire parliament and a government. This should suffice, no?"

Mr De Wever points to research by the Francophone UCL University that shows that Brussels is not underfunded. It's only poorly governed.

The Flemish nationalists are proposing giving Brussels the powers to govern the city. "The Brussels Region does not need the powers to administer an entire country" he told the world.

Mr De Wever: "I think it was a bad idea to make Brussels a region."

The N-VA is suggesting governing Brussels as a condominium that pools the powers of the two great communities. In this way Flemings and Francophones can share the joys and the burdens on offer in the Belgian capital."

The nationalist leader’s views are not unimportant given the fact that recent opinion polls have consistently shown his N-VA party coming home in first place on 13 June.

This would make the Flemish nationalist party not only Flanders, but also Belgium’s largest political party fuelling speculation in some quarters that he could become Prime Minister, though this is not an office that he actively seeks.