"Just nicely f**k off"

Wednesday’s report on the decision by the municipal authorities in Menen to get officials at the town hall only to speak Dutch or use pictograms if people do not understand attracted a wealth of comment on our flandersnews facebook page.

One mischievous commentator said he would be posting all comments in Dutch from now on, but we think this was tongue in cheek. That is unless you say different, Kenny.

Here is a selection of what you wrote:

Damir Hadzic: “Why don't they just put a sign (in Dutch, of course), on every road leading to municipality and on all public buildings: foreigners NOT welcomed. That would make it clear to everybody.”

Eric de Regnaucourt: “Ridiculous. Expats bring a lot of tax revenue, and they expect to get some service from their municipality in return -- not to be the pawn in a nationalistic game. Refusing to speak with people in anything but Dutch doesn't encourage people to learn Dutch... it encourages them to hate Belgium and Flanders, and leave as soon as they are able.”

Chalee Bee Ng: “I speak Dutch as 3rd language. Every day-life I use English but when I have to speak Dutch then I speak Dutch, so, OK I get the point of having to respect the country (or region, to be precise) and learn to language and so on so on... but this, I find a bit exaggerating. This is not encouraging; this is saying "If you don't speak Dutch, we don't care what your reasons might be, just nicely f**k off."

Zinhle Khumalo-Schrama: “What do other Belgians have to say about this? This is pure and utter XENOPHOBIA!!!!! What about expats and foreign people who are contributing to the economy? Should they not get helped? I'm so glad that my days in this stupidly racist little country are nearing an end. At least my children are going to grow up celebrating diversity and not learning this narrow-mindedness of the people here. My 5 year old son actually has to tell the teachers in his school that his mommy doesn't speak Dutch and he will speak with me in English and nothing else!!!!! Imagine that - even a school encouraging a 5 year old not to speak his mother tongue with his mommy while on school grounds!!!!!! How sick can some people be??????/// Completely disgusted!"

Kjeld Spillett: “Surely the primary function of municipal authorities is to serve the inhabitants, taxpayers and visitors to that municipality. Of course it is preferable that business is conducted in the local language, however the needs of the user of municipal services should come first - regardless of their linguistic ability.”