“Brussels to become capital of Flanders”

The far-right Vlaams Belang party is to focus on the future of Brussels at a conference on Saturday. The party's leader Gerolf Annemans on Friday insisted that in the end the people of Brussels would take the safest way out and join a Flemish republic.

Mr Annemans told radio listeners this morning that his party still wanted Flanders to become independent and stay in the EU. He pointed to the co-federal plans of the Flemish nationalist N-VA: "They are still thinking within a Belgian framework and they get stuck when it comes to Brussels! We have said goodbye to this framework and are calling for a Flemish republic with Brussels as its capital. Wallonia will be a separate state with its capital in Namur. The Flemish institutions will be located in Brussels."

Mr Annemans insisted that even if Brussels becomes independent after the break-up of Belgium, the people of Brussels will have to go cap in hand to Flanders sooner or later."

Under the Vlaams Belang's plans for Brussels the Belgian capital will become an integral part of Flanders. The Brussels Regional Government will disappear, but Francophones will continue to enjoy special rights.

Gerolf Annemans: "Don't you fear, French will still be spoken in Brussels!"