Flemish PM only has 4 immigrant staff

The Flemish Prime Minister Geert Bourgeois (Flemish nationalist) has said that he wants to have a think about target employment figures for members of the immigrant minorities in ministers' private offices. At present only 4 of the Premier's 34 staff have a foreign heritage.

Earlier in the week the Flemish leader called on employers to recruit more immigrants.

Employment levels among immigrants in Flanders hover around 46%. This contrasts unfavourably with the European average of 58%.

Quizzed by VRT Mr Bourgeois noted that 12% of his staff were members of the ethnic minorities adding that he didn't really work with targets and recruited people on the basis of ability: "Very specific issues are involved. You need experts in very specific domains. Sometimes you arrive at a good mix, but not always."

No specific recruitment targets exist for ministers' private offices, but the Prime Minister says he's ready to have a look at the issue. For Flemish civil servants there is an 8% target: 8% of Flemish civil servants should belong to the ethnic minorities and that's a figure that was increased by the new coalition accord.