Bourgeois: “We need to close ranks”

The Flemish Prime Minister Geert Bourgeois (nationalist) has called on the coalition parties to stop squabbling. Mr Bourgeois’ call came after a number of incidents between member of his party and the Christian Democrats. On Friday morning the Federal Justice Minister Koen Geens (Flemish Christian democrat) called for better cooperation between Federal and Flemish governments.

In recent weeks there have been a number of clash between nationalist and Christian democrats. These include the Federal Secretary of State Zuhal Demir’s (nationalist) claim in a newspaper interview that the Flemish Christian Democrats see Muslims as nothing more than ballot fodder. In Friday morning’s radio interview Mr Geens let it be known that Ms Demir’s words came over as hurtful.

Despite calling for better cooperation and less squabbling between the coalitions parties, Mr Geens took a swipe at the Flemish Government Minister Liesbeth Homans (nationalist). He accused Ms Homan of failing to consult with the Federal Government about the revoking of the official recognition of the Fatih Mosque in Beringen (Limburg).

Ms Homans plans to do this based on a document drawn up by the State Security Service that falls under the authority of the Justice Minister, Mr Geens.

"I regret the clash and I thing that people are tired of it too. Consequently I call on the party that make up the coalition to stop squabbling. Discussion between coalition parties should be kept behind closed doors”, Mr Bourgeois told VRT News.

"All parties and I stress, all parties should show respect towards each other. As far as I am concerned, we need to close ranks”.