N-VA Senator Karl Vanlouwe in court because of "illegal" number plate

Karl Vanlouwe (Flemish nationalist) has been found driving with an "illegal" number plate on his car. Vanlouwe replaced the country sign 'B' of Belgium by 'VL' for Flanders, Sudpresse and Het Nieuwsblad write. The federal Mobility Department says this is illegal, but Vanlouwe himself claims it is not.

Vanlouwe replaced the 'B' on his BMW number plate by 'VL' using a sticker. He says he had problems with it in the past. When he was stopped by police, he was given a fine, which he refused to pay. This case is still ongoing in a police court.

The Mobility Department (FOD Mobiliteit) says that Vanlouwe is going against the law, arguing "the letter B on the number plate has to be visible below the European flag". Vanlouwe retorts: "The law says the license plate has to be legible. This is apparently the case because police came to find me. There are older number plates that don't even show this 'B'. Many people have one, but are not being fined." He adds he now awaits the outcome of the court case.

Senate President Christine Defraigne is not amused. She says "the Senator is not worthy of his function". Vanlouwe says he was never officially punished, and that he wasn't even contacted by Defraigne on the subject. Vanlouwe is the First Deputy Chairman of the Belgian Senate.