PM calls for “responsibility and nuance”

The Federal Prime Minister Charles Michel (Francophone liberal) has called on those involved in the debate surrounding the repatriation of a number of undocumented Sudanese migrants to maintain a sense of nuance and responsibility. The Prime Minister hopes that his words will encourage the members of Federal coalition to close ranks and appears to be an attack on simplistic statements issued by those on both sides of the debate.

Mr Michel’s words come after he was criticised for not having done enough to quell the flames of discord on the issue between the parties that make up the federal government coalition.

Mr Michel talks of "regular campaigns of disinformation” that have led him to want to “dot the i's and cross the t's”.

"It was a conscious decision on my part to govern with the necessary restraint. The issue of repatriations to Sudan is a sensitive one, one that requires some sense of perspective. This merits more that simplistic words and caricatures in one direction or the other".

The Prime Minister is remarkably vague. However, reading between the lines it is becomes clear that his words were directed at both the opposition and the communication strategy of the coalition party N-VA (Flemish nationalist). However, the Secretary of State responsible for asylum and migration Theo Francken (Flemish nationalist) is not named.

"The decision to expel the Sudanese was taken by the Aliens Office. While deciding on expulsions the Aliens Office makes an analysis based on whether article 3 of the European Treaty on Human Rights that bans inhumane and humiliating treatment is likely to be breached. Such an analysis precedes each and every expulsion”. Mr Michel also points out that expulsions to Sudan have stopped.

Closing ranks

The Prime Minister is trying to get his government to close ranks after the recent criticism levelled at the Secretary of State responsible for asylum and migration Theo Francken by prominent Flemish Christian democrats whose party is also in the federal coalition.

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