"We need to keep a cool head and let reason triumph over emotions”

The Federal Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peeters (Flemish Christian democrat) has said in an interview that the Federal Government should remain focussed and not allow emotions to take the upper hand in its day-to-day running. Speaking on VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’, Mr Peeters added that the current federal coalition agreement runs until 2019 and not until this October’s local elections.

Over the past few weeks the controversy surrounding the deportation of a number of Sudanese transit migrants has been a source of discord between the federal coalition parties.

"I think that we have acted well, we have asked for an independent investigation. We can’t make judgement until there is a report. Beyond that it is a matter between Theo Francken (the Secretary of State responsible for asylum and migration and the Prime Minister.

Contrary to the impression that is given there is good cooperation between the ministers in the Federal Government. People expect us to deal with serious issues seriously and not via Twitter”, Mr Peeters said.

The Deputy Prime Minister went on to warn against a hardening of the tone in political debate.

"It’s a widespread phenomenon with Trump being the best example. It’s a way of doing politics that I deplore. We should be careful that we don’t descend into this in Belgium. It is moving in that direction when you start sending around a photo of camel”, Mr Peeters explained.

He was referring to a tweet by the Flemish nationalist leader Bart De Wever in which he send a photograph of a yawning camel in response to the Flemish Christian democrat leader Wouter Beke’s remarks about the Sudanese deportees.