“Nationalists are channeling funding to Antwerp N-VA, to Brussels’ disadvantage”

The Brussels Budget Minister Guy Vanhengel (Flemish Liberal) has accused his party’s coalition partners in the Flemish and Federal Governments, the Flemish nationalists of “channel all the Flemish and federal funding to Antwerp to the detriment of Brussels and other cities”.

Mr Vanhengel’s claims appear in an interview with the Sunday free-sheet ‘De Zondag’. Mr Vanhengel also reaffirmed his unwillingness to enter into a coalition with the Flemish nationalist if this is on the cards after next year’s regional elections. He says that this is no other reason that “the way that the party looks at Brussels”.

"I will even say more. What is happening now is very unhealthy. Bart De Wever (the nationalist party leader) and the Nationalist Party are channelling all the Flemish and Federal money to Antwerp. This is to the disadvantage of Brussels and other cities”.  

Mr Vanhengel went on to say that the country’s two biggest cities need each other.

"What is Antwerp without Brussels? Nothing. Our country’s two economic motors need each other. Years ago Guy Spitaels was vilified for favouritism towards Hainaut. Today I don’t hear anyone say stop even though Brussels’ growth is being stunted”. 

In October Mr Vanhengel will stand as a candidate on the Mayor’s List in his home municipality of Evere. The list is made up of candidates from the Flemish and Francophone socialists, the Flemish Christian democrats and the Flemish liberals.