Bart De Wever: "Antwerp needs a stable administration. It's a big port, not a small municipality."
The N-VA leader says he's prepared to work against polarisation and hopes everybody will come to talks with an open mind. He concedes it will take some time before final positions become clear, but then it will be time to see what is possible.
Mr De Wever stressed the need for talks outside the limelight of TV cameras.
Diversity and refugee issues could form a major stumbling block between the two. Isn't a centre right coalition easier? Bart De Wever: "I'm not ruling anything out. The outgoing coalition has my preference, but it has a very slender majority. A stable administration requires a larger majority. Less polarisation and a broader majority is a goal. Admittedly there is a wide gap."
Mr De Wever conceded that this gap existed in particular with regard to diversity, but added that parties would have to make it clear whether differences were bridgeable.
Mr De Wever's party is needed in any coalition in Antwerp. Political analysts also point out that his opening to the greens may be a part of a strategy to diminish the negotiating power of his current coalition partners by suggesting he has an alternative.
Mr De Wever polled a massive 76,702 preferential votes. Filip Dewinter on 18,097 was second.