Communists to administer first Flemish town

The far left communist party PVDA is to administer the town of Zelzate together with the socialist party.  It's the first time that the far left is involved in the management of a Flemish municipality.  The socialists and the communists decided to form a coalition on the local council following the local elections.

The PVDA or Labour Party will get two city cabinet posts, but the mayor of Zelzate will be a socialist.  The communists will be responsible for public works, well-being, budget, social affairs, youth, housing and environment.  The city cabinet will have two fewer members.  Monies saved in this way go to combatting poverty.

The coalition promises an “honest, democratic, warm and social policy”.  It's planning a tax shift that will mean lower taxes for 600 independent professionals like shopkeepers.  The biggest businesses in Zelzate including steel giant Arcelor Mittal will foot the bill for this measure.

In earlier interviews the PVDA's first city cabinet member Geert Asman labelled himself a “careful revolutionary”.  He opposed the sale of the local nursing home and wanted a change in the tax regime that saw everyday people pay 87% of local taxes with big business only contributing 13%.


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