Mr Francken claims that the police were no longer able to guarantee his safety and that as a result of this it was decided that the event should be cancelled. Speaking about the Mayor’s presence at the protest, Mr Francken said “The Francophone socialists are always quick to shout extremist, Nazi or racist but you never hear any arguments from them to back this up. If you constantly call me a Nazi then in time young people will start to think that it is ok to wreck a car”.
Mayor Targnion: “Provocation”
The Mayor of Vervier Muriel Targnion (Socialist) defends her decision to take part in the protest. “This is a Flemish politician that Walloons right feel is an extremist. He came here to the heart of Verviers in a pleasant area and to my mind it’s a provocative act”, the Mayor told RTBF.
She added that "He has come here to present his ideas, ideas that we don’t share. I didn’t ban the lecture as I believe that we should fight extremism with democratic means. It is in a private place. The hotel is a private place and he sent private invitation. He has the right to express himself in a private context. However, we also have the right to demonstrate which is why I am here with the demonstrators”.