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Protesters throw confetti over Verhofstadt during TV debate

A live television debate about Europe between the leader of the Liberal Group in the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt and the Flemish Prime Minister Geert Bourgeois (nationalist) was interrupted by climate protesters on Sunday morning. The debate on the Sunday morning topical discussion programme ‘De zevende dag’ between Mr Verhofstadt, who is the first candidate on the Flemish liberal list for the European elections and the first candidate on the Flemish nationalists’ European list Mr Bourgeois was in full swing when the activists struck. 

The activists are members of the global climate action group Climate Rebellion. The first calmly approached the table before throwing confetti over Mr Verhofstadt. Some of the confetti also landed on Mr Bourgeois and on our colleague Lieven Verstraeten. The activists wore elephant trunk mask to symbolise what they describe as “the elephant in the room”.      


The debate was stopped briefly while the protesters were removed from the studio. Mr Verhofstadt had little sympathy for the protesters “Instead of lying down on the ground they would do better to strive for more Europe”, he said.  

Extinction Rebellion’s protest was well prepared, the group that calls its self a citizens’ collective is active in a number of countries. It uses civil peaceful disobedience to make its point. Previously the group interrupted a press conference given by the Federal Prime Minister Charles Michel (Francophone liberal).   

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