Jonas Roosens

Victorious Vlaams Belang: “This is a Sunday of hope”

 

The surge of the far right Vlaams Belang is the news of Sunday’s general election.  Vlaams Belang now becomes the second party of Flanders, but Flemish politicians have been in a similar position before.  In the early noughties Vlaams Belang was even Flanders’ largest party.

What isn’t new either is the decision of all other Flemish parties not to work, govern or collaborate with the far right.  This is the so called cordon sanitaire introduced in 1991 after the first breakthrough of the Vlaams Blok, the Belang’s predecessor.

Tom Van Grieken, Vlaams Belang leader, now hopes his success will be sufficient to trash this cordon.  Liberal leader Rutten, though, has already made it clear as far as she is concerned this isn’t going to happen.

In a victory speech Mr Van Grieken told supporters that this election was about “our people” and that “our people” must come first. The Vlaams Belang leader called on supporters not to laugh with the losses of others: “Be generous in this, our beautiful victory.”

“This isn’t a Black Sunday (a reference to the 1991 general election) but a Sunday of hope.  We wish to assume our responsibility.”

Jonas Roosens