King invites far-right leader for talks at the palace

Belgium’s Head of State King Filip is continuing his round of consultative talks with the leaders of the party that got MPs elected to the Federal Parliament in Sunday’s elections.  

For the first time in 41 years the leader of the far-right party now known as Vlaams Belang has also been invited to the palace for talks with the monarch. Unlike after the December 1978 election when the leader of what was then Vlaams Blok, the late Karel Dillen, turned down the late King Boudewijn’s invitation, Vlaams Belang’s leader Tom Van Grieken is meeting the King this morning.  

Before Mr Van Grieken, the King met with the leader of the Francophone Christian democrats Maxime Prévot. After having met will the leader of Vlaams Belang, King Filip will meet with the leader of the far-left PVDA-PTB Peter Mertens at 11:45am.    

Mr Mertens has told VRT News that it is the third time that the King has invited him. Mr Mertens added that he intends “to pass on the country’s social concerns to the King”.