Jonas Roosens

Veto against Vlaams Belang hits rocky ground

Flemish nationalist supremo Theo Francken has called for the Vlaams Belang manifesto to be held against his own party's programme and ideology to discover how much agreement there is.  Mr Francken was speaking after his own N-VA lost seats in the general election, while the far right Vlaams Belang was the big winner of the election.

Mr Francken is heading his party's negotiating team for the federal government formation talks together with Jan Jambon.

"Excluding Vlaams Belang from the start would be the silliest we could do.  I want to know how much their view corresponds with our programme and ideology."

In recent days claims surfaced insisting that both parties had brought the same message facilitating the success of Vlaams Belang.

"This is based on nothing" says Theo Francken.

"Perhaps the analysis should have been that traditional media made Vlaams Belang great by ignoring what people think. It's easy to apportion blame, but I wasn't punished for my tweets!"

"We've always been a trendsetter on social media with a great team, but Vlaams Belang has overtaken us.  Social media are more important than ever: they set the agenda and crucially play on certain emotions."

Mr Francken underlined his opposition to the exclusion of Vlaams Belang, the so called "cordon sanitaire".