Over the past few day a lot has been written and said about the man leading the talks to prepare the way for negotiations that will lead to formation of new Flemish Government Bart De Wever. Earlier this week Mr De Wever invited the far-right Vlaams Belang for a second round of talks.
On Friday Mr Bracke, who failed to be re-elected on 26 May, announced that he was retiring from politics. He believes that his party should talk to Vlaams Belang and calls the “cordon sanitaire” “a concept from a different age”. Mr Bracke describes the way in which the Flemish liberals and the Flemish Christian democrats closed the door on Vlaams Belang immediately after the elections as “not sensible, not wise”. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that he believes that N-VA is going to jump into bed with Vlaams Belang.
Siegfried Bracke believes that the far-right gained ground for a number of reasons. The issue of migration was one of them, socio-economic issues were another. However, “the way in which we conduct ourselves in politics in this country”, also played a role.