Nicolas Maeterlinck

Who is the new Flemish PM?

Jan Jambon (Flemish nationalist) becomes the new Flemish prime minister.  He has bags of experience and is clearly rearing to go.

 

Mr Jambon succeeds Geert Bourgeois (Flemish nationalist), who has now switched to the European Parliament.  N-VA party leader Bart De Wever had been tipped for the job, but preferred to stay on at city hall in Antwerp. Mr Jambon, who earlier served as Belgian interior minister, has been leading the coalition talks since August.

People who know him well describe him as a committed Flemish nationalist, the Mayor of the Antwerp town of Brasschaat.  This didn’t stop him serving as deputy premier in the Belgian government.  An IT expert by profession he’s also a good communicator. Jan Jambon is 59.  He worked for IBM, SD Worx and Bank Card Company and was elected as a federal MP in 2007. He became floor leader for the N-VA in 2008 and landed home affairs and security as well as a deputy premiership in the first Michel government.

Despite his nationalist credentials he earned respect on the other side of the linguistic divide and is said to have a good relationship with outgoing premier Michel despite the N-VA’s spectacular departure from the government last year over the global compact on migration. The nationalists didn’t want Belgium to sign this UN document. Mr Jambon was interior minister at the time of the Brussels attacks.  He attempted to resign, but this was refused.