New Flemish Government wins confidence vote after opposition leave chamber in protest at failure to provide figures

MPs from the three parties that make up the Flemish Government have voted to give the new coalition government their confidence. The vote took place at around midday and came after the four opposition parties had left the chamber. They did so in protest at the government’s refusal to provide them with the figures contained in the new Flemish Government’s budget. 

With MPs from the greens, the socialist, the far-right Vlaams Belang and the far-left PVDA having left the chamber, the confidence vote in new Flemish Government was unanimous passed. The vote followed a “debate” between MPs from the parties that make up the Flemish Government coalition.   

At the end of the debate the Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon extended the hand of friendship to the opposition. “I think that we as a government should be conscious of the task before us. We experience on a daily basis that a considerable number of Flemings are angry and frustrated. I hold out my hand to parliament to resolve this together. We should work together for a Flanders that shines”, Mr Jambon said.    

Mr Jambon added that he will pay parliament the greatest respect.

Opposition angry about failure to provide it with figures

The Flemish Government’s decision not to provide MPs with figures concerning the Flemish until next Tuesday angered opposition MPs. Despite the sitting being suspended for half an hour while the new Speaker of the Flemish Parliament Liesbeth Homans (nationalist) tried to find a compromised all could agree to. Opposition MPs left the chamber as the debate on the confidence motion got under way.

The Green Group Leader Björn Rzoska said that the Flemish Parliament’s official agenda stated that the main planks of the budget were to be presented to MP and now this was not going to be the case.

Vlaams Belang’s Group Leader in the Flemish Parliament Chris Janssens said “We feel that it is a shame that MPs from the coalition parties wish to legitimise a movement that messes parliament about. Our proposal is give us the figures on Monday or Tuesday and hold a debate on Wednesday”.