Flemish PM plays smartphone game as opposition walks out

Images of Belgium’s brand new Flemish Prime Minister, Jan Jambon (Flemish nationalist), playing a game on his smartphone while a parliamentary session was in progress, have shocked many people.  Mr Jambon has now explained that he was playing ‘Toy Blast’ and not ‘Angry Birds’ as had been widely reported.

“I was distracted” Mr Jambon told VRT Radio.

It has not been a happy start for the new Flemish Prime Minister.  As the Flemish Parliament debated the new centre right coalition’s governmental declaration, opposition MFPs walked out because budget figures had not been provided. After the opposition left the assembly PM Jambon was seen playing a game on his phone.  “I was waiting for an important message” he said, struggling to counter the criticism. “I realise this doesn’t look good, but we worked day and night for weeks.  I don’t think this incident will be fatal for the work that we have already delivered.”

Mr Jambon conceded that the government would need to find a cool 2 billion euros in extra income or savings to meet its budgetary goals, but “this will allow us to make some necessary spending” he told the VRT: “We can address waiting lists for the handicapped and extend child care provision, etc.  You can’t do this without making savings elsewhere or putting up taxes.  We will try to make cuts that hurt as few people as possible.”