Nicolas Maeterlinck

Liberals ready to drop the N-VA?

Until now the Flemish Christian democrats and liberals have insisted that the Flemish nationalist N-VA must form part of any new federal government.  A federal administration without the N-VA would not have a majority in Flanders.  Now for the first time a prominent Flemish liberal has broken ranks and suggested that a federal government with the greens and without the N-VA would offer better opportunities.

Mathias De Clercq, the Mayor of Ghent, says such a government could reduce labour costs, raise the lowest pensions, tax multinationals fairly and treat asylum seekers in a humane way.

Until now efforts have concentrated on forming a coalition of Flemish nationalists, Christian democrats and liberals and Francophone socialists (PS) and liberals.  Little headway has been made due to the divisions between the N-VA and the PS.

In an opinion piece in the daily De Standaard the Ghent mayor calls for a change of mind-set among socialists, liberals and greens and for them to opt for the socialist/liberal/green formula out of conviction.

In Ghent Mr De Clercq heads a coalition that includes liberals, greens and socialists.