Flemish Parliament approves 2020 budget after marathon session
In the early hours of Friday morning the Flemish Parliament voted to approve the budget for 2020. MPs from the parties that make up the Flemish coalition (nationalists, Christian democrats and liberals) voted in favour, which the opposition parties (far-right Vlaams Belang, socialists, greens and far-left PVDA) voted against.
Thursday’s session to discuss the budget lasted 18 hours. The 2020 budget has a deficit of around 430 million euro. The Flemish Government plans to return to a balanced budget in 2021.
The coalition parties were keen to stress the 1.65 billion euro in extra investments ear-marked for (amongst other policy areas) education, research and development and care services. Meanwhile, the opposition parties’ criticism was mainly levelled at the Flemish Government’s plans to make cuts to funding to areas such as welfare and culture.
Several hundred people demonstrated against the cuts outside the Flemish Parliament.