Equal Opportunities Centre receives 25 complaints about Aalst Carnival

The inter-federal centre for equal opportunities Unia has received 25 complaints about the caricatures of Jewish people at Sunday’s Aalst Carnival parade. This is fewer than was the case last year. However, expects to receive more complaints in the coming days. The centre is in consultation with the police and the Judicial Authorities to decide whether legal action will be taken. 

The centre is in consultation with the police and the Judicial Authorities to decide whether legal action will be taken.

Half of the complaints received thus far came in before the carnival had even taken place. The rest were received on Monday and Tuesday morning. 

Aalst is not the only carnival about which Unia receives complaints. There are also complaints about the carnival in Malmedy (Liège province) where some participants ‘black up’. The Ducasse, a traditional festival in the Hainaut town of Ath is also the subject of complaints for the same reason.  

European Commission also disgruntled

Meanwhile, the European Commission has expressed dismay "It should be taken for granted that such portrayals don’t belong on the streets of Europe 75 years after the persecution of the Jews”.  

"The Commission’s position is clear we resist all forms of anti-Semitism and this display cannot be reconciled with the values and the norms on which the EU is built”.  

Nevertheless, as things stand the European Commission has no plans to issue an official reprimand to Belgium.  

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