Health emergency eclipses worries about public finances and the climate

VRT NWS and De Standaard teamed up with researchers at Antwerp and Brussels universities, UA and VUB, to probe the main concerns of Flemish people.  Unsurprisingly the public health emergency and the political stalemate came out tops. The survey was carried out across the month of April.


At a time when Belgium was largely under lockdown 37% of respondents indicated that concerns about health care were their main worry. Practically a year after the general election and with a government with a limited tenure in power nearly a full quarter made it clear that they didn’t feel properly represented by our politicians. With the Flemish Nationalists in opposition and the far-right ignored many Flemings feel side-lined politically even in this health emergency.

Community differences remain the key issue for 11% of respondents.  Flemings and Francophones favour different solutions to the political crisis, while the health emergency highlighted confusion about who is responsible for what.

For 10% of Flemings migration remains the main problem, while only 6% and 3% identify the economy and Belgium’s parlous public finances.

Only 1% of Flemings see climate and the environment as the big issue, while for a mere 0.3% their main worry is retirement pensions.

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