“Practical test” or “monitoring system”: what’s in a word?

After an afternoon and early evening of high tension between the members of the Flemish Government, agreement was finally reached about what to call (or rather what not to call) measures designed to address the issues of discrimination on the housing and employment markets. 

Speaking after Friday’s meeting the Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (nationalist) said "The discussion about a word has now been set aside and we can work out a method that will enable us to tackle discrimination in all its forms”.

The Flemish Minister responsible for (amongst other things) equal opportunities Bart Somers (liberal) told journalists that “We have decided to put the semantic discussion behind us”.

Mr Somers no longer referred to “practical tests” (the phrase that has been at the heart of the row), instead talking about "a monitoring system".  

Mr Jambon added “The academic world will help us devise a monitoring system”.

The Christian democrat Deputy Flemish Prime Minister Hilde Crevits added "The Flemish Government recognises that discrimination exists and we want to take steps forward to combat discrimination. The discussion about the word we use to describe this is little bit crazy".

Top stories