Flemish PM gives 11 July speech and makes particular proposal 

In his 11 July address, the Flemish premier Jan Jambon (Flemish nationalist, N-VA) has called on Flemings to stand side by side to work together to beat corona virus and move forward again. 11 July marks the Flemish holiday, just 10 days ahead of the Belgian national holiday on 21 July.

Mr Jambon released his speech on the eve of the Flemish holiday of 11 July. He warns the public that while we may have had the worst of the pandemic, the worst is probably yet to come where the economy is concerned - the Flemish PM is expecting a whole lot of bankruptcies and redundancies, and underlines the looming danger of a hard Brexit. 

However, crises also yield opportunities, he continues, calling on all Flemings "young and old, employer and employee, civil servant or self-employed" to stand together and take action to get our economy moving again, to reinforce social networks and to shape our Flemish nation.

In a movie that was released yesterday, it's not only the Flemish premier speaking, but also "ordinary" Flemings. The music in the video (see below) is from the iconic Flemish singer Raymond Van het Groenewoud, who has turned 70 this year. 

What about a state reform?

While he didn't mention a possible further federal state reform yesterday, Jan Jambon launched a proposal for the federal government in today's edition of Het Nieuwsblad. He suggests to have two ministers, a Flemish and a Francophone one, for key responsibilities such as employment. Each one could then cooperate closely with the Flemish or Walloon government respectively. He sees that as a temporary measure while a state reform - with more responsibilities for Flanders - is being worked out. Negotiations for a new federal government are still going on, more than a year after the elections. The present federal PM Sophie Wilmès does not support the proposal.

The Flemish Parliament Speaker Liesbeth Homans is calling for more Flemish autonomy on 11 July. The Flemish Parliament should have more responsibilities, she says, the corona crisis showed our state structure is not working properly at present. 

Watch the Flemish PM's address in the video below: 

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