Home » Party leaders react angrily to Vlaams Belang statement by Jan Jambon: “This is the total normalization of the extreme right”

Party leaders react angrily to Vlaams Belang statement by Jan Jambon: “This is the total normalization of the extreme right”

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“This is a total normalization of the extreme right. Shocking.” CD&V, Open VLD, Vooruit and Groen reacted angrily to the statements of Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (N-VA), who called Vlaams Belang “a party like any other”. Even within his own party, not everyone is satisfied.

“For us, Vlaams Belang is a party like any other. Although the water is deep in certain areas. In the nitrogen discussion, for example, the biggest opposition came from Vlaams Belang. And when I hear the dirty slap from some in the Flemish Parliament, I think: no eggs from that farmer.” These are the words of Jan Jambon on Saturday in an interview with our newspaper. The Prime Minister also added that in his opinion there is no Chinese Wall between N-VA and Vlaams Belang, something his party chairman Bart De Wever maintained for years.

The statements are already causing many reactions on social media. The Flemish party chairmen are also not unaffected. According to CD&V chairman Sammy Mahdi, Jambon has now made it clear that the Great Wall of De Wever has been demolished. “We will continue to oppose a coalition between N-VA and Vlaams Belang. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but we clearly think VB is an extreme right-wing party.” Mahdi also does not understand Jambon’s strategy: “What is the raison d’être of N-VA? Jambon makes a vote for N-VA useless. Anyone who wants a government with N-VA and Vlaams Belang will now vote for the latter.”

Sammy Mahdi. — © Sven Dillen

Mahdi also refers to Vlaams Belang’s proposal to scrap subsidies for multicultural associations and to stop research into discrimination. “The soul of Flanders is at stake. Are we going to silence every association? Are we going to make heavy cuts on the VRT because it does not do what Vlaams Belang wants? Are we going to install click lines for teachers? Collaborating with such an extreme party is not in the interest of Flanders.”

“The soul of Flanders is at stake”

Sammy Mahdi

CD&V chairman

Green also shoots with live ammunition. According to co-chairman Jeremie Vaneeckhout, this is the total normalization of the extreme right. “If nitrogen is the biggest point of contention, then N-VA as a democratic party is seriously off track.” Vaneeckhout points out that no one knows yet what the N-VA position is. “For Demir it is jamais de la vie, De Wever is threatening cooperation with Vlaams Belang and Jambon now says that VB is a party like any other.”

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Jeremie Vaneeckhout. — © BELGA

Open VLD chairman Tom Ongena emphasizes that Vlaams Belang is an extremist party that divides and condemns people because of their origin. “Therefore no adventures with extremists. That will only lead to months of blockage and standstill. We cannot afford that, because it threatens to cost many jobs and prosperity.”

Melissa Depraetere repeats her mantra of recent weeks: “Wherever the extreme right is in power, prosperity, freedom and security are declining. N-VA continues to open the door to extreme right-wing decline. We are the leader on the left and center. Only we are big enough to prevent N-VA from opting for Vlaams Belang,” the Vooruit chairman states.

Tom Ongen. — © BELGA

As expected, not everyone within N-VA agrees with Jambon. The party is also divided between supporters of cooperation with Vlaams Belang and a flank that does not want to know about it. In order not to expose the division, many N-VA members remain tight-lipped. But it is clear that part of the party does not want to do business with Van Grieken because otherwise the party will become persona non grata at the federal level, which means that there can be no question of a community turnaround – the priority of N-VA – at all.

“Jan Jambon said nothing new. It is true that the N-VA has never endorsed the cordon sanitary. In the interview he further explained clearly where the major challenges lie in this country. This is at the federal level: especially in the areas of budget, social security, migration, energy and making work more rewarding.”

“Our warning to the voter is: a protest vote for Vlaams Belang will lead to a second Vivaldi government that continues the current mismanagement in all these areas. The dream excuse will then be: ‘tous ensemble contre l’extrème-droite’. Our main goal as N-VA is to stop just that and take a different course.”

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