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Belgium : far-right Vlaams Belang steps closer to victory ^ | 10/05/2006

Posted on 10/05/2006 1:50:57 AM PDT by Republicain

BRUSSELS - A recent documentary "Questions à la Une" acts as whistleblower against the progression of the Belgian extreme right.

French-speaking Belgian TV and radio organisation RTBF recently broadcast a worrisome documentary on the growing popularity of the extreme-right party, the Vlaams Belang, in the Flemish part of the country.

A popularity, according to La Libre Belgique, that may bring the Vlaams Belang to victory and which is grossly underestimated in French-speaking Belgium.

Christophe Deborsu's documentary is well structured. The investigation starts with an anecdote surrounding a street name and ends with the Vlaams Belang's highly effective campaign strategy.

The documentary reveals for instance that the town of Breendonk was the first Belgian town to have a concentration camp, which claimed the lives of 180 people in the Second World War.

Breendonk is also one of the five Belgian towns which still has a Cyriel Verschaeve street, named after a Belgian clergyman and writer who was condemned for collaboration with the Nazis during the Second World War.

The Flemish priest had hopes that the Germans would "clean" Belgium of its French-speaking citizens. The mayor of Breendonk does not see the point of renaming the street.

Capitalising on this ambiguous relationship with the past, the Vlaams Belang has rapidly grown popular since it became an official party; from one percent of the vote in 1981 to 24 percent in 2005.

Deborsu's documentary shows how the party recruits and trains activists in all social spheres, relatively poor Belgians who believe immigrants to be responsible for their difficulties and richer Belgians afraid of loosing their wealth.

In Antwerp the Vlaams Belang's offices have replaced the municipal facilities as a meeting point, which further demonstrates the effectiveness of the party's campaign.

In Schoten, a municipality located in the province of Antwerp, the VB has acquired 35 percent of the votes since the last elections, not without the help of a blond and beautiful ex-Miss Belgium and a team of well-educated students, reports La Libre Belgique.

This politically active youth movement recruits and sells the Vlaams Belang's ideology in the streets, bars and clubs.

The documentary presents the president of the Christian Democrat and Flemish CD&V of Schoten, Harrie Hendrickx, saying "I never said no" when asked if a coalition of CD&V and the Vlaams Belang is possible.

The documentary also mentions an elected CD&V member who recently changed to the Vlaams Belang party and questions if he will be the first of many.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: axisofweasels; belgium; dutch; europe; flemish; french; vlaamsbelang

1 posted on 10/05/2006 1:50:58 AM PDT by Republicain
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To: Republicain
There is not one word about the policies of this party, only some guilt by association with a street name in their town. I've never heard of this party, but it seems to have the right enemies.
2 posted on 10/05/2006 2:54:16 AM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (These days you are either nervous and uncomfortable or you are braindead!)
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
NINE (9) paragraphs in we finally find out what the writer means by "far right":

...the party recruits ... Belgians who believe immigrants to be responsible for their difficulties and richer Belgians afraid of loosing their wealth.

So if you're against illegal immigration I guess you're "far right" to this writer.

3 posted on 10/05/2006 3:22:44 AM PDT by libertylover (If it's good and decent, you can be sure the Democrat Party leaders are against it.)
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Your instincts are sound. You can quickly learn more about Vlaams Belang here. Most of the material is in Flemish (Vlaams) but just scroll through to find the English material.
4 posted on 10/05/2006 3:25:16 AM PDT by TheMole
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To: libertylover

Eh, to a lot of European journalists anybody who's not an ardent marxist is far right.

5 posted on 10/05/2006 3:51:48 AM PDT by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla

wikipedia entry on vlaams belang

6 posted on 10/05/2006 4:56:17 AM PDT by voletti (Awareness and Equanimity.)
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To: voletti

Their platform looks very Republican, except for being soft on Nazi collaborators.

7 posted on 10/05/2006 6:02:02 AM PDT by Old Dirty Bastiat
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