March 4, 2024

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The confrontation between the “Belgium does not work” / “Belgium works” of the N-VA and Open Vld begins the election campaign

The confrontation between the “Belgium does not work” / “Belgium works” of the N-VA and Open Vld begins the election campaign

Hello reader,

It was another great interview given by Bart de Wever to his colleagues trends gave. Even the head of the N-VA, who certainly doesn’t have a smiley face when looking to the future, looks glum. “I have actually lost all confidence in our ability to achieve reforms worthy of the name at the federal level,” he admitted to the business magazine. “I no longer believe in the federal level. I also see the ballot boxes. The chance of achieving a center-right economic policy inspired by liberalism is simply zero. (…) You can no longer create a federal government in this country that can save our prosperity.”

This is remarkable because De Wever himself had recently declared that he was also prepared, as leader of the party in the House of Representatives, to be the country’s next federal prime minister. Just looking for alliance partners will be a challenge after this interview. “I hope the Vivaldians collapse. I’m not taking back a word of it. It’s the reward they deserve, especially for Open Vld. “Guy Verhofstadt was just a cheat, and Alexander De Croo goes even further.”

De Wever is bored by the ever-repeated question of whether or not his party wants to sit in a Flemish government with the far right. Since Geert Wilders’ great victory in the Netherlands, this question has become even more important. in trends De Wever says a strong VB could suit him tactically: “If the N-VA and Vlaams Belang together are unbeatable in the Flemish parliament, that gives us the leverage to do federal work.”

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The N-VA’s hard line is interesting because Open Vld, through Prime Minister De Croo, is going in exactly the opposite direction. De Croo launched his election campaign with a booklet full of optimism about the future and the country. At the book launch, De Croo quoted a telling quote from a conversation with European expert Hendrik Vos in our newspaper: “The world is not a Disney movie, the problems are complex.” The contradiction between the “Belgium does not work” / “Belgium works” of the N-VA and Open Vld is what kept the election campaign going. It would be great to watch that confrontation.

De Croo was also grateful to De Wever’s fellow party member Theo Francken. Franken addressed the Prime Minister in Israeli media in poor English and straight handwriting during his much-discussed visit to Israel. According to Franken, De Croo chose the Palestine line, ignoring the growing anti-Semitism in his country. This is not true twice. It gives the Prime Minister a great opportunity to make the voice of moderation heard and criticize the “policy of destruction” pursued by others.

It came a little late, at the end of the era, but it seems that De Croo and his party are still defending Vivaldi’s record with vigour. in the morning Deputy Prime Minister of Vooroit Frank Vandenbroucke is already on the same path.

Is Vivaldi II already in the works? However, be careful. It seems that nuclear energy has already once again become an inevitable point of contention. Following MR, Open Vld is now also completely bypassing the nuclear angle by calling for the construction of new nuclear power plants. This seems to indicate the ambition to form a new government without the Greens. If the poll results allow for this, that’s a big “if.”

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This wasn’t the only turn Open Vld made. The new Flemish Interior Minister, Gwendoline Rhoten, came out this week to say that merging municipalities into larger entities is not at all convincing. In doing so, she draws a major cross against the policy that her predecessor, Bart Sommers, announced not long ago.

It is logical for parties to draw new lines in the period leading up to the elections. But the bends that Open Vld takes are very sharp.