Flemish nationalists made sweeping gains across northern Belgium in local elections on Sunday, a success that will bolster separatists? hopes for a break-up of the country.Question of the Day
Bart De Wever, leader of the New Flemish Alliance (NVA), is set to become mayor of the northern city of Antwerp, Belgium?s economic heartland, after his party emerged as the largest one ending about 90 years of socialist rule.
Soon after the ballot results emerged, Mr De Wever, who had turned the tough mayoral race into a referendum on Flander?s independence for Belgium, demanded that the country?s prime minister give greater independence to the Dutch-speaking north.
Flanders, which is the most economically prosperous region of Belgium, has long resented financing the ailing economy of French-speaking Wallonia, and Sunday?s victory will strengthen their demand for self-rule.
?De Wever sent a strong signal to Brussels and he has put his party on course to send an even clearer one in 2014 ... they will try to go for an even bigger win in the federal elections,? said Lex Moolenaar, a veteran political analyst for the Gazet Van Antwerpen, the city?s daily.
Here is the question of the day, even though the answer is easily discernible: If the New Flemish Alliance resents bailing out the rest of Belgium, how will they feel about bailing out Greece, Spain, and Italy?
Mike "Mish" Shedlock