“We are heading for one clash of civilizations, an intifada, through a Muslim population that is becoming increasingly stronger and more numerous here.” These are the words of Filip Dewinter, who is in this week Humo unearths the Vlaams Blok discourse of the 1990s. “I’m not putting a Muslim on my list!”
According to Dewinter, the problems in the cities are almost all the fault of Islam. Even the falling crime figures: they only fall on paper, because Muslims no longer go to the police, but to “the imam and the drug baron”. In large cities there should be a registration stop for newcomers, according to Dewinter. And development aid must be linked to mandatory birth control. Because: “One pack of condoms in Africa will mean twenty illegal immigrants and ten criminals less in our country in a few years.”
Not a clean sweep
Seven months before the elections, such an interview once again raises the question of whether Vlaams Belang can ever come to power. If the party wants to co-govern in Flanders, it will have to count on the goodwill of N-VA – no other party is even thinking about helping Tom Van Grieken’s club come to power. N-VA chairman Bart De Wever’s thesis has long been that the VB keeps the door locked by not cleaning up the dirty, racist flank of the party.
At least, that was how De Wever thought about it until recently. On talk show Gert’s table the mayor of Antwerp noted last week that things have started to shift at Tom Van Grieken. “I have always said: if you want to join the club, the excesses and the real extremists have to be removed. I never would have thought it, but I can see that he has now started doing it.”
De Wever was talking about, among other things, Schild & Vrienden leader Dries Van Langenhove, who served in the Chamber for VB for a long time, but quit as a member of parliament at the beginning of this year. And Dewinter is also emphatically pushed back, according to De Wever. “I am following that with attention.”
When it happens
But according to Dewinter – who will have to settle for a place as a Flemish list pusher during the elections – that is wishful thinking. In Humo he says that he has been asked several times to pull the federal list, but has refused. “I want to be there when it happens in the Flemish parliament.” ‘Hey’, that is a Flemish nationalist majority that unilaterally declares Flemish independence.
“The cordon sanitary will fall on the political corpse of De Wever,” says Dewinter. If De Wever still does not want to form a majority with Vlaams Belang after the elections, the VB leader would see merit in an emergency plan in which his party would provide tolerable support to N-VA. That scenario also sometimes circulates in N-VA circles, although it is always quickly added that it would be unworkable in practice.