“I can tell you that it was a total surprise for everyone,” Antwerp mayor and N-VA chairman Bart De Wever said in Terzake on Monday evening about the resignation of Bart Somers from the Flemish government. “Nobody saw it coming. I don’t know what to think about it.” But the dismissal is very inopportune, De Wever said.
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“I have not yet been able to talk to Jan (Jambon, ed.) about it, but I assume that he also knew nothing about it,” says the N-VA chairman in Terzake, in response to the dismissal of Bart Somers. “I can say, somewhat confidentially, that Jan told me that he had noticed a certain tiredness in Bart Somers.”
“Conversations showed that he was discouraged and disappointed about the state of affairs, especially in his own party, I think. It is a bit ironic that the Vivaldi government is making a victim in the Flemish government,” he continues. “That is very paradoxical.”
And what does Somers’ dismissal mean for the Flemish government? “We are of course in the final stretch towards the elections, which means that the last budget has been drawn up and the rest is implementation,” says De Wever.
“The nitrogen file is now on the top of the shelf. We have to solve that problem for licensing security, everyone realizes that and that is exactly where we will be in the hours of truth in the coming days. So this is very bad.”
“Bart Somers is deputy prime minister and prime minister Jan Jambon governs primarily with his deputy prime ministers. I don’t think the fact that there is a change at this time could be worse,” he continues. “But I remain an optimist in that regard and assume that the course that has been completed can be completed. I don’t think this will spoil the file, but it will complicate things.”
ANALYSIS. Bart Somers buys himself one year to credibly defend his sash