Newly elected Vlaams Belang extreme right MP has been called out in the Flemish parliament for his “despicable message”.
NV-A MP Matthias Diependaele reacted angrily in the Flemish parliament on Thursday, when a Vlaams Belang member’s provocative tweet was read out.
In this tweet, Sam Van Rooy (VB) referred to a press article according to which a swimming pool in Utrecht (Netherlands) introduced different schedules for youngsters and families, fearing the former would upset the latter.
“I know a ‘swimming pool’ where these ‘young people who disturb’ can go and swim separately following their ‘own schedule’: the Mediterranean Sea,” the extreme right MP wrote.
Many readers were outraged, seeing in it a reference to the countless drownings of migrants attempting to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean.
These kind of posts could have an influence on the formation of the Flemish government, while the N-VA is still in talks with Vlaams Belang. Other Belgian parties such, Open Vld and CD&V have been repeating their refusal to sit down at the same table as the far right party for weeks, notably citing the proposals of Filip Dewinter, Dries Van Langenhove and Sam Van Rooy.
Vlaams Belang president and leader Tom Van Grieken and Chris Janssens have come out in support for Van Rooy following the controversy his tweet has stirred.
While N-VA MP Diependaele described Van Rooy’s tweet as despicable, attempts were being made to calm the situation within the N-VA. “This message is Van Rooy’s responsibility. We have always said we must take what electors are saying seriously and talk substance with a party that won a lot of votes in the last elections,” they commented.