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Antwerp Politician Rides Secessionist Wave

October 11, 2012

In the FT (gated):

The moderate nationalist leader of the New Flemish Alliance party (NVA), Mr De Wever has turned a local ballot in Belgium’s business heartland into a referendum on independence for Flanders and the latest polls suggest there is momentum behind his call for secession.

Mr De Wever believes victory in Europe’s second largest port city will revive the call for Flanders’ secession from Belgium just as Spain’s economic crisis has done in Catalonia.

Lex Moolenaar, a veteran political analyst for the Gazet Van Antwerpen, the city’s daily, said an NVA victory would be a historic event in Belgium: “It would enlarge NVA’s power at the regional and national level . . . the next natural step would be towards seeking the independence of Flanders.”

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