international newsbrief

BELGIUM | King of Belgium starts fascist row

Source: abc.net.au Friday, 28 December 2012, 17:46

Belgium's king has enraged Flemish nationalists after apparently likening them to fascists during his annual Christmas speech.

King Albert II said Belgians needed to be vigilant about populist sentiment that sought to make foreigners the scapegoats for the country's economic problems, and warned that the crisis of the 1930s must not be forgotten.

That was seen as a reference to Flemish nationalists who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, and to current Flemish nationalists who want to break away from Belgium's French-speaking areas.

The head of the main separatist party has accused the king of being divisive, and called for the monarch to be taken out of the political process after 2014.


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