STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Flemish nationalists have quit government: Belgium Interior Minister

The New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) government has had differences within them on anti-migration policies.

Published: 09th December 2018 07:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th December 2018 07:17 PM   |  A+A-

Jan Jambon, Belgium Interior  Minister

Belgium Interior Minister Jan Jambon

By AFP

BRUSSELS: Belgium's Flemish nationalist party said on Sunday it will quit the ruling coalition, leaving Prime Minister Charles Michel as the head of a minority government after a row over a UN migration pact.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) confirmed on Sunday that he and the party's other ministers would step down. "It's clear," he told national broadcaster RTBF, following hours of uncertainty.

The decision means Michel will lead a minority government for the five months before parliamentary elections scheduled for late May. He will now have to appoint ministers to replace those held by the N-VA -- which had been the largest of the coalition's four parties -- including the interior, finance, defence and migration portfolios.

In power for four years, the coalition has often been riven over the N-VA's anti-migration positions. Party leader Bart De Wever issued an ultimatum to Michel on Saturday night, suggesting the N-VA would leave the coalition if the prime minister flew to a UN conference in Marrakesh on Sunday to endorse the pact.

Michel stood firm, saying he would represent Belgium in Marrakesh as the "head of state of a responsible coalition". A last-gasp cabinet meeting was held late Saturday but failed to overcome the differences between the parties. The non-binding UN accord, which would promote a common global approach to migrant flows, has become a cause celebre for European anti-immigration parties.

It was initially supported by all four parties in Belgium's coalition, but the N-VA changed its mind in late October. The crisis had been rumbling for several weeks before bursting into the open on Tuesday when Michel, a liberal, turned to parliament after failing to unite his government behind the pact. The N-VA and the far-right Vlaams Belang party voted against the accord.

The draft UN pact lays down 23 objectives to open up legal migration and better manage a global flow of 250 million people, three per cent of the world population. The United States dropped out of talks on the pact last year and countries such as Hungary, Austria, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Australia have rejected it.


Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp