Parties launch political campaigns ahead of Belgian elections

Parties launch political campaigns ahead of Belgian elections |

With 280 days before the Belgian elections, the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/The Left), Reformist Movement (MR/Renew), social-liberal party DéFI and the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA/ECR) have launched their campaigns at three federal, regional and European levels.

The PTB was the first to launch its political campaign on Monday. President Raoul Hedebouw presented his campaign’s flagship measure: 0% VAT on food to tackle the rise in food prices.

“Nearly 15% increase in one year… It’s not possible to pay more and more for fruit, pasta, rice or vegetables, as we’ve been doing in Belgium for the past few years,” he lamented at the last ManiFiesta. During the same speech, he deplored the lack of government action, particularly price freezes, while “the profits of agribusiness multinationals are exploding”.

On the same day, the MR party launched its campaign for the 2024 elections. MR president Georges-Louis Bouchez focused his speech on two angles: employment in Wallonia and security.

In particular, he pointed the finger at social policies as responsible for the unemployment rate. “We can be stricter in social policy, in unemployment rules, because this social policy is becoming destructive of well-being and condemns individuals to remain on welfare for the rest of their lives”, he said.

He reaffirmed his determination to reduce public spending and intends to table “an €8 billion. tax reform” when the next government is formed. On the security front, Boucher argued in favour of a Europe of defence, stressing the need for a “European wing within NATO”.

Security was also on the agenda for François De Smet, President of DéFI.

However, he stressed that this would not be possible without reaffirming the state and its authority. “It’s time to regain a sense of the State, to reassert its authority, and to strengthen it,” he declared. He also stressed the importance of improving the management of French-speaking entities to counter the rise of Flemish nationalism, which is betting on this.

This is a common theme in the speeches of Bart de Wever, President of the NV-A, who reminded us of it at the launch of his own party’s campaign: “At the federal level, nothing is going right. Belgium is hurtling rudderless towards the financial abyss”.

He stressed the “extremely important” nature of the elections before declaring himself once again in favour of setting up a federal government supported by the federated entities after the 2024 elections, Belga reported.

While he envisages a coalition of the Flemish parties Open VLD (Renew) and CD&V (EPP), he has previously stated that he categorically rejects any alliance with the far right.

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