Belgium king fulfills far-right Vlaams Belang party leader – BBC News

King Philippe of Belgium (left) welcomes chairman of Vlaams Belang party Tom Van Grieken (right) ahead of a meeting at the Royal Palace

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EPA

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King Philippe (left) met Mr van Grieken (ideal) at Belgium’s Royal Palace.

Belgium’s King Philippe has held an official meeting at the royal palace with the head of the reactionary Vlaams Belang party.

It is the very first time a Belgian monarch has actually fulfilled a far-right leader because 1936.

His conference with Tom van Grieken comes after a rise in support for Flemish separatist parties in the nation’s nationwide elections.

The king has likewise consulted with other party leaders as part of speak to form a federal government.

Nevertheless a shift to the left in Belgium’s French-speaking south will make it challenging for the country to form a government.

The Vlaams Belang (” Flemish Interest”) leader told press reporters at the royal palace that their meeting was “the most normal thing worldwide”.

Until just recently, the party has actually operated on the fringe of Belgian politics and the monarchy has refused to consult with its leaders.

However on Sunday, Vlaams Belang got the second-highest variety of votes in national elections and took 18 seats in the nation’s federal parliament – up from three formerly.

After elections, Belgium’s monarchy assists with development of national federal governments, which have historically been unions of Flemish and Francophone celebrations.

” The king can not be partisan,” Leuven University political scientist Bart Maddens informed regional broadcaster RTBF.

“[He] needs to stay neutral and so what the king can do is conclude that there is no celebration that wishes to form a coalition with the Vlaams Belang.”

The last time an emperor met a far-right leader remained in 1936, when King Leopold III satisfied Léon Degrelle, the head of the fascist Rex celebration. Rex later worked together with the Nazi occupation of Belgium.

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EPA

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Vlaams Belang participated in a demonstration last December against the UN’s migration pact.

The anti-immigrant Vlaams Belang celebration was formed in 2004 after a court found its predecessor, Vlaams Blok (” Flemish Block”), breached anti-racism laws.

It has called for the abolition of the monarchy and financing cuts to the nation’s less flourishing, French-speaking Wallonia region.

After elections in 2010, Belgium took a record 541 days to develop a federal government.

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