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Bruno Valkeniers Is the New Chairman

05/01/2008 :: On 2 March, Bruno Valkeniers was elected party chairman of the Vlaams Belang. Mr Valkeniers (52) succeeds Frank Vanhecke (48), who stepped down after three 4-year terms as party chairman. The Flemish Republic interviewed Mr Valkeniers.

You became a politician only recently. What did you do before?
BV: I was elected a member of the Antwerp provincial council in 2006 and a member of the Belgian Parliament in 2007. Before that I worked in the maritime and port business for 26 years, as a director of a global port operator which is active in the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge, and as the CEO of a maritime consulting company. In this capacity I travelled the world.

Why did you become a politician?
BV: As a businessman I know from first hand experience how Belgium thwarts the economic progress of Flanders. I am also appalled by the lack of democracy in Belgium and by the way in which the Belgian authorities undermine the cultural and national identity of Flanders. It is my firm belief that an independent Flanders can and will improve its social and economic performance and become one of the bench marks in the world. I want to help turn the tide. Our priority is the independence of Flanders.

Why?
BV: Every nation has a right to freedom and is entitled to the sovereignty to decide about its own future. This is the only way to ensure that our Christian and humanitarian values, our language and our culture are safeguarded in Flanders. People who come to live in our midst must adjust to and accept our way of life; not the other way round. Foreigners are welcome but should accept Flanders is not Islamic and it is not French. Flanders is Western and Dutchspeaking.

Isn’t that a parochial mentality?
BV: Not at all. I am a cosmopolitan. I have travelled the globe and worked with people of many languages, cultures and races. However, one cannot be open to the world if one has no roots of one’s own. One cannot be a European, let alone a citizen of the world, if one is not a Fleming, an Englishman, a Basque, a Catalan, a Frenchman, a German,… first. If we renounce our past, our traditions, our parents, we jeopardize our future, our capabilities and those of our children.

Do you intend to change the party?
BV: The Vlaams Belang will remain what it is: a Flemish-nationalist party defending family values and morality, standing for sound economic principles and for the introduction of a direct democracy in an independent and free Flanders. As a businessman I want to see results. I aim to professionalize the party and make it a more efficient tool to combat the Belgian state.



  • Article in issue nº 22


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