Flemish opposition party Vooruit would vote in favour of nitrogen policy, says chairman

Vooruit chairman Conner Rousseau said on Radio 1 on Monday that his party would vote in favour of Flemish Environment minister Zuhal Demir's (N-VA) nitrogen policy proposal. The Flemish socialists, who are part of the opposition, could solve the deadlock between majority parties N-VA, CD&V and VLD, that has loomed over the Flemish government for months.

The nitrogen policy is Demir's attempt to reduce nitrogen pollution in Flanders. It contains a list of polluting farms that must close by 2025, which the other parties oppose. The failed negotiations have put the government of Flanders in a crisis. After no agreement could be reached two weeks ago, Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon called an emergency meeting with the chairmen of the majority parties, to no avail.

That the government has not yet managed to find agreement is incomprehensible to Rousseau. "If you look at education, at childcare, at care, this does not seem the most important dossier socially to me. If this does not get solved, it will bankrupt the Flemish government, which did not have the best ride in the first place," he said on Radio 1.

Rousseau is now offering Demir and her party a potential way out with an alternative majority. "We always vote in good conscience, and at this point, we would vote for [Demir's] plans. I have not been contacted yet, but we always vote where our conviction lies. (...) The content of this dossier - public health, the environment as well as good compensation for farmers - is what we are in favour of."

But Rousseau's suggestion does not mean that Vooruit wants to be a part of the Flemish government. "The coalition agreement is far too bad for that," he added on the radio.


#FlandersNewsService | Vooruit's chairman Conner Rousseau. © BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS



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