The Belgian Prime Minister has slammed France for blaming Belgium in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, but his own Deputy Prime Minister has conceded they have a problem with radical Islam.
Initially the Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, voiced his discontentment with France via diplomatic channels after the strong Belgian link in the Paris terrorist plot had been exposed. However, this week he has spoken more openly to the Belgian television media, reports Flanders News.
Voicing his criticism of France, Mr. Michel told the public broadcaster RTBF all about what he sees as that country’s shortcomings:
“In Belgium, we don’t have a jungle like in Calais with 6,000 refugees. We don’t have murderous attacks by criminal gangs, like in the centre of Marseille.
“We don’t have urban districts where police, like in France, don’t dare to come because their vehicles are being bombarded with stones. They have indeed quite a lot of extremists who left for Syria and who have come back.”
Although the challenge posed by international terrorism certainly stretches beyond Belgium, Mr. Michel’s own government colleague has exposed some of the extent of their domestic troubles.
Speaking to the same television channel as his Prime Minister, Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Jambon said there is a problem with Islamic radicalism within the Brussels public transport company, MIVB.
Previously exposed by Belgian daily newspaper, De Tijd, two workers in the company were sacked as they reportedly “posed a danger as extremist Muslim activists”. Flanders News reports Mr. Jambon confirmed radicalism is a problem within the transport company, saying:
“It is clear that there is a problem of radicalism and extremism in companies like the MIVB. We should pay more attention to this. So it’s good that the company took measures.”
Worryingly Mr. Jambon said he learned about it from the media and not via official sources.