Thousands protest against possible new government in Belgium

©Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

Protest against Vivaldi government in Brussels - Protesters hold Flemish flags between their cars during a protest of far right party Vlaams Belang against the Vivaldi government. - Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA/dpa

Thousands of supporters of the Flemish far-right party Vlaams Belang protested on Sunday against a possible new Belgian government, as year-long coalition talks were nearing a breakthrough.

According to police, the protest consisted of 4,500 cars with an average of three passengers each, news agency Belga reported.

The protesters criticized that the planned new government was more left-wing than foreseen by the result of the 2019 parliamentary elections, in which Vlaams Belang saw a surge in support.

"On May 26 the Flemish people sent a stark signal that the leadership should be more Flemish and right-wing. Now the opposite is happening and that is unacceptable," said Vlaams Belang leader Tom Van Grieken.

After more than a year of negotiations, coalition talks - involving the Greens, the Liberals and the Social Democrats from the French and Flemish parts of the country, as well as the Flemish Christian Democrats - are nearing breakthrough.

The far-right V-NA, which gained the majority of votes at 16 per cent, as well as Vlaams Belang, which earned 12 per cent, were not part of the talks.

The Belgian political landscape is fractured, with a French-speaking south marked by post-industrial decline and a more prosperous Dutch-speaking north where many dream of independence.

Belgian King Philippe is set to meet with the two possible coalition leaders Alexander De Croo and Paul Magnette on Monday.

A candidate for prime minister is still to be chosen until then.