Here’s an item from the Vlaams Belang website, as translated by our Flemish correspondent VH:
Yesterday [Tuesday Sept. 2] in the European Parliament a hearing took place with Declan Ganley, president of the Irish think-tank “Libertas” and one of the initiators of the successful NO campaign in Ireland against the new EU treaty that severely affects national sovereignty. In the presence of Koen Dillen and Philip Claeys, European parliamentarians for the Vlaams Belang [Flemish Interest], the flamboyant Irishman urged the leaders of the EU to respect the democratic “No” vote of the Irish people and “to leave [the treaty] in the grave where the Irish have rightly placed it.”
The fact that other countries continue the ratification process didn’t impress him that much. “A country that does not give its citizens a chance to express their opinion in a referendum has no right to speak.” This obviously applies also to Belgium and Flanders, where the Open VLD, once quite a fan of referenda, didn’t want a referendum on the EU treaty…
It was noteworthy that Declan Ganley quoted one particular example of undemocratic behavior by the European “elite”: Jean-Luc Dehaene [Christian Democrat MEP]. This Dehaene declared in a committee that arguments against the treaty were not allowed to be made public, because this would support the Irish NO campaign. “Who seeks to hold arguments out of an open debate is undemocratic,” said Declan.
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This yet again demonstrates the difference between a free country like Ireland and the rottenness of Belgium: practices that are a daily occurrence here, like the concealment of relevant information and population figures, are in a truly free country like Ireland rightly seen as undemocratic.
VH adds this:
“We know that nine out of ten people will not have read the Constitution and will vote on the basis of what politicians and journalists say. More than that, if the answer is No, the vote will probably have to be done again, because it absolutely has to be Yes.”
—Quote from Jean-Luc Dehaene, Former Belgian Prime Minister, Vice-President of the EU Convention, Irish Times, 2 June 2004.