Vlaams Belang  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Vlaams Belang ("Flemish Interest", VB) is a right-wing populist, Flemish nationalist political party in the Flemish Region and Brussels of Belgium.

Vlaams Belang is a reconfigured version of Vlaams Blok, which dissolved after a trial in 2004 condemned the party for racism. The Vlaams Blok then refounded itself as Vlaams Belang, with some changes to the more controversial portions of its statute. It has since sought to change its image from a radical to a more conservative party, and has distanced itself from some of its former programs. Nonetheless, most other parties have continued the cordon sanitaire which was originally agreed on against the former party, effectively blocking the Vlaams Belang from taking part in government at any level. Additionally, attempts on cutting public subsidies specifically for the party were made through the Belgian draining law.

Like its Vlaams Blok predecessor, Vlaams Belang was initially popular with the Flemish electorate and was one of the most successful national-populist parties in Europe. However, from 2008 the party experienced a downturn in support and membership which coincided with the rise of the more moderate nationalist New Flemish Alliance party. Under the current leadership of Tom Van Grieken the VB has begun to regain popular support. Following 2019 federal elections there has been some media speculation that the cordon sanitaire on the party may be lifted for the first time.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Vlaams Belang" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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