Belgium’s colonial past: the N-VA limits itself to ‘deepest regrets’, the PTB wants an apology from the executive
Part of the opposition on Monday presented its amendments to the proposed recommendations proposed by the chairman of the parliamentary committee which looks into Belgium’s colonial past, Wouter De Vriendt (Ecolo-Groen). At the stage of the Liberals and the CD&V, the N-VA does not want to go down the road of general apologies.
In Mr. De Vriendt’s proposal, it is a question of “excuses“what the Chamber presented”to the Congolese, Rwandan and Burundian peoples for colonial domination and exploitation, violence and atrocities, individual and collective violations of human rights […] and the racism and discrimination that accompanied them“. The executive branch, as well as those who have suffered the effects of this regime (individuals, churches and businesses) are invited to make “analogous steps in terms of symbolic reparations“.
Part of the majority – the liberals and the CD&V – are opposed to the idea of an apology. In opposition, the nationalists of the N-VA do not want it either. In their eyes, the expression of “‘deepest regret” is more appropriate, i.e. a formula comparable to that of the King last June during his trip to the DR Congo.
“The Flemish and Walloon population is not guilty of the humiliations and oppression suffered by the colonized peoples“, says the N-VA in its proposed amendment. The latter attributes the fault to “a Belgian elite“Seer in the Congo”his playground“. What’s more, believes the nationalist party, the excuses form “a perverse concept“which can later lead to reparations.