The Flemish Christian democrat organisation ‘Woman and Society’ is particularly incensed by the lack of female politicians in the new squad particularly as 41.5% of the Flemish Christian democrat parliamentarians are women.
Another area of contention is the high number of government representatives from the West Flanders coastal province of Ostend – four in fact.
The notoriously difficult dialect of West Flanders could also be a problem for the new Prime Minister who’s poor knowledge of Dutch (or lack of it) is likely to be a sore point with half of the country. The French-speaking socialist will maybe need the assistance of the Walloon Prime Minister, Rudy Demotte, who due to family ties speaks fluent Dutch. Alongside the Ostend contingent in the new line up, Antwerp has three politicians, Limburg has none. Only Pieter De Crem (Christian democrat) hails from East Flanders. Liberal newcomer Maggie De Block comes from Flemish Brabant, while West Fleming Steven Vanackere lives in Brussels.
Di Rupo may be able to dodge some of the linguistic bullets since, though born in Belgium, he is of Italian descent. Indeed the new Premier has his roots in the Abruzzo Region of Italy.