A meeting of the Walloon section of the Belgian Socialist Party was held at Namur, Jan 13, to discuss the political and economic expansion of Wallonia.
A meeting of the Walloon section of the Belgian Socialist Party was held at Namur, Jan 13, to discuss the political and economic expansion of Wallonia. The French speaking Belgians of the Walloon area have been among the strongest supporters of the strike that has swept the country against the Government Austerity Bill. One notable absentee from the meeting was Andre Renard, the militant Socialist trade union leader.
After the meeting, attended by about 400 Walloon Socialist senators, deputies and members of provincial authorities, it was announced that a resolution had been adopted which said that "centralist policies" had accelerated deterioration of the economic situation in the area. Several delegates said they had in fact voted for a "French Wallonia". It was also decided to petition King Baudouin to receive an address on Jan 14.
For several weeks the struggle for power between the Flemish and Walloon sections of the Socialist Party has increased in tempo. Despite their differences both sections have stated their intention of continuing the campaign against the Austerity Bill. While the meeting was in progress the Bill had its first reading before the Lower House and was passed by 115 votes to 90. It will not go to the Senate.
One deputy who did not vote was Premier Eyskens who was resting at home after collapsing from fatigue during the debate the day before.