20:17 GMT25 July 2021
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    Bart De Wever is also the leader of the conservative New Flemish Alliance, which has for years advocated for the independence of Belgium’s Flemish region. The politician revealed that although at present the idea of reunification may be considered unthinkable, “this could change very soon”.

    Mayor of the Belgian city of Antwerp Bart De Wever has revealed that he dreams of the reunification of Flanders with the Netherlands. Speaking on the Belgian television channel Kanaal Z on the country’s independence day, De Wever said he expects that Flanders will reunite with the Netherlands after his party implements confederalism. 

    "It's a personal point of view I've had for a long time. If I could die as a southern Dutchman, I would die happier than as a Belgian", he said.

    Parts of Flanders, Luxembourg, Hainaut, Namur, and the Netherlands were once part of the Seventeen Provinces until Antwerp surrendered to Spanish forces during the Eighty Years' War in 1585. De Wever wants to reverse the separation. According to him, should Flanders reunite with the Netherlands, the alliance will have one of the strongest economies in the world.

    "The ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam could merge to become the gateway of the Northwest European economy. That seems like a fantastic story. Of course, some water will have to flow through the Rhine and the Scheldt, and people are not mentally ready for that yet. I can see that", said the politician.
    secession, independence, Belgium, Netherlands, Flanders
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