Since last Sunday’s local elections in Belgium more than one fifth (21.8%) of the municipal councillors in Brussels, the capital of Europe, are immigrants of non-European origin. Most of them are Muslims, and most of them have been elected as Socialists. The non-European immigrants vote overwhelmingly Socialist, owing to the fact that many of them are rentseekers who migrated to Western Europe attracted by the subsidies of its generous welfare states. The immigrants have become the electoral life insurance of European Socialism.
The Brussels borough of Sint-Joost-ten-Node (where the party headquarters of the Vlaams Belang party is located) has 19 councillors of non-European origin on a total of 27. Eleven of the 16 Socialist councillors in Sint-Joost are non-European immigrants, as are 4 of the 5 Christian-Democrats, 2 of the 3 Greens and 2 of the 3 Liberals. The most popular of them is Emir Kir, the Socialist secretary of state for public monuments in the Brussels regional government. Mr Kir, who is Turkish, wants to demolish the Brussels monument for the genocide of the Armenians. According to him the genocide is a hoax.
Exactly 50% of the Brussels electorate are either foreigners or naturalized Belgians. Six years ago the figure was only 32%. In Antwerp, where 17% of the electorate are immigrants (11.5% in 2000), one third of the Socialist councillors are Muslims. In Ghent, where 12.6% of the electorate is foreign (8.1% in 2000), one quarter of the Socialist councillors are Muslims. In Vilvoorde, a Flemish suburb of Brussels, where 14.8% of the electorate is foreign (9.3% in 2000), half the Socialist representatives are Muslims.
In Antwerp, one third of the “Christian”-Democrat councillors are Muslims, too. The latter, however, such as Ergün Top, tend to be more moderate. As Koenraad Elst explained here earlier, they are badly needed to counter the large Muslim presence in the Socialist Party in the contest for the fast-growing Muslim electorate.