"SNP ARE GOOD FRIENDS OF
A leading Flemish nationalist politician has condemned the
Vlaams Blok for its reported attack on the Scottish National Party. Nelly
Maes MEP, president of the European Free Alliance - a grouping of European
autonomists of which the SNP is a member - distanced herself from the
Flemish far-right and offered support for the SNP's stance against the
Ms Maes, of the Spirit party, commented:
"It is disappointing that the right-wing, racist views of
the Vlaams Blok have attracted so much attention in the Scottish press in
recent days. The Vlaams Blok are not representative of the ordinary
people of Flanders and they offer us nothing for the inclusive Europe we
"Contrary to the Blok claims, the SNP are indeed good
friends of Flanders. The SNP's members of the European Parliament are
widely respected - and are known for their total commitment to a
democratic and free Europe.
"I very much look forward to the day when an independent
and inclusive Scotland can speak to Flanders on equal terms."
SNP Euro-MP Ian Hudghton added:
"The Vlaams Blok are an isolated political force - both in
Flanders and in Europe. I can only give my full backing to my colleagues
in Scotland who have fought to keep the VB out of the Scottish parliament.
"The democratic nationalists of Scotland and Flanders share
a vision of a Europe which respects cultures and diversity. We will
continue to work together to achieve this dream."