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MP calls for 'Dutch Day' once a week in Brussels
Dutch-speakers in Brussels should refuse to speak any other language on a given day each week, a Belgian federal MP has suggested.
Hendrik Bogaert (CD&V) said introducing a "Dutch day" in the capital would demonstrate "how much Dutch-speakers make daily concessions to adapt" to life in Brussels.
"Dutch-speakers in Brussels are the ones who must always make concessions on the language front, in this very French-speaking city," Bogaert told Bruzz. "It must change."
He added: "I am pleading for one day a week, Mondays for example, during which the Flemish of Brussels communicate only in Dutch."
The proposal comes after new figures from the interior ministry this week revealed that 40% of police officers in Brussels cannot speak Dutch. Being bilingual is a legal requirement for the job.
The research found that 3,648 of the 6,288 police officers are bilingual - and that 98% of officers in the Brussels region have French as their first language.
Brussels' state secretary for equal opportunities, Bianca Debaets (CD&V), disagrees with her fellow party member's proposal.
"The language that someone chooses to speak in Brussels is a totally private matter," Debaets said. But she added: "It is absolutely essential that the Brussels authorities master Dutch as well as French."