Tom Van Grieken, leader of the Flemish right-wing party Vlaams Belang, wants politicians to take drug tests. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER MATTHYS


Vlaams Belang wants Belgian politicians to take drug tests


The hard-right party Vlaams Belang said it wanted Belgian politicians to take an annual drug test because they serve as role models in society.

Belgium is increasingly struggling with its war on the narcotics trade. The port city of Antwerp and the capital Brussels have seen rising cases of extreme violence connected to drug-related gang activities, according to a recent report by French news outlet Le Monde.

Vlaams Belang positions itself as the party willing to go to the greatest lengths to combat drug dealing, with party President Tom Van Grieken advocating the policy during a French-language TV debate on May 30.

“We must show that politicians are not in the clutches of the drug mafia,” he said. “I am willing to do it, and I hope many others will join me.”

Van Grieken claimed that the regular tests were now required to “restore the trust” citizens have in democracy amid the increasing influence of cartels.

“As politicians, we have a responsibility. A line of coke is not harmless,” he said.

“Let all elected politicians and ministers take a drug test every year.”

Vlaams Belang is one of Belgium’s most prominent advocates for tougher action against drug dealers and drug users.

Van Grieken said his party wanted to make it as difficult as possible for narcotics gangs to operate, warning that drug-related crime now involves ever-younger criminals and increasingly brutal outbreaks of violence.

He also links Belgium’s migration crisis as further spurring drugs-related criminality in the country.

The politician is pushing for the implementation of policies targeting youth crime, alongside the deportation of detained illegal immigrants.

“Only 13 per cent of the population are migrants, but they represent 44 per cent of the prison population,” Van Grieken said.

“They should serve their sentences in their own countries.”