News from Europe

Belgian city translates information signs in Arabic and Turkish

The Belgian city of Ghent is currently using information signs that have been translated the officail Dutch local language to Turkish and Arabic. This situation is beeing denounced by the right wing Vlaams Belang party who claim that "contacts with residents should be conducted in the administrative language of the commune."

Flemish nationalists believe that such announcements are incompatible with the language provisions of Belgium.


The official languages of Belgium are French, (in Wallonia and Brussels) Dutch (in Flanders and Brussels) and German (in the German-speaking Community of Belgium). The city of Ghent being located in Flanders, the only official administrative language there is Dutch.

Right wing party Vlaams Belang lodged a complaint against posters with which the Ghent city council wants to inform Turkish and Arabic-speaking target groups about the low emission zone (LEZ). According to Vlaams Belang, they conflict with language legislation. However, the Standing Committee for Language Supervision stated that the posters have been used in accordance with the law.


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