Le Pen urges partial French takeover of Belgium

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The Independent Online

Marine Le Pen, leader of France's far-right Front National Party, has offered a new solution to Belgium's political deadlock – by suggesting that the country's French-speaking region could become a new region of France.

Belgians have now been without a government for more than 400 days because the Dutch-speaking north and francophone south (also known as Wallonia) have been unable to come to an agreement on how the country should be run since an election held last year.

In a relaxation of her party's tough stance against immigrants, Ms Le Pen released a statement yesterday, on Belgium's national day, in which she said: "If Belgium is going to split, if Flanders pronounces its independence, which seems more and more credible a possibility, the French republic would do well to welcome Wallonia to its heart."

Ms Le Pen has been criticised for contradicting King Albert II who urged Belgians to unite.