Days after the government of Denmark told US President Donald Trump that their territory Greenland is not for sale, some young Flemish politicians said on Thursday that he could buy Wallonia, above, the French-speaking region of southern Belgium, for one euro.
The ‘tempting offer’ came in a tweet by Jong N-VA, the youth wing of the nationalist New Flemish Alliance. The tweet also carried a Photo-shopped picture showing Trump Tower in the Belgian city of Durbuy.
The Flemish are a Germanic ethnic group living in Flanders and they make up about 60% of the Belgian population.
The Walloons, another predominant ethnic group who make up about one-third of the Belgian population, were angry over the tweet.
Cathérine Fonck, leader of the Christian democrats, called it sad, egotistical and insulting.
N-VA youth’s vision of the future and society is sad and selfish and one can only pity them, Fonck said.
Reformist Movement’s leader in Liege Christine Defraigne said it is a relief that only N-VA’s youth wing is making a joke, not the main party.
Jong N-VA defended the tweet saying it should only be seen as a joke that reflects a current event from the perspective of youth. There was no political message and it was not meant to provoke any individual or group.
A spokesperson of Jong N-VA said he hoped there is still room for some humour in politics especially for young people.
The tweet comes days after Trump cancelled his official trip to Denmark scheduled next month after Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen described his idea of the US acquiring Greenland as “absurd”.
Her comment hurt the president who had earlier tweeted an edited picture of a Trump Tower on Greenland’s landscape with a caption saying he will not raise such structures in the world’s largest island.
Greenland’s Foreign Minister Ane Lone Bagger said the self-ruled territory is open for business but not for sale.
For Trump, Greenland is strategically significant.
According to The Wall Street Journal, he had asked his advisers if it would be possible for the US to acquire the territory.
The region is rich in mineral resources and it is strategically located in the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. The US military has operated from Thule Air Base in Greenland for decades.
China is a worrisome factor since it has announced the plan to open a Polar Silk Road similar to its Belt and Road initiative across central Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
The US wants to expand its military base in Greenland before China arrives in the region.
In 1946, the US offered to pay $100 million to Denmark to acquire Greenland. Denmark rejected the offer.
Most of the 56,000 residents of Greenland are Inuit, descendants of people who migrated there from what is now Canada in the 13th century.
Denmark colonised Greenland in the 18th century.