Voters swing left, right in local European elections

The bigger story is in Belgium, where secessionists won a large victory.
Communists win Czech local elections
Czech voters have repudiated their centre-right government’s austerity policies, handing the left, including a resurgent Communist party, a striking victory in local elections that threatens the administration of Petr Necas, prime minister.

Mr Necas's Civic Democrats (ODS) won only 12.3 per cent of the vote in elections which ended on Saturday, about half the vote they took in regional elections four years ago – a sign of increasing voter dissatisfaction with policies of tax rises and spending cuts aimed at driving the deficit to 2.9 per cent of gross domestic product by 2013.

Secessionist wave sweeps Belgium
Flemish nationalists made sweeping gains across northern Belgium in local elections on Sunday, a success that will bolster separatists’ hopes for a break-up of the country.
Bart De Wever, leader of the New Flemish Alliance (NVA), is set to become mayor of the northern city of Antwerp, Belgium’s economic heartland, after his party emerged as the largest one ending about 90 years of socialist rule.

Soon after the ballot results emerged, Mr De Wever, who had turned the tough mayoral race into a referendum on Flander’s independence for Belgium, demanded that the country’s prime minister give greater independence to the Dutch-speaking north.

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