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A Glance At Antwerp Under The Administration of Mayor Bart De Wever

The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever and the writer, Joel Savage. Photo:@Kouablan Dominique.

Not quite long in Belgium, but fifteen years in Antwerp, is enough to write a narrative essay, whenever I meet this challenge at an examination hall. Even though, Antwerp is a famous city, known for its rich diamond collection and flourishing sea-port, in the early 2000’s, the city was very rough and unsafe for both tourists and citizens.

It was this period Leona Detiége, a Belgian politician and member of the Flemish social-democratic party, then mayor of Antwerp, did her best to tackle the problems destroying the reputation of the city of Antwerp, as a tourist attraction center.

She swung into action, focusing on the notorious places, such as De Conincksplein, a neighbourhood that harboured all criminal activities, including drug peddling, prostitution, bag snatching, pickpockets, pimps etc, and De Falconplein, another notorious neighbourhood, serving as a red light district for prostitutes, pimps and drug couriers.

Her undertakings weren’t just a bluff, it did really crippled the prostitution industry. Many prostitutes were arrested and deported to their countries of origin and the pimp industry collapsed. The Antwerp police received a letter from a group calling themselves ‘The Nigerian Mafia,’ threatening and ready to fight the police to death, for taking their prostitutes off the streets.


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