BRUSSELS, Belgium — The home of Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo was tagged with several spray-painted swastikas, triggering an investigation on Monday by authorities.
De Croo deplored what he called “an attempt to intimidate his family and children,” according to a statement issued by his office.
His residence is located in the Flanders town of Brakel, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Brussels on the border with the French-speaking Walloon region.
According to media reports, demonstrators had gathered in the town on Saturday at the call of the Flemish far-right movement “Ons Land” (Our Country), but police prevented them from approaching the home.
Investigators on Monday had not established a link between the demonstration and the Nazi symbols left on the house’s white facade late Sunday or early Monday.
“An investigation is under way into the case,” a spokeswoman for the East Flanders public prosecutor’s office told AFP.
Vandalen bekladden woning van premier Alexander De Croo met hakenkruisenhttps://t.co/Y7kWj3Qb5x
— HLN.BE (@HLN_BE) February 1, 2021
A total of seven swastikas were daubed in light green paint on the facade and letterbox of De Croo’s family home, the Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper reported, showing images on its website.
The vandalism comes as the Belgian government faces a series of criticisms, including from the N-VA (Flemish Nationalists), the leading opposition party, about the allegedly undemocratic nature of the anti-COVID restrictions.
The seven-party ruling coalition led by De Croo has in particular been criticized for bypassing parliament to ban non-essential travel in and out of the country until March 1.
On Sunday in Brussels, the police briefly detained nearly 500 people to prevent several rallies against the restrictions due to the health crisis.