Chas' Compilation

A compilation of information and links regarding assorted subjects: politics, religion, science, computers, health, movies, music... essentially whatever I'm reading about, working on or experiencing in life.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Belgium Crisis continues... will Belgium?

Paul Belien at the Brussels Journal has these articles about the ongoing crisis in his country:

King Summons Unelected Councillors to Solve Crisis. Will France Annex Wallonia?
[...] On 10 June the Belgians went to the polls to elect a new Parliament. Instead of seeing their elected representatives dealing with the country’s political problems and putting a government together – as would be the case in democratic countries – they now see an unelected official, the King, and a group of unelected “wise” men, most of them politicians from the last century, usurp the duties of their elected representatives.

[...]

Yesterday the conservative French newspaper Le Figaro published a column by Alexandre Adler in which Adler urged the French President Sarkozy to prepare for the annexation of Wallonia by France. Adler said Sarkozy should not miss this historic opportunity “to govern an enlarged France.” He referred to the example of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who in 1990 grabbed the opportunity to incorporate East Germany into the German Federal Republic. Last week a survey in the Netherlands showed 77% of the Dutch in favour of reuniting the Netherlands and Flanders. [...]


After Belgium: Will Flanders and the Netherlands Reunite?
Belgium is rapidly unraveling. Following the June 10th Belgian general elections, won by Flemish-secessionist parties, the Belgian parties seem unable to form a government coalition.

Belgium is a multinational state, the model for the European Union’s efforts to turn Europe into a single multinational state. Belgium is made up of 60% Dutch-speaking, free-market oriented Flemings and 40% French-speaking, predominantly Socialist Walloons. The Belgian Constitution stipulates that the government should consist of 50% Flemings and 50% Walloons. Belgian governments always have to rely on a majority in both Flanders and Wallonia, since major decisions need the support of both parts of the country. In practice this means that 20% of the population (i.e. half of the Walloons) can veto every decision. This has made the Parti Socialiste (PS), the Walloon Socialist Party, the power broker in the country.

The refusal of the PS to reform the welfare state system has caused growing Flemish frustration, and turned what used to be a linguistic conflict into a dispute about economic and welfare policies. While Flanders pays most of Belgium’s taxes the bulk of the money flows to Wallonia. There a welfare-receiving electorate votes for parties which for over three decades have been blocking any attempts at reforming the collapsing welfare system.

[...]

Apart from the media in Belgium and the neighbouring Netherlands, the international papers and broadcasters have hardly reported about the disintegration of the EU’s host country. On Tuesday a survey of the Dutch [Netherlandish] television network RTL4 showed that 77% of the inhabitants of the Netherlands are in favour of the Netherlands and Flanders merging into one country.

In Belgium, an internet poll of Flanders’ largest newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws, showed 50.9% in favour of reuniting Flanders and the Netherlands. The Flemish provinces were part of the Netherlands until 1831, when the international powers established the Kingdom of Belgium.

(bold emphasis mine) Belgium is sometimes referred to as Yugoslavia in slow-motion. It's been held together artificially for so long... how much longer can it continue? Frankly, I hope it doesn't. The EU is using Belgium as a role model for it's master plan for Europe. It's a terrible role model. The sooner if fails, the better.

The following are two more links about the forces at work in the situation:

Why Belgium Is an Artificial State. And the United Kingdom, Switzerland (and Even Austria-Hungary) Are Not

Belgium, the EU’s Destiny. The End of Nothingness
     

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3 Comments:

At Thu Sep 27, 11:28:00 AM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believe me we wont split well atleast not for now maybe in 5-10 years we will. Though I would like (as many other flemisch ppl) to split belgium. 5100 euro pays every flemisch every year to an wallonian.
WAllonians dont learn flemisch language but we the flemisch are learning french now for long time in school.
Our king hardly speaks flemisch so he doesnt give the right example aswell.
The only thing that keeps us together are our chocolate,beer, and brussels.
We never watch wallonian tv channels, we dont know each others artists, or habits.
flemisch ppl work very hard and wallonians like it more relaxed.
www.vlaamseonafhankelijkheid.be

 
At Thu Sep 27, 10:39:00 PM 2007, Blogger Chas said...

I figured a split wasn't imminent in the short run, but possible in the not so distant future. I know it's been talked about periodically; it just seems that in recent times, things have come to an impasse, and somethings gotta give eventually.

Belgium has an interesting history, and it's an interesting story that's unfolding. Thanks for the information and comments.

 
At Thu Oct 11, 06:08:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Tom said...

Hi Chas,

Thank you for your stance against the democratic deficit that the Kingdom of Belgium represents.
Sick and tired of being a second class citizen in my home country for not being a French speaker, I live now in New Zealand.
It's great to work in a place where you know your taxmoney is not going to sustain people who despise you.
Great to be free!
I hope Flanders will soon gain independence!

Go Jefferson State!!!!!

 

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