Parts of an official visit from an Iranian delegation to the Belgian parliament were cancelled on Thursday, after a row over the serving of wine and the refusal to shake hands with women.
If it is bad it has to be America. That is the leitmotiv of Louis Michel, the European Commissioner of Development and Humanitarian Aid. Michel was interviewed today by the Flemish magazine Knack about the recent European Summit.
Franco Frattini, the European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, announced on Tuesday that the EU will set up a training programme for Libyan police and border guards. In addition, the Commission will today approve an action programme of 2 million euros to secure Libya’s southern borders. Next week, José Manuel Barosso, the President of the Commission, and Louis Michel, the Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, will discuss additional aid to Libya. What is going on here? Europe is trying to stop an African invasion, using Libya as its outpost, while Qadhafi is counting his money, letting the Europeans modernise his police forces and army.
A citizen who is capable of feeding himself is obviously a danger to the state. The government in Brussels has ruled that Belgians who want to eat poultry will have to buy roast chicken instead of killing and plucking their own animals. Poultry may only be slaughtered in official abattoirs or by licensed butchers. This week, as the summer vacation commences, the Federal Bureau of Health wrote a letter to the Federation of Boy and Girl Scouts and other youth groups warning them that it is forbidden to kill chickens during their holiday camps. “According to the Animal Welfare Bill animals may only be slaughtered by experienced people or, except in case of necessity or circumstances beyond one’s control, after preliminary anaesthesia. It is obvious that children do not qualify,” the letter says. People who kill a chicken without government approval, risk a fine of 1,000 euros. One can buy a lot of fried chicken for that.
Last month, the deep sound of the French “Non” and the Dutch “Neen” struck Brussels like a rising knell. Many reasons have been put forward for the rejection of the European Constitution in France and the Netherlands, but one obvious reason has so far been left unmentioned. The Federal Kingdom of Belgium, a state inhabited by Dutch-speaking Flemings and French-Speaking Walloons, prides itself on being “the prototype of Europe.” Perhaps their linguistic neighbours in France and the Netherlands, who speak the same languages as the Belgians, simply did not want to be governed from Brussels and end up in a European super-state that is fast becoming a Greater Belgium.
On 24 and 25 May, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute (Auburn, Alabama), visited Antwerp, where he gave a lecture on the economic surplus value of small states.
Washington has the Potomac, London the Thames, Paris the Seine, Berlin the Spree, Rome the Tiber, Budapest the Danube. Have you ever wondered what Brussels is missing? The Capital of Europe is the only European capital without a waterfront. It has not always been that way. As so often in the history of Belgium, King Leopold II (1835-1909) is to blame.
When the late French president François Mitterrand was asked about his illegitimate daughter Mazarine in an interview, his response was: "Et alors?", "So what?". Albert II, the incumbent King of the Belgians, never gives interviews. When the story about Delphine Boël, the illegitimate child he had with baroness Sybille de Sélys Longchamps, broke loose in 1999, the Royal Court remained silent. In his 1999 christmas speech, the King only vaguely made allusions to his former marital problems, and said "these matters belong to our private lives".