The Price of Survival

A quote from Hywell Williams in The Guardian, 1 August 2005

Belgium, 175 years old this year, can celebrate its survival between two great powers prone to intermittent megalomania. Fought over and invaded twice in one century, Belgium has been subjected to endless condescension about its status as a country invented from above by the superpowers. But Czechoslovakia, the 20th-century version of the Belgian two-cultures-in-one-state experiment, has come and gone. The price paid for Belgian survival, though, has been a high one. Resilience in this case has meant accommodation to some of the very worst Franco-German habits.