Belgium: A Divorce Is in Order

A quote from a leader in The Economist, 6 September 2007


True, in opinion polls most Belgians say they want to keep the show on the road. But when they vote, as they did on June 10th, they do so along linguistic lines, the French-speaking Walloons in the south for French-speaking parties, the Dutch-speaking Flemings in the north for Dutch-speaking parties. The two groups do not get on – hence the inability to form a government. [...]

No doubt more good things can come out of the swathe of territory once occupied by a tribe known to the Romans as the Belgae. For that, though, they do not need Belgium: they can emerge just as readily from two or three new mini-states, or perhaps from an enlarged France and Netherlands.

Brussels can devote itself to becoming the bureaucratic capital of Europe. [...]

[Belgium] has become a freak of nature, a state in which power is so devolved that government is an abhorred vacuum. In short, Belgium has served its purpose. A praline divorce is in order.

The Dutch and French have

The Dutch and French have been like a bad marriage in Belgium, and I don’t think any number of marriage therapy sessions can save them. It’s good to see something is started to be done in recent years to fix some of Belgium’s political problems but I think it will still take a few more years.

Great Belgian painters

I have always been convinced that the international newspapers and magazines are stuffed with omniscient ignoramuses. Having read the complete article in The Economist, I stick to my opinion.

Quote: "Along the way [Belgium] produced Magritte, Simenon, [...]".  In the opinion of the author, a fine connoisseur of everything Belgian, Magritte is one of the best painters born on Belgian soil. Well I'll be blowed! Has he never heard of the scores of Flemish painters who belong to the class of the real artists (but are probably lacking in snob-appeal)?


Along the way [Belgium] produced Magritte, Simenon, [...]". You can hardly say that the Flemish painters were produced by Belgium, as Belgium didn't exist when they lived. But perhaps the fact that Margritte, who spook French, is mentioned as something "fine" produced by Belgium, is unbarable to you?

Where is the outcry

When are the Flemish people going to rise and separate ....They can very easily make it on their own.. Brussels can become something like our Washington DC..

Indeed I also like the fact that some Flemish Muslim leaders are finally understanding the "Belgian" culture.. at least some progress there...

beneath the rivers

But with the Dutch provinces "under the large rivers" a nice marriage could be made. Who needs Holland?!