A Christmas Present for the Belgians: The Loser’s Return
From the desk of Paul Belien on Wed, 2007-12-19 13:49
If all goes well, Belgium, the host country of the European Union, will have a new government by Sunday. Today, on the 192nd day since the general elections of last June 10th, outgoing Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, the big loser of the June elections, announced that he has succeeded in putting together a government coalition of five parties – his own Flemish Liberal Party, the Flemish Christian-Democrat Party, the Walloon Liberal Party, the Walloon Humanist Party and the Walloon Socialist Party.
Belgium is a multinational country of 10 million inhabitants, consisting of 60% Dutch-speaking Flemings and 40% French-speaking Walloons. The new coalition has a two third majority of 101 of the 150 seats in the Belgian Federal Chamber of Representatives. The coalition is predominantly Walloon, backed by 53 Walloon seats (out of a total of 62 French-speaking Representatives) and 48 Flemish seats (out of a Flemish total of 88 Representatives).
Elections have no consequences in Belgium, at least not for the Dutch-speaking majority. Last June’s elections were (as always) won by the right in Flanders, but have (as always) led to a leftist government. This is exactly as was predicted here six months ago: “Flanders and France vote for the right. But Flanders will not get what it is entitled to.”
Though Mr. Verhofstadt was ousted from office last June, Belgian King Albert II appointed him Prime Minister Designate after the efforts of Yves Leterme, the leader of the Flemish Christian-Democrats and the winner of last June’s elections, to form a coalition had been thwarted by Walloon vetos.
Yves Leterme will become a Deputy Prime Minister in the new Verhofstadt cabinet; a Walloon trade union leader will become minister of Labour. Mr Leterme’s Flemish Christian-Democrats (30 seats in the Chamber) agreed to join the coalition after Mr Verhofstadt promised that the new government will be but an “interim government,” which has to lay the basis for a Leterme cabinet later on. Mr Verhofstadt and Mr Leterme agreed that the former will only remain Prime Minister from Christmas until Easter, when the latter will be allowed to take over. By Easter the Belgians will know what this political deal is worth. If the deal is worth as much as the elections, Mr Leterme better not count on it. Indeed, why would the support of the election’s loser be able to achieve what the support of a record 800,000 voters cannot?
During the past weeks there has been considerable international pressure on the Belgian politicians, especially Mr Leterme, to end the political stalemate.
As in all 27 member states of the European Union, three quarters of Belgium’s annual legislation emanates from the European authorities in Brussels. As everywhere, the Belgian Parliament merely stamps its approval to the directives issued by the European Commission and submitted to the Parliament by the Belgian government. Because of the Belgian political crisis there was no government to submit the EU directives to the Parliament for approval.
Moreover, without a government Belgium cannot initiate the ratification process of the European Constitutional Treaty, signed last week in Lisbon. This treaty, in which Belgium and the other EU members renounce their national sovereignty to the EU authorities, was signed on Belgium’s behalf by Mr Verhofstadt. Belgium needs a government which can present the treaty to Parliament for ratification.
This situation, in which not a single European directive could be implemented in the EU’s host country, nor the European Constitution ratified, is one which the Eurocracy could not allow to continue. Hence, the pressure on Mr Leterme to come to a deal with Mr Verhofstadt.
More on Belgium’s political crisis here:
Brussels: What the People Vote Down, the Elite Brings Back, 10 December 2007
The Brussels Pattern: Elections Have No Consequences, 6 December 2007
Coup d’Etat in Belgium? King Wants to Bestow Extended Powers on Outgoing PM, 3 December 2007
Brussels: Coalition Talks Collapse. Belgians Don’t Need No Government, 1 December 2007
Why the Eurocrats Fear the Belgian Anarchy, 30 November 2007
See extended list at end of article.
A Throne in Brussels: Britain, the Saxe-Coburgs and the Belgianisation of Europe
Author: Paul Belien
@ Zen Master
Submitted by USAntigoon on Thu, 2007-12-27 17:20.
The only "real" answer is that the Belgian people need a government for the people and by the people.
That government should also "respect" and "represent" the wishes from the people (election results)..
None of these are in play.. hence NO solution will be given. The first thing they have to do is to lift the stupid "cordon sanitaire"
and have NEW elections...
Then the solution will come...
@ Schaveiger; sarcasm is the last resort for those with no ideas
Submitted by Zen Master on Thu, 2007-12-27 16:33.
The people who make sarcastic remarks and who offer no ideas of their own, should try to find solutions to problems facing all of us. The problems the Flemish face are real and sarcasm will not help them.
Please share your ideas of how the Flemish can rid themselves of the Walloons who only damage the Belgian economy. How can the Flemish people have a true democratic society when they won the election and it is in effect ‘thrown out'?
Submitted by USAntigoon on Mon, 2007-12-24 14:42.
Please don't forget to enjoy Christmas.. I know you are a very busy person..
You have a Merry Christmas
from the snowy Great Lakes region...
Submitted by Schaveiger on Mon, 2007-12-24 14:59.
Thanks for your wishes and accept in turn mine from the town of Liège.
Great to read you're in Michigan. Have an old budy living in Travers City but have lost contact since years.
Meantime have a Happy New Year too.
Christmas wish for the Flemish; be patient and wait
Submitted by Zen Master on Mon, 2007-12-24 03:55.
The Flemish seem to be in the better position to wait- out the liberals, the king and Walloons. The Flemish can afford to wait, while the Walloons and the king will be in a state of panic. They are the ones who will worry about their future and shrinking income. Just slowly reduce tax payments and there will be panic, worry and chaos to follow.
To fragment the opposition group, select the party that is closest to the rightist Flemish point of view. Tell them you are thinking of seceding and you wish them to play an important role in the new government. This should splinter the Walloon - liberal coalition and weaken them.
Make a wish
Submitted by Schaveiger on Mon, 2007-12-24 12:33.
It's really difficult to understand why the Pentagon did not hire Zen for their Geostrategical Dept. I'm sure that many conflicts all over the place were solved by long ;)
Suppose you like more the
Submitted by Schaveiger on Sat, 2007-12-22 19:40.
Suppose you like more the "in depth" Christmas present of Zen Master, which is completely exempt of nonsense.
As a US citizen, you're well informed about the whereabouts of the king. It looks like your US is located in the same area ;))
Submitted by USAntigoon on Sat, 2007-12-22 17:55.
Thank you very much for the very "in depth" and clear understanding of what needs to be done..
I hope the BJ readers will now better understand what the Flemish people are up to with this kind of "prevailing" Belgian-French nonsense mentality..
Oh yes, for those who are following the Belgian "puppet show".. The King decided to take vacation till the end of January..
"Mission Accomplished" ..The monarchy is saved
(for a while !!!!)
Why not a New Year's gift for the losers ?
Submitted by Schaveiger on Sat, 2007-12-22 17:17.
Let the Flemish separatists emigrate to Holland and let them support
the costs. The Dutch will be glad to welcome that bunch of selfish egoïsts
complaining on everything.
Let the Walloon attachists go to France under the same conditions. Also the French will welcome them warmly with all their acquired rights and gladly extend them as long as they wish.
Finally let the others live in peace and let's kick the ass all those who brought the country into this situation.
A Christmas present for the Flemish, the Losers leave
Submitted by Zen Master on Sat, 2007-12-22 16:53.
This is just an idea:
1. The northern Flemish part of Belgium secede along the primary dividing line with the Walloon southern section. This will give the Flemish a new nation that has a stronger ‘national identy’ Then they would not be pulled down by the Walloons and their welfare expenses. The Flemish and Walloons are incompatible. If they had married, they would have divorced generations ago.
2. The problem with the first idea is the Walloons will face economic collapse with the more wealthy Flemish taxpayers removed to their own country. Who will pay to support the Walloons?
3. The French will be encouraged to have the Walloon area join France. Then the Walloons have the 64 million French help support them. The French, being French, will be pleased to have a larger country - a ‘greater France.’ The ego driven French will like this idea.
4. Prior to the Flemish secession, the Islamic immigrants will be given 4,000 euros for each family that moves to the southern Walloon part of Belgium. This money would be funded by an 'informal association' of wealthy Flemish (PB might know a few of them).
This is all just an idea for further thought.
@ Zen Master
Submitted by kareljansens on Sat, 2007-12-22 17:03.
Your thought experiment is completely useless, as no Fleming is in a position of power to have any say over how things will go in Belgium.
All decisions are made by an illegal minority of Belgian parasite-politicians, who don't give a flying f*ck about the Welfare of Flanders and its inhabitants, knowing all too well that present-day Flemings are a race of cattle and will quietly end docilly let themselves be milked dry to provide funding for the electorate class of dependants on state money.
Or who did you have in mind to execute this scheme of yours?
The beast awakens !
Submitted by Schaveiger on Fri, 2007-12-21 10:00.
But for those who are stuck here I realistically see only one course of
action left: Brute violence, murder, mayhem and general bad behaviour.
And who is going to take advantage of this ?
Why should I care?
Submitted by kareljansens on Fri, 2007-12-21 15:26.
Why should I care?
Submitted by USAntigoon on Thu, 2007-12-20 23:25.
I can go along with the general premise of your statements.. But what I like to see answered is ... WHAT IS NEXT.. where are all these REAL "Flemish" people.
Your "political" system has knocked the VB in submission... The "voter" voiced a clear opinion and belief during the last elections..So forget the politicians..
Where is the outcry..where are the demonstrations...
p.s But they all demonstrated in Brussels because the "groceries" are too expensive..
Outcry? You're kidding, right?
Submitted by kareljansens on Fri, 2007-12-21 00:38.
I'm certainly not demonstrating. I'm trying to get out...
But for those who are stuck here I realistically see only one course of action left: Brute violence, murder, mayhem and general bad behaviour.
To paraphrase John Virgo in that snooker quiz: "Kill as many politicians as you can". Go ahead, it's good for the environment too!
I've said it before and I'll
Submitted by Emigrantus on Thu, 2007-12-20 11:53.
I've said it before and I'll say it again; why aren't we in the streets demonstrating and rioting?
Submitted by kareljansens on Thu, 2007-12-20 17:14.
"Familie" and "Thuis" are on...
How can the Flemish parties join this??
Submitted by HenrikRClausen on Thu, 2007-12-20 11:02.
They must be under immense pressure from, well, from who, actually?
Submitted by kareljansens on Thu, 2007-12-20 23:08.
@ HenrikRClausen ("They must be under immense pressure from, well, from who, actually?")
From their wallets. Most posters here appear to erroneously assume Flemish politicians are _Flemish_ politicians, while in reality they are overwhelmingly just politicians who happen to live in the northern part of Belgium.
They're not in the least interested in the welfare of Belgium, let alone the welfare of Flanders; they're interested in how much money they can get their paws on.
The politicians who are most concerned about the welfare of Flanders are those that gain the least from the regime.
This is an appeal to those latter (maybe even "Latter Day") politicians: As Belgium is clearly not a democracy (not by any definition, even the Soviet-Russian one, of that term), what are you doing by trying to get things done using "democratic" pressure mechanisms? It won't work. It can't work. It'll never work.
Re: Flemish Leadership
Submitted by USAntigoon on Thu, 2007-12-20 10:31.
As stated by Schaveiger:...the Flemish defeated the French in 1302, but with the help of the Walloons.
Indeed from then forward everything got screwed up for the Flemish...
Submitted by markpetens on Thu, 2007-12-20 02:55.
What will happen if Leterme doesn't get his way in March? I doubt the EU treaty will have been ratified by all parliaments by then, so what if Leterme is pressured by the N-VA to blow up the interim government?
Submitted by USAntigoon on Wed, 2007-12-19 19:57.
This capitulation of the Flemish leadership is something I cannot understand..
They defeated the French with honor during the "Guldensporenslag" in 1302... Where are these kind of Flemish people now... The Vlaams Blok/Belang doesn't seem to cut it either..
Why did you had elections earlier this year.. Why was Verhofstadt defeated.. Where is Leterme ...
Anyway...nothing has changed...
Just words... words and words.. no deeds..
Re; Flemish Leadership
Submitted by Schaveiger on Thu, 2007-12-20 09:28.
As a reminder, the Flemish defeated the French in 1302, but with the help of the Walloons.
For the rest, just words indeed, as usual.
Submitted by traveller on Wed, 2007-12-19 21:01.
Don't forget we are talking about Belgium, a surealist artificial construction where every move forward costs Flemish money and french insults.
This new "government" is created to make the Flemish people forget why they voted against Verhofstadt, he is now proclaimed to be the "saviour" by every newspaper, radio and TV-station, which are all establishment-slaves.
The only problem now for the establishment is the lack of funds and the economical situation, this is going to be their downfall.
In 2009 the nationalist Flemish parties will be much bigger even than today and in 2011 the elections will give a Flemish nationalist majority.
Before that time the establishment will try to declare the VB(Flemish biggest nationalist party) an illegal party which will probably provoke the Flemish into coming on the streets.
In any case, 2011 is curtains for Belgium.
Form a government?!
Submitted by captainchaos on Wed, 2007-12-19 18:39.
Are the leaders of the Flemish people insane? Now is the time to seceed from Belgium. These limp noodle leaders need to have some freakin' courage for Christ's sake.
Submitted by Schaveiger on Wed, 2007-12-19 17:43.
With this result we Belgians may be proud of the quality of our politicians. It took them 6 months to acknowledge what one of them told from the start. Yves "good management" Leterme accumulated errors and stupid allegations and never showed an ability to run a team. On the French speaking side we could admire the outdo megalomania of the liberal Reynders who ousted everybody. It's easy to understand that other member states became fed up with this Belgian Muppet show.
Besides this, last Saturday Het Laatste Nieuws mentioned on the front-page that Sarkozy was not going to intervene (MILITARY) in Belgium. This once again shows how the media is misinforming and destabilizes the country.
Submitted by atheling on Wed, 2007-12-19 19:14.
"It's easy to understand that other member states became fed up with this Belgian Muppet show."
I find that term "Belgian Muppet show" insulting. You ought to be censored for using it. /sarc.
A different secession
Submitted by RS on Wed, 2007-12-19 17:38.
It looks like the Flemings will now have to secede from the EU rather than the former Belgian pseudonation.
It seems hard to comprehend
Submitted by Pankukas on Wed, 2007-12-19 17:29.
It seems hard to comprehend - what does the promise of Mr. Verhofstadt to lay groundwork for Mr. Leterme mean, what difference would it make three months later? If Mr. Leterme wasn't able to form a government (to get on with the proposals about giving more powers to regions?) now, how would that change in three months time when Verhofstadt steps down? The Walloon parties may withdraw their support for government should it choose to get on with the agenda Mr. Leterme put forward, and that will be it, isn't it..? Is this anything other than abandonment of proposals to reform the failing state?
A lump of coal for a Flemish Christmas gift
Submitted by Zen Master on Wed, 2007-12-19 15:02.
This seems to be nearly the ‘worst of both worlds’ for the Flemish people. It might make the Walloons and liberals feel better, but the Flemish can not enjoy this poor idea. I hope it fails, it is not a Christmas gift for the Flemish. It solves nothing, just one more delay.