Note that Benelux is Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg, so that language map shows more than just Belgium:
Note that the Capital City is a mixed area…
OK, sometimes you just have to wonder if it’s “got legs” or is just creepy…
Yes, THAT Pravda… but you never get this kind of stuff in the US Lame Stream Media… but they can sure tell you what J-Lo is having for breakfast…
Belgium has been virtually canceled
“Belgium no longer works. It is a nation that has failed.” This loud statement recently came from Bart De Wever, a candidate for Prime Minister of this country and leader of the Nationalist Party The New Flemish Alliance. Thus, one of the leading politicians of Belgium acknowledged that the country that hosts the headquarters of the EU and NATO is on the verge of a collapse.
Oh Dear… and the headquarters of NATO too…
For anyone not familiar with it, Belgium has two major cultural / linguistic groups. The Walloons, who are basically French, and the Flemish, who speak Dutch but like to call it Flemish. (Hey, My Uncle speaks Texan, so I get it!) Though if you take a look at the map up top, even that “two-way” description is way too simple.
While it is often held up as an example of how you can have “a country divided” along language lines, the fact is that a divided country never really does work quite right. It’s always an issue. (That is why I’m in favor of having ONE national language. I don’t really care what it is, so much as that there be one. ALL public affairs of the government to be done in that language and all “required things” to be done in it (like annual financial reports and voters pamphlets). If folks want to voluntarily do another language as well, by all means… but not the crazyness we have in the USA where a voters pamphlet has to be translated into darned near every language on the planet…
FWIW, I am VERY fond of other languages. I’ve formally studied 4 of them (and got good at 2, ok at 1) while I’ve informally (i.e. on my own) dabbled in a dozen others. I really LIKE languages. BUT… There needs to be ONE ‘tie that binds’ to pull a country together. If not, it will eventually fissure. It’s only a question of time.
So, back at Belgium. The French speakers want to stay stuck together. The Flemish speakers want a divorce:
However, the Flemish have exactly the opposite opinion. For several decades they have been insisting on weakening the power of the center and the transfer of powers to individual regions of Wallonia and Flanders. Flemish politicians have complained that they had to allocate too much funds for “maintenance” of Francophone, and they are demanding new powers. The Walloons disagree. Flemings are also unhappy with the fact that the Walloons do not make an effort to learn the Flemish language. As a result, a compromise cannot be reached.
The result of divergence of the views of the representatives of the two communities was the fact that Belgium has been living without government since June.
Sounds like a ‘feature’ to me ;-)
De Wever, who was tasked by King Albert II to form the Cabinet last summer, is unable to find coalition partners among Francophone. Trying to find a way out of the crisis, the monarch for the first time in many years has entrusted the right to establish the Government to a Walloon, the representative of Francophone Socialists Elio de Rupo. However, this scenario was rejected by the Flemish.
The events that followed looked very much like a political soap opera. Albert II has again turned to “Prime Minister de Wever.” The winner of the Flemish elections again spoke about the fact that for Francophone the expansion of the administrative and economic autonomy of Wallonia and Flanders was unacceptable. In practice, this meant a reduction in the amounts pumped from the Flemish budget into Walloon. The Francophone took it with hostility.
As a result, De Wever admitted that he would not want to continue the dialogue with the Walloon Region and prefers new elections. “It’s becoming more and more difficult, at any rate, to form a federal government. If we join such a government, there is a great risk of losing the next election. We were elected because we support radical changes and because the voters trust us not to cave in after six months of negotiations,” said the politician.
Oh, the pain, the pain…
You just can’t make up this kind of stuff. And folks wonder why I’m against having amnesty and a flood of Spanish speakers overwhelming the USA. Look, I’ve not nothing against Hispanics. I’ve got some Hispanic relatives (my niece is married to a Hispanic guy, for example) and as a kid I spent about 1/2 my waking hours in an All Spanish All The Time home (a very good friend). I can function fairly well in Spanish.
It’s just that the ‘end game’ doesn’t change. When the “assimilation” doesn’t happen, “fracture” does.
According to their results, the party advocating the division of the country secured nearly 45 percent of votes in Flanders. “We can no longer ignore that this (independence) is wanted by the majority of the Flemish population. Therefore it is necessary to prepare for the end of Belgium,” commented on these results Laurette Onkelinx, a representative of the Walloon Socialists and Deputy Prime Minister.
Another Flemish broadcaster – VRT – also conducted a survey on the subject of maintaining the unity of Belgium. Its outcome is far less comforting: 66 percent of the residents of Flanders believe that the country will “sooner or later fall apart,” while 46 percent want independence immediately. The explanation of the supporters of independence is not surprising: the Flemings do not want to feed the less affluent Wallonia.
If the collapse of the country does happen, it will by no means be painless. The main stumbling block will be Brussels. Historically it is a Flemish city, but most of its population today speaks French. […]
It is time for the leadership of the European Union, whose headquarters are in Brussels, to think about it as well. So far the EU, which is formally chaired by a Belgian (Flemish) Herman van Rompuy, never spoke about the fact that Belgium is bursting at the seams and there is no end to its political crisis. The EU failed to put the Flemish and Walloon politicians to the negotiating table in their headquarters, put pressure on them, and suggest the ideas that would break the deadlock.
I’m left wondering just how the EU can put Belgium politicians under pressure or force them into negotiations. Then again, the whole EU as New Roman Empire thing doesn’t “click” for me anyway. Vote? Who needs a vote…
One thing is for sure, the “Home of the EU” is “having issues”… and I have no idea what trades on their stock market.