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Belgium - falling apart?

 
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2008 05:50 am
I'm relieved they've done a deal. Belgium produces some excellent beer, I dont want to see that jeopardised.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2008 10:40 am
see , i never had any doubts the belgians would work out things over some good beer and pommes - with majonnaise of course .
hbg

http://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/42/31/23033142.jpg
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2008 07:24 pm
This is truly refreshing a bi-national, Old European country providing a shining example of just what is achievable through simple diplomacy.

Gefeliciteerd

Félicitations
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2008 07:26 pm
And I hear the Belgians make the absolute best frites on the continent.

mmm, french fries. . .
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 01:33 am
InfraBlue wrote:
This is truly refreshing a bi-national, Old European country providing a shining example of just what is achievable through simple diplomacy.

Gefeliciteerd

Félicitations



Well, when you are using the official languages of Belgium, you certainly should add Germen ("Herzlichen Glückwunsch") as well:

Quote:
Based on the four language areas defined in 1962-63, consecutive revisions of the country's constitution in 1970, 1980, 1988 and 1993 established a unique federal state with segregated political power into three levels:

1. The federal government, based in Brussels.

2. The three language communities:
the Flemish Community (Dutch-speaking);
the French (i.e., French-speaking) Community;
the German-speaking Community.

3. The three regions:
the Flemish Region, subdivided into five provinces;
the Walloon Region, subdivided into five provinces;
the Brussels-Capital Region.
Source
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 03:45 am
I'm amazed to learn this. My experience is they all speak English. With a variety of accents.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 09:21 pm
Oops! Didn't mean to slight the Germans.

Entschuldigen Sie bitte
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2008 01:49 am
Meanwhile ...

... the Belgian King (Albert II) declined to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Yves Leterme on Thursday.
Leterme submitted his resignation Monday night because of his coalition government's inability to successfully divide federal powers between the Flemish- and French-speaking communities.
King Albert II also announced a commission, consisting of one German-speaking and two French-speaking senior politicians, tasked with facilitating talks on constitutional reform. The group will report on its progress at the end of July.

Leterme had set a deadline of July 15 for the four-month-old coalition to agree on constitutional reforms to grant increased autonomy to the two regions.
Leterme said that the current federation system of Dutch government was incapable of solving the problem, since the wealthier Flemish region wanted even greater autonomy and the Francophone region maintained that the Flemish move was meant to completely separate itself from the rest of the country.

http://i34.tinypic.com/1eqtg5.jpg


IHT: King Albert II of Belgium rejects prime minister's resignation

The Observer: Brussels the key in battle for Belgium
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2008 08:19 am
And again the Belgian PM offers his and his government's resignation (with different reason now, however):
Quote:

Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme has offered his government's resignation amid a growing row over the break-up and sale of the stricken bank, Fortis.

King Albert II has deferred the decision on whether to accept it, and has begun talks on how best to proceed.

Earlier, Justice Minister Jo Vandeurzen quit after a judge said there were signs the government had tried to stop a court freezing the sale of Fortis.

The appeals court ruled shareholders had not been properly consulted.

Fortis has been among the European banks hardest-hit by the current financial turmoil, which left it desperately short of cash.

Full report
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 06:12 am
From The Independent: Belgium votes in election that could split the nation:
Quote:

[...]Belgians go to the polls tomorrow after an election campaign dominated by heated debates over language rights. [...]
Bart de Wever, leader of the Flemish N-VA Party, is set to win the most votes tomorrow standing on a platform of major reform of the state including economic autonomy for Flanders. One in four Flemish voters plans to support him according to polls, his reward for tapping divisively into popular sentiment that taxpayers are being milked dry to prop up the French-speaking Walloons.

The Walloons, meanwhile, accuse the Flemish of lack of solidarity, reminding them sharply of all those years when the tables were turned and Flanders was but an agricultural backwater. "We've had to keep fighting, not with weapons but with words, just to have the right to speak our own language. And now it's time for change," Mr de Wever told the international press this week "We don't want a revolution, we are a very European party. But we do want an evolution for Flanders."
[...]
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 03:07 pm



Quote:
A party that wants to split Belgium won a parliamentary election tonight, a result that could complicate efforts to form a coalition that can deliver reforms of the state and tight budgetary control. Projections and early results showed the Flemish separatist N-VA (New Flemish Alliance), which advocates the gradual dissolution of Belgium, was to be the largest party in Dutch-speaking Flanders and the country.

Flemish public broadcaster VRT estimated it would win 30 of the 150 seats in the lower house of parliament, from just eight until now. Losses were forecast for the Christian Democrats and the liberals, former coalition partners. The French-speaking Socialists, whose leader, Elio Di Rupo, has been tipped to become prime minister, were expected to gain six seatsgiving them 26 overall.


Source and full report @ The Guardian


0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 03:15 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Which side of the country is more famous for the production of Belgium chocolate? Save this region and give up on the rest of the country. That's my solution!
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2011 10:07 am
Without a government for 458 days, being in the hands of a caretaker cabinet after June 10, 2010 election - here's an update:

Belgium in turmoil as PM heads for new role
Quote:
[...][Acting PM]Leterme said the head of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Angel Gurria, would propose him as deputy secretary general of the organisation on Friday.
Should he get the job, his resignation date "will be determined by taking into account his current responsibilities as caretaker prime minister," he said, adding he was ready to see out the remaining months of 2011.
But hours after the shock news came a pre-dawn warning that the latest four-month drive to find a government for Belgium too looked to be heading for breakdown.
Elio Di Rupo, who heads the Socialist party that won a majority in French-speaking Wallonia in 2010, warned in a statement that headlined Belgian news that the talks had run into "a deep blockage".
He urged fellow-politicians to make "a last-ditch effort". ... ... ...
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Sep, 2011 06:47 pm
An old thread in which I remember commenting several years ago. Evidently not much has changed.

The Belgians have gone a very long time without a political solution to the issues dividing them. Perhaps they don't need anything other than an administrative government after all. Alternatively, perhaps the current impasse is more widely acceptable than the competing proposals of the two population groups. I suspect the EU governing apparatus helps them along in several areas of governance, but it is a very strange spectacle to see the acting PM leaving his post to take a better job in the EU. Evidently the EU administration isn't very concerned about this either.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Sep, 2011 10:19 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
... suspect the EU governing apparatus helps them along in several areas of governance, but it is a very strange spectacle to see the acting PM leaving his post to take a better job in the EU. Evidently the EU administration isn't very concerned about this either.


I sincerely doubt that the EU-apparatus helps governing there.

Besides that, the acting PM doesn't takes a job within the EU-countries (France), but the OECD by no means as an EU-institution.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Sep, 2011 10:30 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

I sincerely doubt that the EU-apparatus helps governing there.
Well it standardizes a lot of rules regulating trade, finance, commerce and environmental standards. That helps.

What then has sustained the governance of the Belgians during this long interregnum, and what will sustain it when the current PM leaves?

Walter Hinteler wrote:

Besides that, the acting PM doesn't takes a job within the EU-countries (France), but the OECD by no means as an EU-institution.
OK, change my incorrect reference from EU to OECD.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Sep, 2011 10:34 pm
@georgeob1,
Okay.

0 Replies
 
 

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