belgium on the verge of a breakup?

Even though I’m not really into politics that much, currently we are having a very interesting political episode going down in our little country.

If you know Belgium you also know that the country is split up into several parts, making things rather complicated to govern.

As the federal elections took place a few months ago and a new federal government is supposed to be formed, things are getting a bit out of hand between the Flemish and French speaking politicians.

You see, the Flemish part is currently the wealthiest, and the Walloon part is sort of depending on us. Due to a long history of negotiations and cutting deals between the French and Flemish parts a lot of odd situations have arisen over the decades and the Flemish side wants to get those sorted now.

Problem is the Walloons like things just the way they are. They fear that any kind of change will be in their disadvantage. A lot of these issues are silly when you look at them however, and that counts both ways.

It’s not a crisis just yet, but it’s getting pretty darn close to it now. The King even got involved over the weekend trying to get the parties to work together, which only happens if things are truly in a rut. The separatists that always wanted to see Belgium split up into it’s linguistic regions are louder than ever at this time of course, but frankly I don’t think that is a realistic solution anyway.

Belgium is small as it is, and splitting it up into even smaller parts is ridiculous imo. Besides, the arguments that plead for the split are mostly based on a number of unfair rulings from the past, which can still be set straight. Both parts need each other in some degree. Without Wallonia, Flanders will never reach the Kyoto norm on it’s own for instance, just to give an example.

It’s mostly a political thing anyway, with a bunch of politicians who now do not want to back down and loose face, and the support of their voters. This is only augmented by the media (RTBF, I’m looking at you) who are putting some oil on the fire, heating up opinions, and making it even harder to build a compromise.

How this will turn out is hard to predict, but I’m hoping that no side has to roll over for the other. This counts specifically the Flemish side, since that is what has happened enough in the past already.

Politically and historically this could be an important milestone to grow into a stronger and better Belgium, but it’s going to need the will of politicians from both sides to work together to accomplish this.

6 thoughts on “belgium on the verge of a breakup?

  1. n3wjack Post author

    Oh, about those demonstrations. That probably was some pro-Flemish demonstration you saw. They happen around this time of year with the national holidays and all.
    Around Ieper you’ll typically see those Flemish flags and people marching, to remember those who have fallen in the WW I (& III). In WWI the whole of West Flanders was a huge, blooyd, muddy battlefield, which is something not to be forgotten, even after so many years.

  2. n3wjack Post author

    Oh, about those demonstrations. That probably was some pro-Flemish demonstration you saw. They happen around this time of year with the national holidays and all.
    Around Ieper you’ll typically see those Flemish flags and people marching, to remember those who have fallen in the WW I (& III). In WWI the whole of West Flanders was a huge, blooyd, muddy battlefield, which is something not to be forgotten, even after so many years.

  3. n3wjack Post author

    They haven’t been any demonstrations yet about the whole thing, and I doubt there will be unless it really does come to splitting Belgium up in the end. Right now it’s all politics, and it’s giving reporters and papers a lot to write and talk about, which they love, because during summer it usually comes down to writing something about odd shaped cucumbers or women impregnated by an alien…. or something like that.

    It looks like you got the lowdown on Knokke though, hehe. They sure are some funny folks down there, and since so much of em are talking French anyway, they might as well be turned into an Walloon enclave! :)

  4. n3wjack Post author

    They haven’t been any demonstrations yet about the whole thing, and I doubt there will be unless it really does come to splitting Belgium up in the end. Right now it’s all politics, and it’s giving reporters and papers a lot to write and talk about, which they love, because during summer it usually comes down to writing something about odd shaped cucumbers or women impregnated by an alien…. or something like that.

    It looks like you got the lowdown on Knokke though, hehe. They sure are some funny folks down there, and since so much of em are talking French anyway, they might as well be turned into an Walloon enclave! :)

  5. scillystuff

    Hi, Just reading your blog about the current political affairs in Belgium. We holiday in Oostende most years and were there last weekend. I saw the Vlaanders flags and people demonstrating but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was all about! Thanks for the blog, it was interesting and made sense. I am not sure how they will resolve things but I agree that making Belgium smaller would probably harm the nation as a whole rather than help things. Maybe they could just declare Knokke a separate state? Just joking but the folks there already act like they think they are better than all the others – lol !! ;o)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *