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  #121  
Old 07-19-2008, 04:34 PM
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LOL! Luckily 2/3 still have common sense!
Maybe they're thinking about a union between Amalia and Gabriel?
And the split still isn't happening. Il y a encore des Belges!

Apparently, after 177/178 years, people have forgotten that the Dutch reign is exactly what the Belgians united against. But the dislike must have lessened by now.
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  #122  
Old 07-19-2008, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
GVA had a rather funny poll, for those who read dutch, look here. In the internetpoll 1/3 was in favour of a union with the Netherlands.

Now something remarkable: some respondants suggested that a Dutch princess and a Belgian prince should marry; their eldest child could be the ruler of the new country... As a capital even the very unremarkable Baarle-Hertog was suggested (A Belgian enclave in The Netherlands). And the countries name could be Vlaanderland or Nedervlaanderen...
Hilarious!

Or Baarle-Nassau,which,(for our foreign guests)..is a dutch enclave in Belgium,actually,you can have your hallway in The Netherlands,
and your bed in Belgium,as both enclave lay side by side,all cuddled up to one another.

That split in the 1830's,is often referred to as the most unnecessary and silliest revolution ever......but to have Flanders unite with us?Nah,better not..
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  #123  
Old 07-19-2008, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyLeana View Post
And the split still isn't happening. Il y a encore des Belges!

Apparently, after 177/178 years, people have forgotten that the Dutch reign is exactly what the Belgians united against. But the dislike must have lessened by now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucien View Post

That split in the 1830's,is often referred to as the most unnecessary and silliest revolution ever......but to have Flanders unite with us?Nah,better not..
LOL, visiting a Belgian or Dutch opera is still a safe activity. Phew.
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  #124  
Old 07-19-2008, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Aah, so if that is what get's you a Leopold I wonder... Did Amamo ever get one? For those who do not understand what we are talking about: Donnea was supposed to be one of the lovers of princess Paola.
Ahem, there are many honourable ways to get you an order of course (just like there are "50 ways to leave your lover" :stuart:). Being a politician sure isn´t obstructing the “get me an order” mission. But a good singer has the prospect of being bestowed with a noble title, Adamo is pleased to call himself a chevalier since 2005. Even better: do an Aldo, import some Martini (amongst other merits of course ), become a Baron AND get the Order of Leopold on top of it. Albert seems to be generous and I should stop gossiping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Now something remarkable: some respondants suggested that a Dutch princess and a Belgian prince should marry; their eldest child could be the ruler of the new country... As a capital even the very unremarkable Baarle-Hertog was suggested (A Belgian enclave in The Netherlands). And the countries name could be Vlaanderland or Nedervlaanderen...
Oh, they could play it uber safe, go for a history repeating stunt and follow in the footsteps of Philip the Handsome or Charles V, a solid double marriage policy. Amalia, Gabriel, Alexia and Emmanuel should discuss this during their next sandbox meeting, secretly of course, not to upset Elisabeth who is left in the rain. Hach, I know at least one person who would be thrilled. Though I guess the little ones are not Habsburgian enough to be the happy regents of this cloud cuckoo land.
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  #125  
Old 07-20-2008, 12:36 AM
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So will Belgium be devolved is their hope Should The Duke of Brabant become Regent??
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  #126  
Old 07-22-2008, 06:25 PM
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by paola View Post
Having a constitutional monarchy does not mean that there are no elections.
True indeed. I would hope it's not the same level of hysteria as here at times but judging from press coverage overseas I see mudslinging is alive and well in most elections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paola View Post
On the contrary, in the Netherlands for instance we have elections for the National Parliament every four years. And also elections for the Provincial States, the City Council and the European Parliament. And all with there own campaign and election day.

Every four years when a new parliament is chosen a new group of ministers form a new government. If all goes well that government can do his job for the whole four years, but the parliament can "send them home" or they can give in there resignation as they think that they cannot do there job anymore. In Belgium it is similar.
Thanks, that seems to be the difference. Here we have election terms of two or four years (depending on the position) but only the individual can resign the term and leave (or be forced out for criminal activity). I don't think we've run into the same no-confidence type situation as a whole; Congress isn't dismissed for re-elections. A special election may be held if needed for that particular office (representative or Senator) but Congress as a whole would still be in place and not considered a new Government. We have managed to impeach a President but they still managed to stay in office by winning the vote not to be removed.

So, if a new government is set up are the elections held on the same scheduled cycle as before or does that count reset? If elections normally would be scheduled for 2009 in general, would the new group wait for the end of term election cycle or would there still be a vote in 2009 as previously scheduled? It sounds like most elections are still held as they are here, every two years. Most of our terms are four years but often are scheduled for alternate years so we vote every two years, other special elections as they come up for referendums or special needs.

Now to stir up the pot--is the situation with Francophones in Belgium similar to the situation in Quebec where there are some folks who just want to be independent no matter what? That is what it's sounding like to me but just curious what it's like for someone there. Yes, I do know it's not all Francophones, just a few vocal ones wanting to stir things up for attention. I really hate to classify folks in groups in general but I was just curious. I appreciate wanting to celebrate one's heritage/culture and identify with a group but that isn't the same as inflicting that upon someone else if the other person isn't receptive to the idea. We just don't have any group so interested in seceding from the US (at least not for the past 144 years at least) that we would split at this time. I sure we may run into this later on but right now we're still working on trying to include everyone instead of splitting off.
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  #127  
Old 07-31-2008, 07:53 AM
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Seems Prime Minister Leterme manages to survive another deadline. King Albert´s mediators presented their report today and Albert elongated their mandate till the second half of September.
Here´s more about it:
deredactie.be - English - Political mediators allowed more time
The politicians gain some time this way and perhaps they are now able to enjoy a bit of summer holiday – unlike last year. Hope it helps them to get into a more constructive mode. The question is though, if Leterme´s party the Christian-Democrats will loose its party alliance member, the separatist N-VA, which was asking for guarantees for a state reform till this day. I wouldn’t mind if this misalliance finally breaks up, would make things easier imo.

In the meantime Senator Alain Destexhe, a francophone liberal, suggested asking a mediator from abroad to get out of the self-created mess. He thinks of the Norwegian Knut Vollebaek, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. As long as he doesn´t ask for United Nations peacekeeping troops…
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  #128  
Old 12-20-2008, 06:43 AM
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Another political crisis for Belgium and just before christmas the Belgian government handed their resignation to King Albert II. This time the dealings around the bank Fortis are the reason.

From flandersnews.be:

Quote:
PM Yves Leterme resigns
Fri 19/12/08 19:59 (UPDATE) - Prime Minister Yves Leterme (Flemish Christian democrat) has offered the resignation of his government. His proposal comes after his Justice Minister Jo Vandeurzen (also a Flemish Christian democrat) resigned in the wake of allegations by Belgium's highest court that the government had tried to influence a court case on the bailout and sale of Fortis Bank.



The Council of Ministers has decided to tender the resignation of the government to King Albert II.

Earlier in the day Justice Minister Jo Vandeurzen resigned. According to a report by the chairman of Belgium's highest court Ghislain Londers, Jo Vandeurzen actively tried to influence the ruling on Fortis Bank. He said this was "highly unusual".

More here.

And again from flandersnews:

Quote:
Still no word from the Palace
Sat 20/12/08 11:27 - With Prime Minister Yves Leterme handing in his government’s resignation to the Monarch on Friday evening, King Albert II has embarked on a round of talks with top politicians in an effort to try and find a way out of the current political crisis.



Mr Leterme arrived at the King’s private residence Belvédère Castle at around 7:30pm he remained there for a round one and half hours.


Read more here.
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  #129  
Old 12-20-2008, 03:24 PM
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I liked the way Le Soir put it: "Ceci n'est pas une catastrophe"...

What kind of politically infantile and incompetent country I live in, I honestly don't know anymore.

The King has been talking to the chair(wo)men of the different political parties of the ex-government today, and hopes to get a new government running soon, because this really is the least interesting time for Belgium to be without government.
The King is still keeping the government's resignation in consideration, and no answer is expected this weekend.
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  #130  
Old 12-20-2008, 04:21 PM
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Thanks for the info. I saw a headline at a news site and came here to the forums for more info. Very interesting.
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  #131  
Old 12-20-2008, 06:12 PM
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Oh ... No ... Not again... It seems to me that resignations are a favourite activity of the Belgian government. They are ready to find any reason/cause to stir up a crisis. It is not an exaggeration to say that bail-outs of a various nature are high on the government agenda in most European countries. At the same time, these governments strive to reach an agreement, when dealing with issues.
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  #132  
Old 12-20-2008, 06:51 PM
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Oh, but the government hasn't fallen over internal disagreement. The PM and the Minister of Justice are accused of trying to pressure the Judges of the Fortis case into a judgement favourable of the Government. (By the highest judges of Belgium, so this is no light matter) The seperation of the three branches hasn't been respected. The PM or the Minister of Justice had no reason to interfere with the judicial power in this case. Influencing judges (or trying to) in a current case is totally against the law. So they had to resign, and with them the entire Government, because they were basically all in it (although only the abovementioned two are rememebered, of course).
This one will go into history as Fortisgate I think.
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  #133  
Old 12-20-2008, 09:43 PM
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Well lets hope for new elections and that Mr. Lterme will lose & we will never hear of him again. Though his role is certainly challenging I do think he made an enormous mess out of it.

It is curious that for a country in a constant political crisis it is going so well in Belgium.... The effect on the lives of people is minimal.
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  #134  
Old 12-21-2008, 04:41 AM
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Yes, I think we have the Regional Governments to thank for that, as well as the European Union. The Flemish/Walloon governments are responsible for things which effect daily life most. The European Eunion has given us the Euro, so there's no major inflation problem (god knows what would have happened without that)
But the country is moving towards total destruction... There is no agreed Budget for 2009 (ermm... 10 days to go, guys!), there is no economic reform plan, and the yearly talks between employers and employees have been held, but if they don't get poured into law, the people won't get the pay they are entitled to. So yeah, it's crisis. Below the surface. (and then I'm not even thinking about the retirement funds which are empty, so Belgium won't be able to pay any pensions probably in a year or two)

Well, I hope new elections won't come until june 2009 because I don't intend to go voting twice in three months because the elected federal parties made a mess out of it (this really isn't only Leterme's fault). Besides, a new election would be "unconstitutional" right now, so it doesn't help us one iota further.

==============
The King will continue consulting different people (not Leterme as far as I know) today (Sunday!!!) and when he has found someone to take over Leterme's place, the government probably will move on with the same parties as before, only (I hope) a whole batch of newbies. Today on the radio they said that the King wants to have his answer ready by tonight.
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  #135  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyLeana View Post
Yes, I think we have the Regional Governments to thank for that, as well as the European Union. The Flemish/Walloon governments are responsible for things which effect daily life most. The European Eunion has given us the Euro, so there's no major inflation problem (god knows what would have happened without that)
But the country is moving towards total destruction... There is no agreed Budget for 2009 (ermm... 10 days to go, guys!), there is no economic reform plan, and the yearly talks between employers and employees have been held, but if they don't get poured into law, the people won't get the pay they are entitled to. So yeah, it's crisis. Below the surface. (and then I'm not even thinking about the retirement funds which are empty, so Belgium won't be able to pay any pensions probably in a year or two)

Well, I hope new elections won't come until june 2009 because I don't intend to go voting twice in three months because the elected federal parties made a mess out of it (this really isn't only Leterme's fault). Besides, a new election would be "unconstitutional" right now, so it doesn't help us one iota further.

==============
The King will continue consulting different people (not Leterme as far as I know) today (Sunday!!!) and when he has found someone to take over Leterme's place, the government probably will move on with the same parties as before, only (I hope) a whole batch of newbies. Today on the radio they said that the King wants to have his answer ready by tonight.

Poor poor Albert,to have such infantile & corrupt national pain in the behinds as his government.Meddling with the department of Justice,it is beyond believe.High time for a clean sweep with a large broom through that small and uncanny,but also delightfull,neighbour to the south of us.

A "federal" state indeed.A Federal mess that should be immediatly swept back to a Kingdom of Belgium with one government only instead of those freeloaders,and a ban on VB,immediatly too,the country,the gov.,behaves like spoiled rotten incompetent children and they are the risée of Europe.Thank you Leterme,who,btw,started to sing the Marseillaise instead of the Brabanconne once asked,a year ago,to sing the Belgian National anthem....that was sóoo telling.

Anyway,Albert will be demanding too much of himself again,another attack on HM not always stable health.I am really really sorry for him.
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  #136  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:30 PM
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A federal mess, yes. Back to Baudouin's Belgium, I don't think so. I'd sooner move north

Well, now you see why Magritte painted surrealistic...

Latest update: the King has accepted the Government's resignation, and is considering who should come up as new "formateur". Many "retirees" have been called back into action. Flemish socialist opposition party spa is prepared to be part of a transitory government, which should govern until next June, when there were elections scheduled anyway (only not federal ones)...
Oh well, this is Belgium. We'll probably find a major compromise and continue to muddle along.

Also, the King postponed the recording of his Christmas message because of the political mess, which was supposed to happen today (I think).
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  #137  
Old 12-22-2008, 03:19 PM
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From flandersnews.be:

Quote:
King Accepts Resignation

Mon 22/12/08 18:40 - The inner cabinet of resigning PM Yves Leterme (Flemish Christian democrat) met on Monday to discuss the most urgent dossiers. Following the meeting all politicians refused comment.

The government of Yves Leterme resigned on Friday. The King can either accept or refuse a resignation. Just past 6 PM he officially announced that he accepted the resignation.

As long as the King did not officially accept the resignation of the government, under the Belgian consitution the government could continue work.
Read more here.

====
Some rumours say they will ask Jean-Luc Dehaene again to act as PM in the mean time... It will be nice to have him back, to me he is the prototype of a Belgian ...
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  #138  
Old 12-22-2008, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
From flandersnews.be:

Some rumours say they will ask Jean-Luc Dehaene again to act as PM in the mean time... It will be nice to have him back, to me he is the prototype of a Belgian ...
Strange ideas you have about us...

The King has appointed ex-PM Wilfried Martens as "scout". He will be talking to all political parties to try and get them on one line to form a (temporary?) government. Talk about bringing in the big guns...
Poor Wilfried, just married and already back into the political turmoil...
(VRT news site)
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  #139  
Old 12-30-2008, 06:31 AM
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Belgian king asks Van Rompuy to form government
UPDATE 2-Belgian king asks Van Rompuy to form government | Industries | Financial Services & Real Estate | Reuters

Belgian king swears-in new PM
http://www.euronews.net/en/article/3...ars-in-new-pm/
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  #140  
Old 12-30-2008, 02:12 PM
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God Bless HM,and ofcourse mr.van Rompuy on his mission as the new PM of Belgium.He took the oath at the Palace earlyer today.

The Previous PM,Leterme,mingled in a court case and had to leave.
On a side-note:

Leterme and his counterpart from Luxembourg,jointly and secretely,held talks on dividing Fortis Bank & Insurances among themselves,read Belgium and Lux.That,at the last minute,didn´t go unnoticed by the Dutch Government and Fortis´s strong and less corrupt dutch leg,and then it was easy to aquire the dutch part of Fortis for the lousy 19 billion we got it back.

It had the neighbours to the south screaming on how these crooked dutch here there and everywhere...tough luck!

Belgium screaming:`Oh those wicked dutch and what not`....Yeah well,up their daisies!
They so deserved what they had coming next,the backwardly secretive ways do not pay off well,do they----..they backfire..full force..

Now poor mr. van Rompuy can clean up a mess of sorts.
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