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  #121  
Old 02-01-2006, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Watcher

Are it just rumours or do they really want that Phillipe will have no power.
The press always brings this up every few years. But it are rumours, nothing more. I believe there's absolutely no basis in the Belgian population who wants this. What politicians want is more power of course.
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  #122  
Old 02-01-2006, 05:17 PM
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I believe it is merely coincidence that today I saw a new thread posted about which European Country is likely to become a republic first. But I think that was part of my question -- do you (Belgian members) hear much talk of doing away with the monarchy? Is there majority support for the work they do? Does Philippe have enough respect to become a good King or, like the article above suggests, is he considered not to be a strong enough personality for the job?

Over the past year, I have been trying to read as much as I can about the history of, and current political situation of, Belgium. While there do seem to be some antagonisms, I guess I wonder if there are workable solution? I wonder if the antagonisms are strengthening over time or if, as people become more mobile and live in different parts of the country, there will develop greater understanding that people are people and the antagonisms will lessen. It has also seemed to me that the Belgian Royal family is instrumental in trying to foster understanding between both the Flemish and Walloon areas -- is this correct? Is there any antagonism because Mathilde is from an upper class - how do you say this - Walloon family?

I think the magic for royalty is dwindling in many countries and for a variety of reasons some that I think have to do with the times and some with the members of royal families not garnering respect, which I think they have to work for these days. The "principal" members of the BRF (now that the King and Queen's marriage is back on track) seem to conduct themselves very well and to work hard for tolerance in the society and for support of both organizations and the poor/misunderstood. I would hope this is one RF that can be a unifying force for the nation and one that can also survive.
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  #123  
Old 02-01-2006, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathérine Bergeyck
It IS normal that you have to be solidary with one another. 100 years ago Flanders was a poor region and Wallonia was wealthy and now the roles are reversed (not that Wallonia is really poor, Flanders is just extremely wealthy).

The king does absolutely not choose a side. He just says it's important to stick together and help each other, even though you live in a different region and speak a different language.

It's above all a political issue, not one that people are concerned with in their daily life IMO.

Certain political parties, like the fascist Vlaams Belang and seperatist NVA now exploit these issues to break Belgium up. That is what king Albert reacted against. He said it was simply not a solution, it will only cost money to everbody. And what would you do with Brussels? Brussels geographically lies in Flanders but 80% of the people living there are francophone. It's officially bilingual but in reality more French than Dutch speaking (although this has improved the last years IMO). On top of that, it's also the capital of Europe. Not some city you toss around between different groups of people.

The whole separatist movement (mind you a small minority in Belgium) is inspired by selfishness, greed and to some extent also racism.

Of course politicians don't like people mingling in their affairs and that's why they react so strongly, but it'll soon blow over again. Belgian people in the whole want Belgium to remain the country it is (with some improvements of course) and I don't think they want a king with less power either.

I didn't want to sound rude to the people who live in Wallonie , but if I did I'm sorry . I just wanted to make the statement of some flemish people clear so others could understand what this is about .

For myself , I don't have an exact opinion about it . I just think we're one country , and we have to solve our problems as one country . Because maybe in the future we will need the help of Wallonie
I definitely don't want Belgium to be seperated , and I don't want a republic either .
But I just think it wasn't smart to put this issue in a newyears speech , not because of what it is about , but because they knew they could expect this reaction from " Vlaams Belang "and ' NVA", and so make a little drama in Belgium . But it's just a storm in a glass of wather , like we say her:)
I think people don't mind about anymore next week , if they already did...
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  #124  
Old 02-01-2006, 07:26 PM
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[quote=Lila Rose]
For myself , I don't have an exact opinion about it . I just think we're one country , and we have to slove our problems as one country . Because maybe in the future we will need the help of Wallonie
I definitely don't want Belgium to be seperated , and I don't want a republic either .
quote]

I think you say well, what I was also asking above, that is, is there an identity of being a "Belgian" as opposed to being a Fleming or a Walloon? And if people identify themselves as "Belgian" then is it stronger among the younger or older generation or not really?

Certainly your country is not alone in this. There are factions in the United States as well and with graphics on television, the media is making us (for better or for worse) aware of which states contribute more financially to our country than others. Perhaps the difference is that from the beginning we have identified ourselves as one country and so we still tend to think we just each need to do our part and those with more resources need to contribute for the greater good of the country. As resources - not just financial, but water, land, etc. begin to dwindle, which is happening in small ways now, we may see more divisiveness.
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  #125  
Old 02-02-2006, 01:12 AM
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I think most people feel they are flemish or walloon and on top of that Belgian. Not just one thing.

For me it is unthinkable that Belgium will one day soon be a republic. Of course I don't want it, but there is absolutely no support for that. Some politicians have that wish, but it doesn't live among the population at all. The royal family is very popular.

I can't imagine Belgium working without a "neutral" king either. To foreigners Belgium always seems a weird complicated and even absurd construction, but it works. Different kind of people live together without starting a civil war or killing each other (I can think of some other countries...), the only thing are some irritations from time to time and a bit of theatre. Belgium woudn't have survived 175 years and become such a wealthy and luxurious country if it was unstable.
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  #126  
Old 02-02-2006, 01:14 AM
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[quote=Emily]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lila Rose


Certainly your country is not alone in this. There are factions in the United States as well and with graphics on television, the media is making us (for better or for worse) aware of which states contribute more financially to our country than others. Perhaps the difference is that from the beginning we have identified ourselves as one country and so we still tend to think we just each need to do our part and those with more resources need to contribute for the greater good of the country. As resources - not just financial, but water, land, etc. begin to dwindle, which is happening in small ways now, we may see more divisiveness.
I often wondered if money would be an issue at all if certain media and polics woudn't have made one of it. Your taxmoney is bound to go somewhere so why not help a fellow Belgian who can use it?
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  #127  
Old 02-02-2006, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily
Is there any antagonism because Mathilde is from an upper class - how do you say this - Walloon family?.
No, because she comes from a wealthy but discreet family, no jet set or scandal stories. No-one had ever heard of her family before she became engaged to Philippe. They aren't extremely rich either.

Her family has Flemish roots by the way, her father comes from Flanders.

And also in th way she behaves, she's very modest. I've never heard the reproach that she's "upper class", she is very good at communicating with all sorts of people, not just the ones from her own milieu.
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  #128  
Old 02-02-2006, 01:33 AM
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Re: A Throne in Belgium re King's Speech

I don't want to open a can of worms, but ever since I saw a review of this book, I have wanted to ask some Belgians about it!!

This book is by Paul Belien and its premise is that the European Union will become like Belgium, struggling to find a common ground, etc. because it has no basic identity. Here is a link to amazon that talks about it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/184...Fencoding=UTF8

Has anyone read this book? Does it throw some light on the subject we are discussing? I am an American and admit, I have no idea about the problems in Belgium! However, I am intrigued and would like to know if this book would be a good choice for Belgian history and the Royal Family.

Again, I mean no disrespect to Belgium or to Belgians, I am just curious and am hoping that I can find some answers straight from the people who actually live there! (As an American, I am amazed at how foreigners think they understand everything about our country when I don't think they understand very much!!):) The best people to understand what is going in in a country are usually those who live there!
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  #129  
Old 02-02-2006, 04:28 AM
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Well there's really nothing to worry about. Like someone said : a storm in a glass of water.

The prime minster and vice prime minister both said on the radio news that there has been no talk of changing the role of the king, and there won't be any talk of it in the government either.
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  #130  
Old 02-02-2006, 11:47 AM
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the king has had eye surgery today. All went well, and he's already back at home.

It was a cataract operation, performed in the universitary hospital in Antwerp by docter Marie-José Tassignon and her team.
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  #131  
Old 02-02-2006, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannelore
the king has had eye surgery today. All went well, and he's already back at home.

It was a cataract operation, performed in the universitary hospital in Antwerp by docter Marie-José Tassignon and her team.
that good news for HM King im hope he doing fine

when my late step-dad had eye surgery in MO and his eye bother him and he went to dr in MO to have operate it and fix it but my mom going with him when he got eye surgery.
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  #132  
Old 02-02-2006, 03:18 PM
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Thank you so much for answering my questions. Wonderful answers, IMO, Catherine! It sounds like there is not much to be concerned about in terms of the existence of the Royal Family.

Tenngirl -- I have not read or heard of the book but I did follow your link and it looks like an interesting read. I am currently reading a book entitled The Dutch Republic: It's Rise, Greatness and Fall -1477-1806. Although the focus is obviously not on Belgium, it does discuss Early Modern Europe in that region and has helped me understand the Flemish/Walloon divide.
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  #133  
Old 02-03-2006, 08:28 AM
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Well actually the Flemish/Walloon divide has only taken place in the sixties when gouvernment has drawn a languageborder. Before that, the territory of Belgium has always been united.
This territory has been under the rule of Spain, Austria , France and the Netherlands as last of the foreign rulers. They called the Belgian territory the 'Southern Netherlands'. But within these 'Netherlands' who are associated with Dutchspeaking people, it included also Wallonia. And in fact the upperclass of Flanders also spoke French. The diplomatic language was French instead of English nowadays.
So if some people say that Belgium is artificial, that the Flemish and the Walloon people are different people, they are absolutaly wrong. We stick togheter for centuries.
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  #134  
Old 02-03-2006, 08:43 AM
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Belgian news in brief, 2 February 2006 King undergoes cataract operation
King Albert II underwent an eye operation at the Antwerp University Hospital on Thursday. The operation was successful and the monarch has since returned too castle Belvédère. The royal palace said King Albert underwent a cataract operation and that it was a relatively minor procedure. Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt wished the King a speedy recovery and has sent a bunch of flowers as a get-well gift.
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  #135  
Old 02-03-2006, 12:41 PM
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King undergoes cataract operation
King Albert II underwent an eye operation at the Antwerp University Hospital on Thursday. The operation was successful and the monarch has since returned too castle Belvédère. The royal palace said King Albert underwent a cataract operation and that it was a relatively minor procedure. Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt wished the King a speedy recovery and has sent a bunch of flowers as a get-well gift.
http://www.expatica.com/source/site_...+February+2006+
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  #136  
Old 02-07-2006, 05:39 PM
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King Albert II pays a visit to the Callebaut chocolate factory, Tuesday 07 February 2006, in Wieze. (Belga)
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  #137  
Old 02-07-2006, 05:40 PM
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and a chat with the children waiting outside...
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  #138  
Old 02-07-2006, 05:47 PM
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A new episode of Royalty

http://www.vtm.be/tv/index_programma...multimedia.htm

Part 1:

1. King Albert had eye surgery that was successful

2. New year's reception for the Belgian politicians, most important representatives of Belgian courts, also important media directors etc. There were 650 guests, the maximum for the throne room.

3. Princess Mathilde at the College of Europe where she gave a speech on microcredits. The speech was broadcasted live in Poland, where the other College of Europe is.

4. Princess Mathilde at the gala night of the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp.

5. foreign news : 85th birthday of grandduke Jean of Luxemburg. He's rarely seen in public since the death of his wife, Joséphine-Charlotte, and seems to have weakened a lot.

Part 2:

1. A short portrait of Pavlos of Greece and his wife

2. Willem-Alexander and Máxima of Holland at the Australien-Dutch gala dinner

3. royal etiquette : what to do when the national anthem is played.
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  #139  
Old 02-07-2006, 06:25 PM
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Great! Thanks for the photos -- now I am hungry after seeing the Callebaut!
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  #140  
Old 02-07-2006, 07:08 PM
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ROYALS-POLITCS-SENATE-175th ANNIVERSARY CONSTITUTION

from belga
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