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  #81  
Old 08-07-2008, 06:16 PM
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When I was a young child in Western Europe, my father used to work as a civilian for the Belgian Army. I picked up some French and Flemish, and we had wonderful holidays on the Belgian cost, staying with colleagues of my father. But even then I was aware of tension between the two language groups. Later on, I saw with amazement and horror the riots at Belgian universities. All this was half a century ago, but despite a more powerful Europe which has become a major player in world affairs, regionalism and language wars are only just below the surface.
Long live diversity in language and traditions!
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  #82  
Old 08-08-2008, 03:16 PM
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An article appeared in the Belgian/Flemish tabloid "dag allemaal" last week, in which the fututre of the Belgian Monarchy was discussed. In general, the article cited several sources which contradicted each other on whether or not Albert himself is worried about the future of his family (some said he was very worried, others that he did not really see too much trouble ahead). They also stated somewhere that prince Philippe should stop acting like a hunted animal when the cameras are on him. I'll try to find it and make a proper translation when I have the time. (do bear in mind it's a tabloid and thus sensational)

The conclusion: we'll see what happens. There is no scenario for the RF if the country were to split. It is apparently not clear if they would still be able to use the palaces and castles in Belgium, all of which are owned by the State. They sadly concluded the King would probably have to move to his holiday residence in France, which is the only house privately owned by the BRF (apart from Villa Astrida, which belongs to Queen Fabiola). If the country doesn't split, the RF should turn into a living PR-machine, to promote Belgium at all times and places. (even more than they are doing now)
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  #83  
Old 08-09-2008, 01:31 PM
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Here is the foreign perspective on whether or not Belgium should exist. I believe that this opinion might be seen as wry humour.
Holy Cows: Let's bin Belgium - Telegraph

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  #84  
Old 08-11-2008, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyLeana View Post
An article appeared in the Belgian/Flemish tabloid "dag allemaal" last week, in which the fututre of the Belgian Monarchy was discussed. In general, the article cited several sources which contradicted each other on whether or not Albert himself is worried about the future of his family (some said he was very worried, others that he did not really see too much trouble ahead). They also stated somewhere that prince Philippe should stop acting like a hunted animal when the cameras are on him. I'll try to find it and make a proper translation when I have the time. (do bear in mind it's a tabloid and thus sensational)

The conclusion: we'll see what happens. There is no scenario for the RF if the country were to split. It is apparently not clear if they would still be able to use the palaces and castles in Belgium, all of which are owned by the State. They sadly concluded the King would probably have to move to his holiday residence in France, which is the only house privately owned by the BRF (apart from Villa Astrida, which belongs to Queen Fabiola). If the country doesn't split, the RF should turn into a living PR-machine, to promote Belgium at all times and places. (even more than they are doing now)
Ah, the Dag Allemaal article. Iīm with you, Dag Allemaal is indeed pretty sensational and the blatant cover already moved me to tears. They managed to paint a depressing picture of royals having to leave the life of their dreams behind - without shelter and nobody feeding them and whatnot. Well, thatīs last week’s news, this week they spend their precious paper on their little catfight with Wendy van Wanten (ex-girlfriend of Prince Laurent).
I didnīt read it, but I guess they generously kept quiet about the Royal Trust?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Trust_(Belgium)
Itīs true that all castles are state owned, but this didnīt come without conditions and I strongly assume a compensation is due if the residences are no longer at the disposal of the BRF.
And if we believe the tabloid HLN they are already busy buying themselves a big residence in Italy, just in case of… Pol Van Den Driessche (former republican tinted royalty journalist and now senator) thinks they panic as not even republicans or the separatist party Vlaams Belang wants to abolish the monarchy. What a statement, seems they all get mad during silly season. And this aside, Iīm sure all members of the BRF (even Laurent) are rich enough to buy themselves a proper residence, they surely donīt have to camp in Albertīs holiday villa.

And honestly, I donīt see a split coming anytime soon. But itīs high time for the politicians to get out of their self created mess.
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  #85  
Old 08-11-2008, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Britannicus View Post

b. the EU can not afford the split up of its prize pupil and one of its founding members. The example of the European capital being caught up in a violent splitting up scenario would be hugely damaging. Also the example of the Flemings would cause havoc in Spain (Baskenland) and other memberstates. Besides, Britain, which fought WWI to preserve the identity and neutrality of Belgium, and France, two huge members, have already stated that their interests would not be served by a disunited Belgium.
Thatīs one mayor point imo: A newly created state Flanders would be no member of the EU and thus negotiations for a full membership would be necessary to get (back) in the EU. Negotiations with all its consequences and delays. And negotiations I wouldnīt recommend a country whose currency is the Euro to start with. Of course this is not a topic of discussion if separatist politicians like Bart De Wever or Filip Dewinter open their mouth, just like they donīt come up with a solution for Brussels. It may sound undemocratic and rude, but Iīm pretty sure this argument will be used as “decision support” by other EU members in case of any doubt.
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  #86  
Old 08-12-2008, 04:00 AM
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Perhaps the Dutch speaking part could become part of the Netherlands and the French speaking part of France. Would that create a bit of a damper in the sessecionists cause?
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  #87  
Old 08-15-2008, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by johann View Post
Ah, the Dag Allemaal article. Iīm with you, Dag Allemaal is indeed pretty sensational and the blatant cover already moved me to tears.
me too... well not really but it was funny to see. I'll even scan the cover for everyone to see (or would that get me into trouble)

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Originally Posted by johann View Post
I didnīt read it, but I guess they generously kept quiet about the Royal Trust?
Royal Trust (Belgium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
They did mention it, if I remember correctly, I still didn't get my hands on the article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johann View Post
And honestly, I donīt see a split coming anytime soon. But itīs high time for the politicians to get out of their self created mess.
I absolutely agree. Politicians... if there aren't any problems they create them, and once created they can't solve them. Only comes to show that being elected does not make you any more suitable for running a country than being born in the right family. In both cases you can be brilliant or stupid. This is a nice example of stupid.

And to split the country up and give half to the Netherlands, and the other half to France is exactly what some would want to see happening. There actually is a movement in Wallonia, called "les rattachistes" who would want nothing better than to annex Wallonia (and in some cases also Brussels) to France. In Flanders, the idea is more to construct a new independent state. But, as Belgium is member of Nato, EU, and god knows what other political alliances in this world, the chance of its splitting is very small. If Belgian territorial integrity is threatened, Belgium could actually become a territory occupied by NATO peace corps or something... now there's a thought...
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  #88  
Old 08-15-2008, 01:22 PM
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Flanders together with the Netherlands? I don't see that happen in the next millenium, trust me. Though I love the Flemish, but after almost three decades of closely watching Dutch, Walloons and Flemish I really do think the Flemish have secretly more in common with the Walloons than with these northern Dutch people. To put them together in one country with the calvinistic north? No, bad idea. Another seperation movement would be born pretty fast, I think.

I'm with LadyLeana on this one, if there's going to be a seperation, Flanders definitely is going to be its own country. But I don't see it happening either, to be honest. Way too complicated and johann and LadyLeana already explained why in a much more eloquent way than I'm capable of...
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