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  #81  
Old 08-07-2008, 07:16 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, 04:16 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, 02:31 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, 08:59 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. I´m 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, that´s 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 didn´t read it, but I guess they generously kept quiet about the Royal Trust?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Trust_(Belgium)
It´s true that all castles are state owned, but this didn´t 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, I´m sure all members of the BRF (even Laurent) are rich enough to buy themselves a proper residence, they surely don´t have to camp in Albert´s holiday villa.

And honestly, I don´t see a split coming anytime soon. But it´s high time for the politicians to get out of their self created mess.
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  #85  
Old 08-11-2008, 09:01 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.
That´s 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 wouldn´t 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 don´t come up with a solution for Brussels. It may sound undemocratic and rude, but I´m 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, 05:00 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, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johann View Post
Ah, the Dag Allemaal article. I´m 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 didn´t 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 don´t see a split coming anytime soon. But it´s 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, 02:22 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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  #89  
Old 05-03-2016, 10:55 AM
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How is the popularity of the Belgian monarchy? The monarchy is very popular in Belgium? How is the popularity of the current Kings of the Belgians?
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  #90  
Old 09-19-2016, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
The biographies of Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent are still there, but Prince Lorenz and Princess Claire were removed.
http://www.monarchie.be/fr/famille-r...incesse-astrid

The court told Story that the new website is only for "the members of the Royal Family with an official function (and therefore also a grant)", but that King Albert II and Queen Paola's pages were preserved "out of respect for the former Head of State and his wife".

Koning Filip schrapt familieleden uit stamboom - Het Nieuwsblad

Prince Lorenz and Princess Claire do not receive money from the government, but on what does the court base its claim that they do not have an official function? What's more, biographies of Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eléonore were added to the website despite the fact that they will never receive a grant.
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  #91  
Old 09-19-2016, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
The court told Story that the new website is only for "the members of the Royal Family with an official function (and therefore also a grant)", but that King Albert II and Queen Paola's pages were preserved "out of respect for the former Head of State and his wife".

Koning Filip schrapt familieleden uit stamboom - Het Nieuwsblad

Prince Lorenz and Princess Claire do not receive money from the government, but on what does the court base its claim that they do not have an official function? What's more, biographies of Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eléonore were added to the website despite the fact that they will never receive a grant.

Lorenz has several public engagements throughout the year. Claire has been MIA for quite some time. Some commentators interpret Claire's absence from the public scene as retaliation by Laurent for the reduction in his stipend.

In any case, as long as Astrid and Laurent are on the website, I find it rude (and unnecessary) to remove the biographies of their consorts.
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  #92  
Old 09-19-2016, 10:03 AM
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On itself the website of the belgian monarchy is pretty complete. They mention that Princess Astrid is married to Archduke Lorenz and that Prince Laurent is married to Claire. One has to start somewhere with limiting the profiles on the official website.
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  #93  
Old 11-16-2016, 10:46 AM
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According to the Institute for Social and Political Opinion (Ispo) the support for the monarchy has reached an alltime low in Belgium.

Article

and

Article


Translation:

In 2014 only 40 to 45 % of the Dutch-speaking Belgians were an outspoken supporter of the monarchy. This according to a study by the Institute for Social and Political Opinion (Ispo), about which the newspaper De Standaard reported on November 15th 2016. For the first time the support is less than half of the Dutch-speaking Belgians (which form more than 60 % of the Belgian population).

The survey polled in 1990, 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2014 about the attitude of the Belgians towards the Royal House. During these 25 years the king has significantly declined in popularity. In 1990, under King Baudouin, the king received more than 60 % of the Dutch-speaking Belgians behind him, but subsequently under his successors the support dwindled steadily.

The continued decline is partly explained by secularization and the increase in the level of education, but also the evolution of political thinking plays a role. The more belgicist someone is (= in support of an unitary Belgian state and against a devolution into a confederation), the more royalist.

This also explains why the French-speaking Belgians made the reverse movement: the proportion of supporters of the monarchy increased from 59.6 % in 1990 to 70.1 % in 2003. In 2014, however, it dropped to 66.1 %.

In addition, amongst others, also the confidence in the king was polled. That onfidence was strikingly higher than in 2003 under King Albert II than in 2014 under King Philippe:
- In 2003 from the French-speaking Belgians 65 % had a lot of trust in the king, in 2014 this trust dropped to only 37 %;
- In 2003 from the Dutch-speaking Belgians 41 % had a lot of trust in the king, in 2014 this trust dropped to only 28 %.
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  #94  
Old 11-16-2016, 11:57 AM
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The recent photos of a very unpleasant looking Prince Laurent will do the Royal House no favours!
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  #95  
Old 11-16-2016, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by An Ard Ri View Post
The recent photos of a very unpleasant looking Prince Laurent will do the Royal House no favours!
Well, to be fair, in 1990, after almost 4 decades of kingship, King Baudouin "only" got the support of 60 % of the Dutch-speaking and 59,6 % of the French-speaking Belgians. So even under King Baudouin it was not very high.

In 1950 a referendum was held about the return of the King from exile and both in French-speaking Belgium (58% against) and Brussels (52 % against) the royalists lost. It was only thanks to the support in the Dutch-speaking part (72 % for the King) that the monarchy survived because this counterbalanced the overall vote to a 58 % in favour of the King. Despite this result, King Leopold III abicated the kingship, to save the monarchy, realizing that he would remain a highly divisive person without "widespread popular support".

It was already not high in the 1950's and as this survey was done in 2014, I think Prince Laurent has little to do with it. It is really the loss of the feeling to be Belgian. No longer there is a strong, central and unitary Belgian state. Almost everything except the armed forces has been split in federal parts, so the institution "Belgium" is eroding from within. And logically also the crown on that institution: the monarchy.
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  #96  
Old 11-16-2016, 12:53 PM
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To be honest, i'd be interested to see what results a poll today would have, 2014 is 2 years ago when K.Philip was only king for a year and the stories about the abdication and K.Albert's extra-marital daughter where newer than they are now..
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  #97  
Old 11-16-2016, 01:02 PM
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To be honest, i'd be interested to see what results a poll today would have, 2014 is 2 years ago when K.Philip was only king for a year and the stories about the abdication and K.Albert's extra-marital daughter where newer than they are now..
I assume that the initial enthusiasm will have ebbed away now. Like in the other monarchies with an new head of state. The honeymoon is over and the "newness" has gone.
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  #98  
Old 11-16-2016, 01:24 PM
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Since the election of D Trump and the brexit, I has not trust the polls

I remember the big big crownd when King Baudoin was dead in 1993, I knew people who waited one entire day to pay tribute to the king lying in the royal palace,
Who would have think this in 1950 1951 when he became king , you forgot to say Duc and Pair that at that times after the second war, the communist party was everywhere and made a lot of trouble in the country, Belgium as france, a lot of Monarchies were no more present as Italia, Yougoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria.
The referendum for a republic in Luxembourg has failed this month, a lot of polls said that there were less people for a monarchy in this country

What did we see? nothing the people of Luxembourg wanted to keep their monarchy they did not' want a republic .People wants stability not troubles
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  #99  
Old 11-16-2016, 01:25 PM
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Even if it is not perfect.
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  #100  
Old 11-16-2016, 01:50 PM
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Yes, big crowds at the funeral of King Baudouin. Only a handful at the funeral of Queen Fabiola. Yesterday there were maybe 40/50 royalists cheering and well-wishing the royal family.

For the polls: they predicted that Hillary Clinton would get more support than Donald Trump. In that aspect their predictions became true: the counting is still continuing and she has more than 1 million voters in surplus over Trump but because of the Electoral College system Trump assembled more electors. The polls were right on the popular vote and wrong on the Electoral College.

For the Brexit the polls predicted a narrow victory for the Remain camp. It became a narrow victory for the Brexit camp. The difference was in the margin of error, so it was close.

For the Scottish Referendum the polls predicted a narrow victory for the pro-UK camp. The prediction became true.

So we can trust polls. With some care. It is not that they were waaaaaay off prediction in the named examples. From what I see, the reception of the monarchy is -at best- lukewarm in Belgium. But all three new Kings face a downward trend in approval of monarchy. They themselves are not unpopular. But asked about the form of state, more and more people opt for a democratically voted head of state. That is all.

The first monarchy to fall will be the Netherlands or Belgium. That is my prediction. Not because the King or Queen do it bad, but because the people want to vote themselves. Mark my words. And once one monarchy falls, others will follow. It will be a domino effect. Again: it has nothing to do with popular Mathilde or beloved Máxima. It has to do with the question: "Do you prefer a system with an elected head of state or do you prefer a system by hereditary succession?"
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