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  #21  
Old 01-25-2007, 09:11 PM
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Prince Filip reprimands journalists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora810
I was looking for more info on the above story that Henri M. posted but I didn't find anything. I did however find info on a Navy embezzlement trial on yahoo. The article said that the RF could be "potentially embarassed by the scandal". But the article was from Jan. 9 and I don't know the results or if this is an embarassing thing for the royal family. So does anyone know more about this?
Please don't get mad or offended by any of my post I'm really just curious and trying to learn about different things.
Hi Aurora810 ,
Prince Filip reprimands journalists
Thu 25/01/07 - An intervention by crown prince Filip during a reception last night is causing much consternation. The heir to the throne of the Belgians openly reprimanded two leading journalists: Yves Desmet, the editor-in-chief of the left-leaning daily De Morgen and Pol Van Den Driessche, the political editor-in-chief of the TV station VTM.
Prince Filip complained that the two editors-in-chief are responsible for reporting that puts him in a far too negative light.
The two editors are both Flemings.
In recent years there has been growing tension between the royal palace and forces seeking greater autonomy for Flanders. The bizarre reprimand occurred during a reception at the royal palace of Brussels to which the country's highest dignitaries had been invited...
...The prince told Pol Van Den Driessche that he couldn't stand the fact that he was friendly when he came to the palace, but criticised him elsewhere.
The prince continued: "If you go on like that, you will no longer be welcome at the palace".
Does the Prince know what freedom of the press is?
The commercial TV channel's political editor-in-chief later said he had the impression that the Prince didn't really know what the freedom of the press was all about.
Pol Deltour of the Flemish Association of Journalists is incensed by the fact that the Prince threatened to ban some journalists from the palace...
...A spokesman for the royal palace was later forced to concede that the conversation between the Prince and the editors-in-chief may have become unpleasant, but insisted all editors-in-chief remain welcome at the palace.
PM Guy Verhofstadt "Not appropriate"
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (Flemish liberal) says that the prince's attitude is not appropriate.
The Premier has also voiced his concern to the palace about the way the prince deals with the press.
It's not the first time that Prince Filip's relations with the media are strained.
Earlier several journalists and businessmen spoke out saying that he was not pulling his weight during an official trip to South Africa.
"Is he fit for the throne?"
In the daily Het Laatste Nieuws the paper's editor Luc Van der kelen wonders if Prince Filip is fit for the throne.
The daily also publishes a handy list of earlier slip ups by the Prince.
During a trip to South Africa the Prince repeats the same speech time and time again in which he compares Belgium to a diamond.
Business people complain the prince looked terribly uninterested.
The Prince also signed a document setting out a list of demands formulated by the Belgian Employers' Organisation VBO that was particularly critical of the government.
In 2004 during a trip to China the Prince attacked the far right Vlaams Belang political party in an interview with the glossy magazine Story.
In the interview the Prince said that in Belgium there were people and parties like Vlaams Belang that want to destroy our country.
He gave an assurance that they would find him on their way...
The rest (bits and pieces that I left out) [it's a really long article with diffrent sub-headings, not three diffrent articles] can be found here...
flandersnews.be - Prince Filip reprimands journalists
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  #22  
Old 01-25-2007, 10:25 PM
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Another article concerning the spat...

Another article concerning the spat...
Belgian crown prince lashes out at journalists over his coverage in the press
BRUSSELS, Belgium: Belgium's Crown Prince Philippe was at the middle of a new political storm on Thursday after he lashed out at two journalists, warning he would have them barred from the royal palace if they continued to criticize his work...
...According to the journalists, the prince asked to speak to them during a New Year's reception at the palace on Wednesday.
Yves Desmet, editor of the Flemish daily De Morgen, and Pol Van Den Driessche, an editor from VTM television, said Philippe told them that if they did not stop work critical of him, he would have them banned from attending future royal events.
"This should not be permitted, it is not the crown prince's place to say ... you are not welcome in the palace," Van Den Driessche said. "I got the impression that he does not understand press freedom."
They both quoted King Albert's oldest son demanding they show him more respect for his role as heir to the throne and warned them their "negative reports will not block the pursuit of my mission."
"You have to show me respect. I am the crown prince and will become the next king, so the press should not be critical of me," the pair quoted him as saying. "If you continue to write negative stories about the palace then you are no longer welcome"...
...His younger brother Prince Laurent has also had recent run ins with the media over allegations money illegally siphoned from the navy budget was used to fund renovation work on his villa.
The article can be found here...
Belgian crown prince lashes out at journalists over his coverage in the press - International Herald Tribune
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  #23  
Old 01-25-2007, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora810
I was looking for more info on the above story that Henri M. posted but I didn't find anything. I did however find info on a Navy embezzlement trial on yahoo. The article said that the RF could be "potentially embarassed by the scandal". But the article was from Jan. 9 and I don't know the results or if this is an embarassing thing for the royal family. So does anyone know more about this?
If you follow this link...
http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...a-10662-3.html
...it should give you all the information that you want concerning the fraud scandal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora810
Also in the article I read, it sounded as though the King in Belgium has complete power which I thought most Kings and Queens nowadays have more of a figurative role or ceremonial role. So does the King of Belgium really have complete power?
I'm not from Belgium so I can only give an answer based on what I already know. There were instances in the past, such as King Baudoin I. Baudoin had to abdicate for one day because he refused to sign a pro-abortion law, and the current, King Albert II, signing a document to allow Laurent to testify in court. The King by my guess has the same power as any other current European reigning monarch except for Liechtenstein (I think Hans-Adam/Alois has a bit more power).

I hope that helps .
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  #24  
Old 01-25-2007, 11:12 PM
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Thanks so much flctylu. Wow, you did a lot of work on that. That's very interesting about King Baudoin abdicating for one day like that. You mentioned that Liechtenstein has more power I was also thinking that Prince Albert of Monaco has a little more power over things there. But I'm only guessing about that based on things he said in an interview on CNN while he was in New York awhile back. Anyways, thanks again.
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Old 01-25-2007, 11:24 PM
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I'm not sure if this has been posted:
New "Royalty" on VTM:
Follow this link...
Royalty
[The clip is 5 days old].
...Click on the windows media link directly under...
...Herbekijk uitzending van 21 januari 2007...
...[called] bekijk deel 1.
The clip covers the following events...
1. The meeting of the international centre for missing and exploited children. There was an intresting scene at 2.05 min, the door on the limo was stuck and it couldn't be opened.
2. Brussels New Year's Celebration.
3. Prince Philip visiting Volvo Cars in Ghent.
4. Princess Astrid visiting Finland [for a Medical conference, not exactly sure what the conference was about].
5. Princess Claire and Mathilde's birthday. It mainly focused on Princess Claire and a few commantaries from people and clips of her, on duty as a Belgium princess [at 12.40min the women with Claire is her mum, I think].

...bekijk deel 2.
The clip deals with...
1. The van Vollenhoven's on holiday in Bad Gastein, Austria. At 1.50min you can hear Lucas (which by the way looks very cute) shout out something, as he came down the slop. At 2.20min Prince Maurits and Princess Marilene talk to the reporters of VTM, as well as Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette.
2. A lady that looks a lot like Queen Elizabeth II of G.B.
3. A fashion show of some sort.
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  #26  
Old 01-26-2007, 03:19 AM
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Irritated about hypocrisy

It seems that the Duke of Brabant (Prince Philippe) was in fact irritated about the hypocrite attitude of these two editors.

During the New Year's Reception they were polished, well-mannered, friendly and it was 'Yes monseigneur, no monseigneur, of course monseigneur, haha monseigneur' but they haven't even left the palace and there they go again, with their half-lies, their gossips and their fictional stories in their media, making up a whole farce of the monarchy.

Thát was what angered the Duke. And I can replace myself in his position indeed. But sadly enough political reality in Belgium is that many Flemish parties will exploit every riot to the maximum because they believe only the royal family is keeping Belgium together, blocking their wish of an independent Flanders. So they will not hesistate to help the crumbling down of the 'Belgiscist' monarchy if this helps their Flemish dream.

It is sad that so many posters are so blinded by dazzling diademes and colourful gowns but do not see the grumbing beneath. 'Mathilde is such a perfect Princess, always so poised'. The truth, my fellow posters, is that Mathilde is dancing on an awakening vulcano. Remember the fate of the so dazzling and poised Farah Diba...
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henri M.
Thát was what angered the Duke. And I can replace myself in his position indeed. But sadly enough political reality in Belgium is that many Flemish parties will exploit every riot to the maximum because they believe only the royal family is keeping Belgium together, blocking their wish of an independent Flanders. So they will not hesistate to help the crumbling down of the 'Belgiscist' monarchy if this helps their Flemish dream.
Indeed. From now on they won't stop to acuse Prince Philipe of being a non-democratic person. I quite understand his reaction. I am not from Belgium and I live in a Republic, but it is quite unfair for the Crown Prince how Press treat him many times. No matter how hard he tries to do his job, there is always someone from the press or from independentist parties asking "Is he fit? Is he fit?". One day, sooner or later, he would lost his mind with them. Of course he fits from the job and he will be, imo, a great king. And he deservs respect.


Thanks for the pics of Princess Mathilde She was elegant and regal, as usual!
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:38 AM
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I understand the Duke completely, but still he should have been professional enough to keep his mouth shut. What on earth was he expecting from such a remark anyway? It reminds me a bit of the gaffe of the Prince of Orange in New-Zealand, also human and understandable but it backfired to (though not as much as with the Duke).

I even understand that the journalists would not be welcome at court anymore, but why on earth let Phillipe say this personally? Aren't there a bit more diplomatic channels who could have communicated this to the journalists in question?

Phillipe should have forseen that this could have happened, especiallyvas discretion is not very common in the flemmish media,. They seem to have a rather agressive and disrespectfull attitude towards the monarchy during the last years IMO. I even recall some nasty remarks during the funeral of the late GD of Luxembourg, and that was on the flemmish public channel.

-
I must say January started out rather badly for the RF, lets hope this will not be a trend for the rest of 2007 :(.
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  #29  
Old 01-26-2007, 07:13 AM
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Domino-effect

I'm a little bit eh... 'pissed off' (excusez-moi) about the serious problems of the Belgian monarchy because I fear for a domino-effect in neighbouring Netherlands and Luxembourg.

When the Flemish political parties seriously want to change the Belgian monarchy into a purely protocollair one, and they succeed in that (luckily there is a fierce Wallonian opposition against that, not out of love for the monarchy but only for their own Wallonian interest), then I fear a domino-effect in the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The progressive majority would suddenly wake up and think about a same scenario in the Netherlands and Luxembourg: 'Look at the neighbours... if they can, why can't we?'

Luckily such a change needs a long procedure and qualified majorities in the States-General, but the sleeping dogs have been disturbed...



I agree with Marengo's observation. In the Netherlands the media always have a basic politeness and positive groundtone when reporting about the monarchy. The way the Flemish media reports and behave on the monarchy is sometimes beyond belief. Indeed the funeral of Grand-Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg (sister of King Albert II and of King Baudouin) came to mind.

Instead of a respectful silence so now and then, it was a continuous babbling of trivia and gossips and even nasty things, while we see pallbearers carrying the catafalque passing by on our television screens.... Unbelievable and without the most minimal respect. Such a vitriolic attitude is unthinkable in the Netherlands. The State Funerals of Prince Claus, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard were monumentally covered.

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  #30  
Old 01-26-2007, 09:03 AM
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Mathilde
http://images2.image-data.com/images...4/24064868.jpg
http://images2.image-data.com/images...4/24064869.jpg

Prince Laurent
http://images2.image-data.com/images...4/24064867.jpg

Mathilde, Queen Fabiola & Philippe
http://images2.image-data.com/images...4/24064881.jpg
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  #31  
Old 01-26-2007, 12:03 PM
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Queen Fabiola is grand lady of royal family Belgium. Princess Mathilde and Queen Fabiola is much more relations!
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  #32  
Old 01-26-2007, 01:21 PM
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Scandalous behaviour

The most strange thing in the whole Belgian controverse is the scandalous behaviour of the Belgian Government, especially premier minister Guy Verhofstadt.

The Government bears responsibility for the King, and for the King only. It is understandable that the future King has a special position, but constitutionally he does not exactly fall under ministerial responsibility.

The Prince can not defend himself in public, it is the tradition that the premier minister steps up and speaks for the Prince, eventually even cash the verbal blows in parliament, public and media. What Guy Verhofstadt did, to give the prince a humiliating rebuke in public, is against all manners. The coming general elections in the deeply polarized country will have played a role. Maybe this was showing 'I can act firmly'. But it had nothing to do with statesmanship and was a scandalous act by the premier.

Luckily he will most likely lose the elections and the (usually pro-monarchy) christian-democrats are leading the polls.
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  #33  
Old 01-26-2007, 03:08 PM
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I read somewhere online that the reason why Phillipe was angry/upset/vulnerable prior to the media spat was supposidly due to a recent poll done in Belgium. The pole said that they perfered Princess Astrid to be the new monarch than Prince Phillipe, hence the remark made by Phillipe (I guess...) "You have to show me respect. I am the crown prince and will become the next king, so the press should not be critical of me."
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flctylu
I read somewhere online that the reason why Phillipe was angry/upset/vulnerable prior to the media spat was supposidly due to a recent poll done in Belgium. The pole said that they perfered Princess Astrid to be the new monarch than Prince Phillipe, hence the remark made by Phillipe (I guess...) "You have to show me respect. I am the crown prince and will become the next king, so the press should not be critical of me."
No, the reason was that the editors were all spic-and-span dressed, behaving most well-mannered and polite in front of the Prince while he knew very well that it all was a façade and that the two gentlemen were not even out of sight or the diarrhea of half-fictional stories about Prince Dumb and his brother Prince Dumber are spread in the media.

That the Prince scores low in popularity polls ('we have questioned a representative group of 113 people') is really no news to him. He has always scored low figures.
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:36 AM
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Nasty debate on Prince Philippe in Parliament (1)

25 January 2007



The Chairman (mr. Herman de Croo):
The next two questions are directed at the premier minister, who is absent today due to an important meeting in Paris. The questions handle about the statements heard today in the media.

Do the questioners agree that the minister of Justice will answer the questions?
It is approved.

At order are combined questions by:
- mr. Gerolf Annemans to the premier minister about the ''press-policy" and the so-called "mission of Prince Philippe". (Nr. P.1372)
- mr. Koen T'Sijen to the premier minister about the ''press-policy" and the so-called "mission of Prince Philippe". (Nr. P.1373)



Gerolf Annemans (Vlaams Belang):
Thank you mr. Chairman, you are acting like you are giving me any say by asking if mrs. Onkelinx can answer my questions.



The Chairman (mr. Herman de Croo):
I always ask this question, mr. Annemans, when a minister is replaced, if the questioner does agree with that replacement.



Gerolf Annemans (Vlaams Belang):
I want to ask my question today and I can do no other than being saddened that the premier minister is absent and, alike the last round of questions about that other Prince, is being replaced by a French-speaking vice-premier while he has excellent stand-ins like mr. De Gucht, who is here today or by the other Dutch speaking vice-premier. I would have appreciated that more.



The Chairman (mr. Herman de Croo):
The Government is indivisible, mr. Annemans.



Gerolf Annemans (Vlaams Belang):
You says that the government is indivisible, mr. Chairman.



The minister of Foreign Affairs (Karel de Gucht):
[…. making remarks from the benches….]



Gerolf Annemans (Vlaams Belang):
Yes, I think so, mr. De Gucht. I keep up the hope that there is some nuance between you, mr. De Gucht, and mrs. Onkelinx. However, its is true that this hope reduces day by day. There really is a difference in tone between the way the French-speaking part of the country thinks about this newest affair, compared with the Dutch-speaking part of the country. I can better consider the answer given by mrs. Onkelinx as the answer of the government, or at least as that of the premier minister.

The quotations in the press were not all unambiguous. I want to give the most important quotations. The prince would have said the following, this time, temporarily, without apology by De Croo. Last time you were quick to seize your chance, mr. Chairman, to defend the Prince, but for so far this has not happened yet in this affair but maybe you can take up the defence today?

I quote the Prince:
“You are shaking my hand now, but when you write negatively again, you are no longer welcome inside the palace.”
“I demand that you show reverence to my function and that you show respect for this House, otherwise it can not be so that you are here today.”
“You do not like to see me, but I say to you: your negative messages will not prevent me to accomplish my Mission”

I do not know what he means with the word "mission". Is that the manner on which he establishes a sort of religious concept on earth to rule this country and has not been delegated by the people of this country? I do not know if he has a despotic view on his position and on his “mission”. I do not know what his concept is on the constitutional freedom of press in this country.

The premier minister once stated here, a short while ago, about the previous incidents around the heir to the throne: “This must stop and I am certain of it, mr. Annemans: it will stop.”

My question to you, Madam the minister, hopefully answering on behalf of the premier minister is: when will it stop?
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:41 AM
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Nasty debate on Prince Philippe in Parliament (2)

Koen T’Sijen (sp.a-Spirit):
Mr. Chairman, Madam the vice-premier, in front of you stands a republican. I have nothing against the Royal House or against the royal family. Let them live at the Château de Laeken and let them accompany on a trade mission so now and then, but I am concerned about democratic functioning of this possibly the last undemocratic institution in this land: the royal family.

I think we have experienced a sad culmination yesterday. I think it is the third time now, that the Government has to come here to justify about remarks by members of the royal family. I ask myself: how often has this to happen yet?

I feel uneasy about this. Uneasy because I think that the whims of Laurent and the blunders of Prince Philippe do no good to the democratic functioning of this country. I think that Parliament has to fulfil a democratic role: to control the government. I think that the media also have an important democratic role to fulfil. In this light it is unseen and unacceptable that the media, this fourth power, are approached on such manner by the Prince.

I think that we have to take our political responsibility. For me, that political responsibility consists that the debate must start about the role and the functioning of the monarchy. For me this -in essence- means: a ceremonial position for the King.

I have three clear questions for the government:
- Do you, at first, have a ready and clear opinions over the remarks by Prince Philippe, yesterday?
- Secondly, what is the opinion of the government on a ceremonial position for the King in the future?



[…. remarks from the benches….]



Koen T’Sijen (sp.a-Spirit):
I know, I know…. I’m part of the majority, but first and foremost I am a democrat. What happened yesterday, was far over the limit for me. Therefore I want to lay down my questions, right here and now. It is remarkable that the Christian-Democrats have not asked any questions, but maybe they fear for their chances on forming a government by keeping themselves salonfähig, out of this mess.

- Thirdly, Madam the vice-premier, is the government willing that the articles about the role and the position of the King can be included in the revision of the Constitution? I ask you this because, for sure after the general elections on June 10, we must have the chance to discuss the reform of the monarchy into a ceremonial position, in all serenity and in full democracy. To me this is the only way out for this moment.



The vice-premier, minister of Justice (Laurette Onkelinx):
Mr. Chairman, the Prince has no specific statute. In spite of this, the government found the attitude of the Prince improper. In name of the government, the premier minister has passed the grievances of the concerned at the Palace and communicated this concern about the contacts of the Prince with the press. The prince should be more reticent.



Gerolf Annemans (Vlaams Belang):
Madam the minister, I thank you for the answer. For me it was clear except for one point. What should happen now? We have now, not for the fourth time but for the seventh or eighth time during the Cabinets Verhofstadt, experienced that everybody is determined that something must happen. This man simply can not. If we wish a long life to the present King, I in fact say with that: the affair really has become urgent.

I suggest that the government should start with a reflection about the revision of the Constitution. But you have refused to say anything about this. The government should reflect about this: we have a few weeks to go to solve this for once and for all. This man can no longer. This man does not learn. This man will never learn. This man can’t. We must reduce the royal function into something adaptable for the present Heir.



Koen T’Sijen (sp.a-Spirit):
Madam the minister, firstly, this afternoon I came not to here to hear an answer that I already could read in all newspapers. I have been disillusioned thus. I warn you that if we do not take up our political responsibility for the monarchy, there will be a democratic deficit after Albert II. Everyone is aware of that. Everybody with a common sense realizes that.

Secondly, I heard nothing about a revision of the Constitution. If the articles around the role and the position of the King will be declared non-negotiable by the government for the revision of the Constitution, my party will not hesitate to take the initiative and make a proposal for declaring these articles negotiable. I hope to count on enough support in this Parliament to make this discussion possible after June 10.



The Chairman (mr. Herman de Croo):
The debate is closed.
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Old 01-27-2007, 05:31 PM
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Thanks Henri M . It sounds like the parties in Belgium have wasted no time to pounce on Phillipe. Do you think that Albert II will agree and comply to parliament if reforms do go through? Does the debate resume again or was that it concering Phillipe and reforms?
Sorry for the numerous questions .
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Old 01-27-2007, 06:08 PM
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Status-quo

I think that the monarchy in Belgium will remain in the present status-quo, for the simple reason that the Wallonians (= the French-speaking part of Belgium) will do everything to prevent a collapse of the monarchy.

Not because the love for the monarchy is that deep: most likely they are as indifferent to it as their Flemish colleagues in Parliament. But it is in the best interest of Wallonia that Belgium remains together and that rich and booming Flanders is not walking away into independence, taking Brussels (the capital, which is an enclave in Flanders territory). Wallonia is really depending on economic transfers from Flanders to finance their social security, health care, education, etc.

The Wallonians have the idea that the monarchy is one of the elements which keep Belgium together. They see the King as a guarantee against a split-up of the country.

This is in fact a strange development: back then in the 1950's it were the people of Flanders whom voted for the return of King Leopold III, while the Wallonians were against.

Flanders (the Dutch speaking part of Belgium):
72% in favour of a return of the King
28% against a return of the King

Wallonia (the French speaking part of Belgium):
48% in favour of a return of the King
52% against a return of the King

Brussels (the capital and surrounding region)
52% in favour of a return of the King
48% against a return of the King

Despite the disappointing results in Wallonia and Brussels, King Leopold III felt strenghtened by the result in Fanders and hoped to win back the hearts of his French-speaking subjects. He returned in 1950. But unrest, serious riots (with deaths) and major nationwide strikes broke out in the country and finally King Leopold was forced to abdicate in favour of his son Prince Baudouin, the Duke of Brabant, to save the position of the monarchy.

It is strange to see that the once so supporting Flanders have now switches roles with the once so anti-monarchy Wallonians.....
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:16 PM
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Cool

Thank you to all for the most interesting information. It seems that now the media is having a field day with both Laurent and Phillipe. I find it childish that the one news editor went whining and complaining to the Prime Minister over the situation and had the PM join the fray.
Question: Why has Prince Phillipe been so unpopular with the public and press for so long? I'm sorry if I seem ignorant, but I don't read much about the situation in Belgium where I live. Thank you in advance.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:51 PM
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I agree. I did know that the Flemish part of Belgium was more prosperous than the French section, however I didn't know about their desire to leave. Thank you for the information.
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Prince Willem-Alexander & Princess Máxima - Current Events, Part 5 (Jan-Jun 2007) Marengo Current Events Archive 189 06-12-2007 04:17 PM
Liechtenstein Princely Family current events 2: Jan 2004 - May 2007 Beate Princely Family of Liechtenstein 147 05-07-2007 05:35 AM
Crown Princess Máxima - Current Events: Part 6 (Jan-Apr 2007) Marengo Current Events Archive 184 04-02-2007 09:24 PM
Crown Princess Máxima - Current Events: Part 5 (Oct 2006-Jan 2007) Marengo Current Events Archive 186 01-18-2007 07:37 AM




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