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-   -   Inquiry on the former partners of Philippe (http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums/f46/inquiry-on-the-former-partners-of-philippe-14607.html)

martha-louise 10-29-2007 05:47 PM

Inquiry on the former partners of Philippe
 
Now a new book about the prince has been published, we know for certain that Barbara Maselis was the first love of Philippe.
Philippe was in his early twenties then, he was 35/36 when he met Mathilde. It seems quit impossible that in all those years there was nobody else.
There was a gossip about a girl 'de Lalaing'.
Does anyone know something about this?

Royal Fan 10-29-2007 11:27 PM

So were these "Intimate" Relationships? Im afraid to ask but did he, and am very sorry if im being to forward , "Have a Serious Relationship"

alexandresylvie 10-30-2007 03:09 PM

the book is in french??????

Marengo 11-01-2007 08:23 PM

Well, I don´t know it very well anymore, but a year or so before the engagement to Mathilde, weren´t there rumours in the press about a countess de lalaing? I believe the lady encouraged the rumours too. There were more stories in those years, also about him and a woman from the Netherlands. But I have forgotten names etc. and it seems to be difficult to trace them back now. Maybe somebody else knows....

Regina 11-02-2007 05:23 AM

I remember to read, some years ago, that Prince Philippe was dating a rich Brazilian girl called Adriana. It was said she was very catholic and Queen Fabiola approved the relationship. That was the only girlfriend of Philippe I read about. I think he wasn't the kind of young man who has a lot of girlfriends. He is religious and probably he wanted to wait for the right woman to have a serious relationship.

Royal Fan 11-03-2007 03:45 PM

So was he "Pure" when he Married then, Weird qurstion I Know but dont kick me off the board or anything im just wondering

Regina 11-03-2007 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Royal Fan (Post 688392)
So was he "Pure" when he Married then, Weird qurstion I Know but dont kick me off the board or anything im just wondering

I don't think anyone here can tell about how pure Prince Philippe was when he got married :smile: But what everyone knows is that Prince Philippe is a very devout Catholic and I think he didnt date anyone just for fun. He seems a very responsible man even in his relationships.

Olka 11-03-2007 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Regina (Post 687907)
I remember to read, some years ago, that Prince Philippe was dating a rich Brazilian girl called Adriana. It was said she was very catholic and Queen Fabiola approved the relationship. That was the only girlfriend of Philippe I read about. I think he wasn't the kind of young man who has a lot of girlfriends. He is religious and probably he wanted to wait for the right woman to have a serious relationship.


As far as I remember the girl was Adriana Torres de Silva and she was from Seville, Spain. Queen Fabiola was more than pleased with this, as the girl was catholic and Spanish, just like Fabiola was/is. The author of the text I read even stated, that Fabiola was the one who introduced Philip and Adriana, hoping in a mariage, but the couple did not cope with her wishes. I don't remember where I read this, but it was just after Baudouin died and Albert and Paola became King and Queen of the Belgians.:smile:

Regina 11-03-2007 07:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Olka (Post 688436)
As far as I remember the girl was Adriana Torres de Silva and she was from Seville, Spain. Queen Fabiola was more than pleased with this, as the girl was catholic and Spanish, just like Fabiola was/is. The author of the text I read even stated, that Fabiola was the one who introduced Philip and Adriana, hoping in a mariage, but the couple did not cope with her wishes. I don't remember where I read this, but it was just after Baudouin died and Albert and Paola became King and Queen of the Belgians.:smile:

Thanks Olka :flowers: That's her name! I thought she was brazilian because the magazine said so and I memorized because "Silva" is a common surname in Brazil (and Portugal). But you'e very right, she is from Seville. This article (from El Mundo) says Philippe dated the spanish Adriana and Infanta Elena of Spain (I didnt know about this last one).

Royal Fan 11-03-2007 10:07 PM

wow when did he Date The Infanta

marie45se 11-04-2007 05:03 AM

Actually he dated Infanta Cristina not Elena. Stephanie de Lalalin or what her last name is, was a girl from upper class in Belgium, she is half Swedish. I can´t get a picture of her because I don´t have a scanner.

Marie

stephanievl 11-04-2007 05:16 AM

In Belgium there is now a book with the title "Prince Philippe". The books says that Mathilde was not Philippe's first love.

When Philippe went to the abbeyschool of Zevenkerken, he became in love withe Barbara Maselis. The daughter of a manufacturar of cattlefood. It was love at first sight between the prince and Barbare. Barbara was 2 years younger, but according to the book more mature and wordly. When philippe left the school the relation beceme more serieus. Barbara was a beautiful girl, spoke 4 languages. They were a couple for 3 years. Filip regulary visited her in Roeselare or Leuven, where she shared a appartment with her sister. Barbara visited Philippe a couple of times in Belvédčre, but the reception was not very warm. To comon, and that was something where the royal family was not ready for those days.

Ultimately it was his father who obliged Philippe to end his relation "Jou are a prince, you have an official future. I can see that Barabara is important for you, but you will have to try to make an end at the relation."
Later, Philippe would loose Barbara to one of his best friends. But in his head he keeps her faithful. Until he meets Mathilde.

Movie with pictures of Barbara
ZIJONLINE VIDEO=

marie45se 11-04-2007 05:28 AM

I feel sorry for Crownprince Philippe that he couldn´t get her. But the Crownprincess is a beautiful and graceful person as far I have seen and they do look very much in-love. I couldn´t see the video. Mayby wrong country

Marie

Stefan 11-04-2007 05:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 687812)
Well, I don´t know it very well anymore, but a year or so before the engagement to Mathilde, weren´t there rumours in the press about a countess de lalaing? I believe the lady encouraged the rumours too. There were more stories in those years, also about him and a woman from the Netherlands. But I have forgotten names etc. and it seems to be difficult to trace them back now. Maybe somebody else knows....

In the german magazines there where some rumours about Countess Anna Plater-Syberg in the 90's and also about another woman Sigrid van Erps who was from Switzerland if i remember correct.

martha-louise 11-05-2007 02:40 PM

I had never heard of Adriana Torres de Silva

I do remember Sigrid van Erps, that was in 1997 or somenthing. She was a Flemish woman, freelance journalist. She herself told the press she had a relationship, but court never reacted. It was very strange, 'cause we know now that the prince had a relationship with mathilde at the time.

The infantes are a rumour, they were single, same generation, wishfull thinking of some romantic journalists.

Hans 11-13-2007 03:22 PM

Wasn't there also a gossip about a Italian aristocrat Lady??? I think her name was Famietta or something that way....

Marengo 11-13-2007 07:00 PM

Well, I haven´t heard aboutn those ladies, but I still have a magazine from the early 90-ties where the gossip was that he was reserved for Princess Margarita of Bourbon-Parma, so he got a lucky escape there... ;) A totally bogus story btw. He seems to be friends to Duchess Helene in Bavaria, were there ever any rumours about the two of them being a couple?

I think the name of the de Lalaing countess was Stephanie btw. I am not too sure if it was her but I remember that either she or another lady were not very discrete too the press and later it was discovered that the girl didn´t have a relationship with Phillipe at all and never had one. This story was in the late 90-ties I believe, 1997 or 1998 even. But Phillipe has always been very discrete, the engagement to Mathilde came as a total surprise (though it leaked out a day or two in advance).

Regina 11-13-2007 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 692734)
I still have a magazine from the early 90-ties where the gossip was that he was reserved for Princess Margarita of Bourbon-Parma, so he got a lucky escape there... ;) A totally bogus story btw.

:biggrin: I couldn't stop to laugh with this comment :lol:

I am glad Phillipe escape from her!

crisińaki 11-13-2007 11:27 PM

I've heard rumors about Infanta Cristina and Philippe as well, they were seen together skiing in Baqueira Beret and in some acts around, I think they were friendly but don't know how close they were;)

EL MUNDO
http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o...ndcristina.jpg
(Hola, look at her outfit, that screams 80's all the way :biggrin:)

It was said that Philippe pursued Cristina in their youth but that she said no (I read it somewhere, don't remember exactly where:ermm:)

frank22 11-15-2007 12:26 AM

Please, post more pictures of Infanta Cristina and Prince Philippe together!!

Eva-Britt 11-15-2007 04:42 AM

I also heard he dated Stephanie de Lalaing. Maybe it's just gossip I don't know..

marie45se 11-15-2007 07:13 AM

Or maybe her family wanted it. Yes her name was Stephanie she was half Swedish. I know it was just a rumour about infanta Cristina.

Marengo 11-26-2007 08:06 PM

Well, I was able to find some information on Phillipe´s lovelife or supposed lovelife... and I might say from an unexpected source: by a book from that horrible Jan van den Berghe that I bought in 1998 (when I didn´t know any better ;)).

He writes down some ladies that the press say he is dating, but they note that these were just rumours: Princess Elena of Spain, Archduchess Constanza, Archduchess Isabella (Lorenz´s sister), Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, Lady Helen Windsor, Princess Bianca of Savoia-Aosta, Princess Maria of Roumania, Princess Marie-Louise of Baden, Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria, Princess Alexia of Greece, Princess Alexandra of Hannover and Duchess Eleonora Fleur of Wuerttemberg. Just gossips of course.

More serious rumours about this Stephanie de Lalaing, I was wrong about her btw as she denied these rumours in the press immidiately.

There werehowever two more serious candidates, the Italian Fiametta Frescobaldi, daughter of Marques Vittoria Frescobaldi and Marchioness Bona, the rumours started in the Italian press in 1984. Fiametta denied it, she did say that their two mothers were childhood friends.

The next candidate was Dona Adriana Torres de Silva of Spanish nobility. The Prince was photographed with her in Sevilla and Adriana went several times to Belgium where she stayed with the Counts de Brouchove de Bergeyck (now that is a last name that sounds familiar at these forums ;)). But the Brouchove family denied these rumours and said that Adriana was friends with their daughter Eleonore. It would have been too good to be true anyway as Adriana is also related to Queen Fabiola.

---

I was mixing Stephanie de Lalaing with another woman. Apparently it was Sigrid van Erp who ´promoted´ herself as the girlfriend of Filips. Sigrid was editor in chief of the magazine ´Made in Brussels´, her claim was completely ludecrace though.

Al_bina 11-26-2007 09:27 PM

Looking at the list of supposed love interests of Crown Prince Phillipe, it seems that he was very particular about choosing a spouse from an appropriate social class.

Moonmaiden23 11-27-2007 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Al_bina (Post 698000)
Looking at the list of supposed love interests of Crown Prince Phillipe, it seems that he was very particular about choosing a spouse from an appropriate social class.

I agree. I think there is/was subtle pressure on all of them(Astrid, Philippe and Laurent) to marry "well". I read that the late King Baudouin was thrilled with Astrid and Archduke Lorenz and gave the greenlight to the union. Paola and Albert felt that their only daughter was too young to marry when she first met Lorenz but Baudouin had a real horror of what was happening in other Royal European dynasties, with the Princesses marrying below their rank, and he wanted to strike while the iron was hot, I guess.

I am betting the same thing will happen with the younger generation when they start to become of an age to marry. The BRF is probably the last Royal House in Europe that still marries almost exclusively within the aristocracy.

Al_bina 11-27-2007 10:20 PM

It is not bad to strictly adhere to some traditions. Let us hope that there will be eligible spouses for the younger generation.

flcty 11-28-2007 12:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaliforniaDreamin (Post 698409)
I agree. I think there is/was subtle pressure on all of them(Astrid, Philippe and Laurent) to marry "well". I read that the late King Baudouin was thrilled with Astrid and Archduke Lorenz and gave the greenlight to the union. Paola and Albert felt that their only daughter was too young to marry when she first met Lorenz but Baudouin had a real horror of what was happening in other Royal European dynasties, with the Princesses marrying below their rank, and he wanted to strike while the iron was hot, I guess.

I know this is going a bit off topic...Didn't know where to post this...sorry :flowers:...
-Does anyone how Astrid felt, was Lorenz the only boyfriend she had? Like I mean she seems to really love the job of being a mother, wife of a banker, and regular princess duties. Not trying to stir up anything.
-What was the belgian attitude towards their engagement announcement?
-Makes you view King Albert and Queen Poala in a new light...really modern...cared for the well being and happiness of their kids first over the familiy's 'social status'.
-Wonder why they [Albert and Poala] gave in? Did Baudouin threaten Albert, that he would be taken out of the line of succession?

princess olga 11-28-2007 12:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 697968)
Well, I was able to find some information on Phillipe´s lovelife or supposed lovelife... and I might say from an unexpected source: by a book from that horrible Jan van den Berghe that I bought in 1998 (when I didn´t know any better ;)).

He writes down some ladies that the press say he is dating, but they note that these were just rumours: Princess Elena of Spain, Archduchess Constanza, Archduchess Isabella (Lorenz´s sister), Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, Lady Helen Windsor, Princess Bianca of Savoia-Aosta, Princess Maria of Roumania, Princess Marie-Louise of Baden, Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria, Princess Alexia of Greece, Princess Alexandra of Hannover and Duchess Eleonora Fleur of Wuerttemberg. Just gossips of course.

More serious rumours about this Stephanie de Lalaing, I was wrong about her btw as she denied these rumours in the press immidiately.

There werehowever two more serious candidates, the Italian Fiametta Frescobaldi, daughter of Marques Vittoria Frescobaldi and Marchioness Bona, the rumours started in the Italian press in 1984. Fiametta denied it, she did say that their two mothers were childhood friends.

The next candidate was Dona Adriana Torres de Silva of Spanish nobility. The Prince was photographed with her in Sevilla and Adriana went several times to Belgium where she stayed with the Counts de Brouchove de Bergeyck (now that is a last name that sounds familiar at these forums ;)). But the Brouchove family denied these rumours and said that Adriana was friends with their daughter Eleonore. It would have been too good to be true anyway as Adriana is also related to Queen Fabiola.

---

I was mixing Stephanie de Lalaing with another woman. Apparently it was Sigrid van Erp who ´promoted´ herself as the girlfriend of Filips. Sigrid was editor in chief of the magazine ´Made in Brussels´, her claim was completely ludecrace though.

I agree that most of these rumored girlfriends were just a shortlist of the most elegible (sp?) women-peers of the time.

There's definitely a weird dichotomy here in terms of years and no known love..kindof like Friso of the Netherlands.

I suspect that in the case of Felipe there's some intriguing love story there we'll never know about but that was in the category of romeo and juliet..something akin of perhaps him being madly in love with either a woman of a different religion, different generation, a married lady, or simply somone from 'le peuple' and thus unsuitable..

As lovely as Mathilde is, she may well not be the love of his life..or maybe he's just the shy type who simply never had the guts to follow his heart of hearts....then again, who cares, as Mathilde's clearly one of the best things that's happened to him. wouldn't be surprised if he'd got onto the throne solely because of her, as the Belgians aren't seemingly too enamored with him. But she's definitely an asset as far as I can tell these things.

Regina 11-28-2007 03:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaliforniaDreamin (Post 698409)
The BRF is probably the last Royal House in Europe that still marries almost exclusively within the aristocracy.

True! That's why I like this royal family so much :flowers:

Moonmaiden23 11-28-2007 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Regina (Post 698500)
True! That's why I like this royal family so much :flowers:


Same here. Like I read somewhere else, I don't necessarily want my mailman's daughter as my Crown Princess.

Marriage to commoners is fine every once in awhile, but I am always going to prefer the REAL THING.

Moonmaiden23 11-28-2007 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flcty (Post 698462)
I know this is going a bit off topic...Didn't know where to post this...sorry :flowers:...
-Does anyone how Astrid felt, was Lorenz the only boyfriend she had? Like I mean she seems to really love the job of being a mother, wife of a banker, and regular princess duties. Not trying to stir up anything.
-What was the belgian attitude towards their engagement announcement?
-Makes you view King Albert and Queen Poala in a new light...really modern...cared for the well being and happiness of their kids first over the familiy's 'social status'.
-Wonder why they [Albert and Poala] gave in? Did Baudouin threaten Albert, that he would be taken out of the line of succession?


According to the article I read(a Belgian periodical that was written in French) the Princess had led a very sheltered life within the BRF when she met the Archduke at her 18th birthday ball which was held at Laeken Palace. I don't know if he was her first serious boyfriend but I am willing to bet he probably was. Albert and Paola didn't have anything against Lorenz but they insisted that the couple delay the engagement for a few years, and rightfully so. For Astrid it was love at first sight, and she was determined to marry Lorenz.
Once Baudouin gave his approval it was only a matter of time anyway. Baudouin and Fabiola adored Astrid and were undoubtedly delighted with her choice.

No I don't think Baudouin "threatened" Albert at all. From what I have read about their relationship, Baudouin loved his younger brother deeply and always excused or ignored his scandals, and Albert loved and admired Baudouin and was unswervingly loyal to him. It was probably simply a matter of Baudouin persuading Albert and Paola to let Astrid and Lorenz marry.

EmpressRouge 11-28-2007 06:12 PM

For a long time, before Philippe married, it seemed like Astrid and her children would inherit the Belgian throne.

The Belgian royal family was probably one of the strictest on the marrying fellow royals/high nobility. By 20th century, even the 19th century, arranged marriages among royals were very rare. Granted Royal-commoner marriages were rare too, but the Belgians seemed to practice arranged marriage well into the 20th century e.g. Marie-Jose and the future Umberto II of Italy, and Josephine-Charlotte and the future Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg (they say she was in love w/ a tennis player at the time of her marriage).

Moonmaiden23 11-28-2007 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EmpressRouge (Post 698882)
For a long time, before Philippe married, it seemed like Astrid and her children would inherit the Belgian throne.

The Belgian royal family was probably one of the strictest on the marrying fellow royals/high nobility. By 20th century, even the 19th century, arranged marriages among royals were very rare. Granted Royal-commoner marriages were rare too, but the Belgians seemed to practice arranged marriage well into the 20th century e.g. Marie-Jose and the future Umberto II of Italy, and Josephine-Charlotte and the future Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg (they say she was in love w/ a tennis player at the time of her marriage).

Exactly. I think if Philippe and Mathilde had been married at the time of King Baudouin's death, there would not have been as much opposition to the idea of his assuming the Throne.

Prince Albert and King Baudouin just happened to fall in love with and marry noblewomen
but I can't imagine either of them marrying a commoner, especially not Baudouin.

As luck would have it Philippe, like so many members of the Belgian RF, has been extraordinarily fortunate in marriage. He and Mathilde seem perfect for one another, I can't imagine that he has any reqrets about any past loves.

IloveCP 02-04-2012 03:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crisińaki (Post 692796)
I've heard rumors about Infanta Cristina and Philippe as well, they were seen together skiing in Baqueira Beret and in some acts around, I think they were friendly but don't know how close they were;)

EL MUNDO
http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o...ndcristina.jpg
(Hola, look at her outfit, that screams 80's all the way :biggrin:)

It was said that Philippe pursued Cristina in their youth but that she said no (I read it somewhere, don't remember exactly where:ermm:)

I had no idea that they were (allegedly) a couple.The picture does not work for me by the way. :ermm:

Anyway,Philippe does not look like the type of person who has had a lot of girlfriends.He has always seemed like a mature man.

iceflower 02-04-2012 04:55 AM

:previous:

Image links from photobucket disappear after a few years and the post was already made in 2007,
so there's no chance to fix the link.

In the 1980s and early 1990s the German press created a lot of stories about a love story between
Prince Philippe and Princess Cristina, but there has never been a single proof for it. Love stories
between two blue-blooded persons were supposed to increase the circulation ;)

IloveCP 02-19-2012 09:43 PM

I finally found a picture of Philippe and Cristina together:

Pic

I have got to say,Philippe looks very handsome here!

LadySarah 07-23-2012 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by martha-louise (Post 686428)
Now a new book about the prince has been published, we know for certain that Barbara Maselis was the first love of Philippe.
Philippe was in his early twenties then, he was 35/36 when he met Mathilde. It seems quit impossible that in all those years there was nobody else.
There was a gossip about a girl 'de Lalaing'.
Does anyone know something about this?

Correction: he was 39 when he met Mathilde and she was 26

Lindy 07-23-2012 09:39 PM

Over the years as Phillipe remained single, the press would say that he was "shy with women." I must say I was very surprised when his engagement was announced. I always assumed back then that Phillipe would never marry and Astrid's son Amedeo would follow him to the throne. Such perfect lineage!

Marengo 10-22-2012 05:16 PM

I have moved posts about the book 'Koningskwesties' to this thread: http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...rsu-33891.html

martha-louise 10-23-2012 12:54 PM

correction of correction
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LadySarah (Post 1444329)
Correction: he was 39 when he met Mathilde and she was 26

The prince is born in 1960, Mathilde in 1973, they married in 1999, so 39 and 26 was their age when marrying.
They have met each other before 1997, when Mathilde's sister died in a car accident, because Philippe attended the funeral as acquaintance of Mathilde.

They must have fallen in love in 1996, when Philippe was 36 and Mathilde 23.

Marengo 05-16-2013 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stefan (Post 688562)
In the german magazines there where some rumours about Countess Anna Plater-Syberg in the 90's and also about another woman Sigrid van Erps who was from Switzerland if i remember correct.

Anna Plater-Syberg later went into a convent btw.

Fiametta de Frescobaldi later married the second son of the duke of Arenberg and a princess of Bavaria and thus is a regular guest at Belgian noble and royal gatherings.

Still, the only 'serious' relationship he had before Mathilde is said to be with Barbara Marselis indeed, which was broken of by his father and court as she was not noble. Barbara ended up marrying the son of an artist friend of Queen Paola.

http://www.hln.be/hln/nl/947/Royalty...t-dumpen.dhtml

According to one of the many stories about the meeting of Philippe & Mathilde, it was actually Stephanie de Lalaing (who denies that they ever had a relationship) who pointed out Mathilde to him, and said 'look, there is a nice devout girl for you'.

Princess Xenia 11-04-2014 03:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by princess olga (Post 698463)

I suspect that in the case of Felipe there's some intriguing love story there we'll never know about but that was in the category of romeo and juliet..something akin of perhaps him being madly in love with either a woman of a different religion, different generation, a married lady, or simply somone from 'le peuple' and thus unsuitable..

I was searching google for photos of Philippe and Mathilde and I found this:

Le roi Philippe était amoureux d’Ofra Haza quatre ans avant de se marier avec Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz: «Il l’a harcelée!» - sudinfo.be

eya 05-20-2016 04:10 PM

"Seville attractive that he could not be Queen of Belgium and is already Marquise"

La atractiva sevillana que no pudo ser reina de Bélgica y ya es marquesa

https://translate.googleusercontent....J8-aIseDBfoa5g

Duc_et_Pair 05-20-2016 05:49 PM

She is better of being married with an unknown nobleman than with Philippe, King of a very troubled and problematic state, with strong separatistic tendences and federal parts more and more drifting apart. Some label Belgium as a failed state even, where nothing works. It is not thát pleasant to be Queen of the Belgians.

Mbruno 05-20-2016 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair (Post 1891076)
She is better of being married with an unknown nobleman than with Philippe, King of a very troubled and problematic state, with strong separatistic tendences and federal parts more and more drifting apart. Some label Belgium as a failed state even, where nothing works. It is not thát pleasant to be Queen of the Belgians.

Belgium is not a failed state and was actually the 17th wealthiest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita in 2014 according to the World Bank. In the past, Belgium was one of the pioneers of the Industrial Revolution in continental Europe and the seat of an important colonial empire in central Africa. Furthermore, despite minority separatist movements, there is no indication that the Belgian federation will break up anytime soon.

I suspect that, like a few other Dutchmen, you are not over the Belgian revolution of 1830 yet.

Marengo 05-21-2016 03:51 AM

I am sure most have gotten over the treachery of the 'ungrateful Belgians' by now :hiding:.

However, the discussion of Belgium as a failed state is not a Dutch or a French one. It is a discussion currently held in Belgian newspapers. It is mainly led by CEO's of big companies who seem frustrated that nothing ever gets done due to all the layers of bureaucracy. The infrastruture is crumbling, the police actions sometimes remind us of Louis de Funčs' movies etc. But as you say: all is relative, it is one of the richest countries in the world.


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