Friday, April 23, 2010

The harmony at the heart of Europe! Or not.

For those of you who think it is just the Brits that have problems with their neighbours check out this story about the fall of the Belgian government.

Dutch-speaking Liberals, one of Leterme's five coalition parties, quit the Cabinet, accusing their Francophone counterparts of blocking a deal to break up the Brussels-area district the constitutional court ruled illegal in 2003.

In 2003 the constitutional court ruled the bilingual Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde voting district illegal as it violates the separation of Dutch- and French-language regions. It comprises officially bilingual Brussels but also 20-odd towns in Dutch-speaking Flanders around the capital.

Dutch-speaking politicians have long complained the district lets Francophones – who have moved from Brussels into Dutch-speaking suburbs – vote for French-speaking parties in the capital.

Leterme's alliance of Christian Democrats, Liberals and Socialists – split into Dutch and French-speaking camps – agreed to resolve the voting district issue by Easter 2010, a deadline that was missed, leading to the government's collapse.

"We are the end of our rope," Guy Vanhengel, a Flemish Liberal, said yesterday. "I think that efforts to come to a negotiated settlement are not succeeding."


Anonymous said...

Belgium is an artificial bastard of a country. It should be deconstructed back to its origins: one part goes back to France and the other bit goes back to the Netherlands.

sagenz said...

but the rest of europe needs somewhere to fight

John Q Public said...

and for waffles. The eating kind i mean.