Friday, October 05, 2007

What happens to Belgium?

If Flanders declares independence, Beglium basically ceases to exist. What happens to the bi-lingual Brussels? Does it become another Luxemburg or Liechtenstein? Belgium was established by its neighbours and if it no more, that means that there are also no more guarantees to its independence, which in turn means that both Walloons and Flemish can seek protection of their “mother-state”, perhaps leaving Brussels to continue as a small enclave, a no man’s land.
Ah yes, but then there’s the small matter of some 70.000 strong German minority in Belgium. What happens if they call to their Vaterland for help? The last time that happened, all hell broke loose.

Some comments:

I strongly believe that there is no force in the world that will stop the big European powers from trying to re-draw their borders in case Belgium is no more. That’s the whole point of Belgium. Perhaps this article by the NYT from 1918 (!) tells a bit more clearly what happens if an attempt is made at redrawing the map of that part of the world.

We’ve had a ‘Royal Scout’ in the form of veteran politician Eric Van Rompuy, a man, sorry, politician I dislike intensely because he once said that he opposes binding referenda because the electorate can’t handle the democracy they experience. Which means he says : “You’re too stupid to handle your own freedoms; we’ll decide them for you”. Then teach us how to handle them instead of treating us like unruly children, asshole!

Not even a week has gone by and it’s the same old story, with the Wallonians saying ‘Non’ and the Flemish pushing for the BHV split and a large state reform. Oh, and the VB, of course, assembled the international press and prematurely declared the Independent Flemish State as fact. In the Flemish parliament, no less. No wonder The Economist says a praline divorce is in order. But then, what do the international media know about Belgium and why should they care? The only thing that matters to the outside world is where Brussel is going to be after the country splits.

As for the German minority : they are the quinessential Belgian model citizens, believe it or not, because they speak the three national languages (yes, this is a trilingual country, which is often forgotten, even by my compatriots both in North and South) and they are the most opposed about a possible Belgian secession because they don’t want to be reunited with Germany.

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