Thursday, November 08, 2007

Belgium Will Survive for Now, but Not for Long

A poll published yesterday in Het Laatste Nieuws, the largest newspaper in Flanders, shows that the Flemings do not expect Belgium to survive. 63% of the Flemish people think that Belgium’s end is near. 87% answered no when asked whether compromises should be made with the Walloon parties in order to save Belgium. 84% said that a reform of the State which grants greater autonomy to Flanders, should be the government’s absolute priority.

The socialist mayor of Brussels, Freddy Thielmans, had this reaction to the result of the ballot: "I think this declaration is very nationalistic. It's very close to what the Flemish far right movement demands and I'm surprised that democratic parties follow that demand. I also think it's the the defacto end of a shared living arrangement."Thielmans has also called for legal protection for Francophones living in Flanders, similar to the protection given to Dutch-speakers living in the Brussels region.

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