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End of a nation? 'Get ready for the break-up of Belgium'

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posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 03:20 PM
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reply to post by steve_montana
 


I am disappointed you link me to this site.
I have come across internet a couple of times and I have already heard about this particular site

I am looking for something more "real" not the institutional point of view.
I understand it's very difficult to describe, I was just hopeful someone with actual knowledge and living in Belgium could find time to give us a little picture from inside.

When I listen to Belgians, they usually don't think there are problems between Flemish and Waloon, they blame the political parties.
I understood myself that the problems originated from the far right Flemish side but I know I may very well be biased.

Dermo, you're absolutely spot on as usual. There is real concern here. The consequence could be immense and it fits some agendas pretty well.
50/60 years is a long timeframe. Things are moving fast. Big structural changes could happen quickly.

edit, just to add a minor point, I am not sure Belgium can be called a nation, it's a country, a state. It's not a nation, they don't even share the same language. It doesn't make Belgium illegitimate, only not a nation, there is a big difference.

[edit on 6-9-2010 by Manouche]




posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by Manouche
 


As I mentioned earlier I live in Belgium but am not a Belgian but maybe I can share a bit of what I see around me. My own personal experience has been nothing but positive while I have been living here I should add. I moved from Brussels to a region in Flanders just recently and it is I guess what you call a border region with Walloonia.
The first thing you notice is everything is in Dutch/Flemish, there is no dual signeage to be found but I guess that is fair enough but it seems like a concerted effort to keep it that way. All my local mail things from the council and announcements, junk mail etc.. is also all in Dutch/Flemish apart from the odd bit in English as my area has a lot of EU and NATO workers living here along with a large number of Walloons.

Now my wife is a French national but was warned before we moved here to either make it be known she was French not a Walloon or to just speak English, which actually has not been the case at all she has had no problems at all. Maybe it was just a reaction to the media and political attention. However, you mentioned the far right, well we often get flyers and newsletters in our mail from certain Nationalist groups which contain some rantings and ideals that frankly I was shocked to see.
But again, it is only in the pamphlets, I have never seen this type of hate in person and nor does it affect us. Occasionally on TF1 a French national news we watch you will see a story about how bad the situation is getting and honestly I think it may be hard in certain areas, but as a whole I do not believe the majority of Flemish people feel a hate towards Walloons.

I kind of relate what you may see or read in the press to something akin of the BNP in the U.K or Gert Wilders party in the Netherlands, it exists but it does not speak for the people as a whole. And maybe the voic of a few are influencing the many yet agian. Honestly that's just what I have noticed as an outsider living here, I can't say about other parts of the country but I would be confident there is a outspoken right on the Walloon side as well. But I don't see any huge animosity here at all. It a great place to live, for me at least.
I don't see Belgium seperating in a hurry at all.

I found an article from 2007 you may find interesting, explaining some of the difficulties if Flanders was to secede.
www.brusselsjournal.com...


[edit on 6-9-2010 by pazcat]



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by Manouche
 


Didn't mean to disappoint you, it's just that you need a firm grasp of the history of the entire problem to be able to somewhat understand it. My impressions would be purely anecdotal. As I would be speaking from my experiences (I am a linguist living in Antwerp and working in Brussels), my point of view would beyond any doubt be biased.

It is a very complicated situation, fueled by extremist politicians (on both sides), the impact of the economic crisis (the country has a huge deficit and needs to cut 25 billion euro from the budget) and a political quagmire we have been in since at least 2007 (this is why I posted the link to the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde debacle, it was pivotal in the current crisis). Read up on this, the wikipedia-pages are decent, and you should be able to better understand the situation.

In the end, I think it is not as much a linguistic struggle as it is an ideological one. Wallonia tends to be much more leftist than Flanders. Which leaves me in a very awkward position, as a leftist Flemish guy.

If you have any concrete questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'll try to answer them.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 06:08 PM
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reply to post by pazcat
 


I would like to point out that Brussels Journal is a conservative blog. The leading figure behind it is Paul Beliën, a member of the far-right Vlaams Belang and husband of ultra-conservative Alexandra Colen, member of that same party. I don't think that's irrelevant in this discussion.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
Also, they've got a good young national football side, with quite a few players that are playing for top clubs, and I reckon they could be a major force in the next two, to four years, in European football !

It'd be a shame that the country's best team since '86, may be broken up into obscurity, by having to represent ''vlaanderen'' and ''wallonia'', independently.


My god think of the sports !!!

This could impact sports !!!

Someone tossing a ball might not be quite as good at tossing
balls, bring on the bread and circuses !!!

The new Rome seems to extend alot further than just US shores.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by Ex_MislTech
 


We don't toss balls, we kick them.

[edit on 6-9-2010 by steve_montana]



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 07:10 PM
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Originally posted by Ex_MislTech
My god think of the sports !!!

This could impact sports !!!

Someone tossing a ball might not be quite as good at tossing
balls, bring on the bread and circuses !!!

The new Rome seems to extend alot further than just US shores.


And what's wrong with enjoying sport ?

Sport is one of my main passions, and strangely enough, not mutually exclusive to being interested, and passionate, about ''alternative'' topics.

I was merely pointing out that Belgium has got a good crop of youngish football players, that could make them a force to be reckoned with in future tournaments, and could potentially rival the exploits of Schifo, Gerets et al., in Mexico '86 !


[edit on 6-9-2010 by Sherlock Holmes]



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 07:18 AM
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Thanks for discussing the Dutch connections. That's what I was wondering about the most actually just based on gut instinct. And I let my mind go where it wants to go.


So, the Dutch would happily welcome Flanders joining the confederation?

But you don't feel the Flemish would be too fond of this...interesting stuff. Not sure what to make of it yet. Sounds fishy to me though, haha.

Because "all based on coincidence" these events are transpiring and it doesn't make any sense actually.

Belgium is a rather small nation. I would expect a larger landmass nation such as China, Russia, even the UK, USA, Brazil, etc having a separatist issue due to the many cultures involved; but for such a small nation as Belgium something is definitely afoot here.

Obviously larger powers are at play and the people demanding separation from greater Belgium are unwitting in their deeds. They could be handing a larger nation their sovereignty in the end. That's scary of what kinds of military issues may arise from this, riots, civil unrest etc.

And who knows what kinds of "treaties" that are binding right now that might be in jeopardy of being rescinded.

I bet people cannot even list the amount of treaties and contracts that they are bound to through the state and it's long and sordid history. Right now they are safe in the fact everything is set up the way it is.

But by breaking that, they could easily allow a few corrupt politicians to rewrite everything for this region. Because new treaties will have to be signed.

And where will Flanders fall in the realm of the EU? Automatic membership status? Will they have representation?

Will they be in NATO?

Will they become a member of the UN?

These questions are complex and it really causes me to think some really clever people that run the world, are hoodwinking us all again. And that this separatist movement is being mislead Again I admit it's my gut instinct but I really like it's connotations at least for the sake of speculation.

So that's why I said it doesn't make any sense.

History is far more complex than any of us can imagine, so these simplified terms and unreasonable events are clearly the work of hidden hands that are skillful at world politics.

"The man behind the curtain" Wizard of Oz.

99.9% of us don't know anything about history and misunderstand basic concepts all the time. Funny and ironic despite how literacy rates are so high these days. Really no one knows it's too big a subject with countless events and it's just infinite information pretty much. And we weren't there to see it personally or remember it.

But we have evidence of some things that are pretty obvious. And therefore I advise Flanders to remain in it's current treaties and not seek independence, this could be a ruse at their detriment.

What do the French have to do with this? The Spanish? The Germans? The UK? This all goes back to the Vatican really though, lol.

Don't tell me theres also some sort of religious issues involved. That would be freaky. And it would convince me the Holy See had something to do with it. It's a nice theory though, and I'm struggling to find a better one.

My main driving factor in calling shenanigans on this is the fact that Belgium is small and there are far greater differences in larger nations that are not addressed between myriad cultures, and so I don't see why all the fuss at the moment over this particular issue. Hell clean water treatment is a bigger political issue imho.

The Uighur have far greater issues with the Han, but they still co-exist in a confederacy. Although admittedly there are major issues and major differences that have not been reconciled. There must be a trick to all of this, that's all I'm getting at. AKA A larger confederacy wants to absorb all of Belgium and is using Psychological Operations to mislead the common citizenry and also controlling their politicians.

But hey, are their "religious issues" involved here? Some of you live in Belgium or have in the past. What is your take on this aspect?

Thanks for the great discussion though some of you really gave me great clues to understanding this unprecedented event in Western Europe that I was totally not expecting. And it's a big deal, a huge deal.

All of NATO/EU should be talking about this, front page political news.

Some links for people to check out if they want to learn more about this issue's history.

en.wikipedia.org...

en.wikipedia.org...

en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...

And this link is a really big part of the puzzle.
en.wikipedia.org...
Benelux.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 07:25 AM
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Oh and just a interesting tidbit I remembered to say.

A great example of how 99% of people don't know much history, is the fact that New York city used to be named New Amsterdam and was a Dutch colony named New Netherland. It was named New York after the Brits took control of it.

en.wikipedia.org...

This basic information is almost seldom ever mentioned in the dustiest and dry of situations. For instance a "boring old" museum.


And some wiki article doesn't do it much justice.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by muzzleflash
Thanks for discussing the Dutch connections. That's what I was wondering about the most actually just based on gut instinct. And I let my mind go where it wants to go.


So, the Dutch would happily welcome Flanders joining the confederation?

But you don't feel the Flemish would be too fond of this...interesting stuff. Not sure what to make of it yet. Sounds fishy to me though, haha.


Compare it to Czechoslovakia. The center of importance was located in the Czech part - in other words: the Czechs were the dominant power in comparison to their Slovak 'countrymen'. That was a pretty similar situation to 'the Lowlands' in the 19th century.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 08:53 AM
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I'm a belgian and flemish

the journal i read this noon, had a whole q&a on the eventual separation and one thing stood out:

What with the constitution?

That would be no problem, in the event of separation the constitution would suddenly become invalid.


Now truely the last 2-3 years, (forgive me if i miss a year) We have had, multiple prime ministers, some failed, another one left to become president of europe, some took 5 attempts to form a government and never got one. it's a political mess with no solution in sight. and the average belgian doesnt care. (i work in a store at the border so i hear a lot of people)


But there's something fishy to all of this, even more like they want us to care and take sides. One politician or prominent figure said: Belgium may break up for real and the citizens dont care or dont want to hear it..



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 09:56 AM
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Originally posted by steve_montana
In the end, I think it is not as much a linguistic struggle as it is an ideological one. Wallonia tends to be much more leftist than Flanders. Which leaves me in a very awkward position, as a leftist Flemish guy.

I guess we're in the same corner then


I tend to believe the current situation started escalating when CD&V, the Flemish christian democrats (center-right mainstream party) formed an alliance with NVA, the Flemish nationalist party (rightwing separatist niche party) some years ago, giving NVA a mainstream status - guided by an intelligent, seemingly reasonable leader (Bart De Wever).
Suddenly, the differences between both sides of the country became a mainstream political issue, while before most people didn't care really.

The alliance ended, leaving Bart De Wever and his nationalist party in the middle of the political spectrum. Last elections NVA became the biggest party in Flanders, a position for which Bart de Wever may be forever thankful to Belgian media.

Biggest problem: the ideological end goal of the (at this moment) most important politician in Flanders is independency for the north region. A lot of people tend to forget that because he knows how to play politics very well. He doesn't speak his separatist ideas right out anymore, but subtly tries to destabilize federal structures to come closer towards his goal. And blames Wallon politicians for the outcome.

Right now the Wallon social democrats (PS), who won the elections in the southern part of Belgium, have to negotiate with the Flemish nationalists (NVA) on how they will form a federal government. Which obviously isn't working very well, and for a separatist like Bart De Wever that's actually good news.

I'm not sure all of this makes anything more clear, and it's of course far from the complete picture, but it might shed some light for some of you.

To summarize: Flemish media and a charismatic (fat and ugly but intelligent, humorous and wellspoken) party leader turn a non-issue (Flanders vs. Wallonia) into the main political topic, polarizing two parts of a country and pretending as if it's the most important problem we face. And it's sad to see so many people gullibly buy into the whole story. In the meantime real issues (social, economic ..) are blatantly neglected.

But still: I don't see the split-up of Belgium happening anywhere soon. A vast majority of the population is against it and there are still enough forces on the other side of the political spectrum to block off the nationalists. I may hope.



[edit on 7/9/10 by Movhisattva]



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by Movhisattva
 


I wholly agree with your post.

Nice summary.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 07:13 AM
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reply to post by Irish Matador
 

I must say I'm a bit offended.. I tend to spend double digit hours every week reading news and articles from around the world. I rarely read anything fictional, because I feel, that facts are much more interesting then fiction..

I still haven't looked at the map, but as I think about it, I believe Belgium is somewhere near Germany/France..?



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 07:36 AM
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reply to post by lynxlynx
 



Glad to be of help

Now imagine a horizontal line through that tiny 30.000km² and you have the even tinier Flanders (N) and Wallonia (S).



posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 08:14 AM
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I stumbled upon this neat video that briefly tries to explain Belgium's political structures. It might make things clear, or it might just bring more confusion.
Anyway, have a look:



For those of you who understand French or Dutch, I'll add the videoclip of 'Bienvenue en Belgique', from the Belgian dancehall artist Uman. (There's also a French-Dutch remake of the song with Uman (French) featuring Flip Kowlier (Dutch) around somewhere.



As for the development of a new federal government: everything's still much the same as it was three months ago. Or even three years ago.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 05:04 PM
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It may sound strange, but as a Flemish guy, i don't care about the billions of euros a year that floats to Wallonia. However, what i find extremely disturbing is the following. Democracy is like a valve that reduces the tension and frustrations of the people. It reflects the view, ideas and the will of the society. Unfortunately, during the transition of a unitarian to a federal state, Belgian politicians built in some mechanisms that block our parlement completely today. For example, they invented an "alarmbel procedure", a procedure that gives the right to one part of the country to block a new proposition for at least 30 days, but in practice it takes almost 3 months. There is just 1 Flemish parlement and there are 4 other (i call it "Wallonian minded") parlements: namely, one for the French speaking community, one for the French speaking state, a Brussels parlement (yes we made a state from a city during the eighties) and the German speaking community.
This is no more, no less than a veto! So the French speaking part can block a marjority in the parlement. And they did just that in 2008-2009.
They need 2 parlements for 1 state (community and state. It's a complicated country, i know). This is not only inefficient, it is also costly. It is a great example of how different we think about our society. It's like they don't care about the future, about our debt. As a Flemish citizen, i want to move forward, making our country efficient and strong. But strangely, i feel that we are blocked by the French speaking politicians.
It also seems that the French speaking part of the country does not fully understand the seriousness of the situation, and neither does the world around us. After 170 days, they still negotiate to form a new government. The media and a lot of politicians are calling for new elections! That would be unprecedented and dangerous, as the polls make out that the independance minded parties will gain even more.

I would likely give up Brussels for the independance. Brussels, was once a Flemish city, but now mainly overgrowed by French speaking citizens and immigrants. The average Brussels citizen dislikes the Flemish call for independance. Although the borders of Brussels are within Flanders, I don't care. So if you see pro Belgian post from a Flemish person on this forum, ask him where he lives: It's likely he will be a Brussels inhabitant (He will strangely call himself a Flemish "Brusselaar")



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by cyberflunk
So if you see pro Belgian post from a Flemish person on this forum, ask him where he lives: It's likely he will be a Brussels inhabitant (He will strangely call himself a Flemish "Brusselaar")


Following your logic I would assume you live somewhere in the Flemish part of the Brussels belt - Vlaams Brabant.

I live in Antwerp (Flanders), and I know that a vast majority of Flemish people prefer Belgium above an independent Flemish state. Actually, I don't know anyone personally who wants independency - and I know quite some people.
A more efficiënt policy: yes. But 'Republic Flanders' wouldn't benefit us just one bit, on the contrary.

You seem to think everyone in Flanders wants an independent Flemish state? You also seem to think that would benefit our social economic status? I agree Belgium needs some political restyling (read my former posts in the topic), but independency won't help us at all.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by Movhisattva
Following your logic I would assume you live somewhere in the Flemish part of the Brussels belt - Vlaams Brabant.


I live in Kortrijk, West Flanders


Originally posted by Movhisattva
I live in Antwerp (Flanders), and I know that a vast majority of Flemish people prefer Belgium above an independent Flemish state. Actually, I don't know anyone personally who wants independency - and I know quite some people.


I know a lot of people who were against independance.
However, it is very difficult to discuss if we don't know the real numbers.


Originally posted by Movhisattva
A more efficiënt policy: yes. But 'Republic Flanders' wouldn't benefit us just one bit, on the contrary.


Again, this is your personal opinion. If you just could give me some good reasons why a republic is wrong or why a monarchy is better? I think a lot has to do with nostalgy and tradition.


Originally posted by Movhisattva
I agree Belgium needs some political restyling (read my former posts in the topic), but independency won't help us at all.


I don't say that independance is the ultimate goal. it's just not a taboo for me. i see it as a last resort and an insurance. We can't afford spilling time any further. If they keep opposing these very necessary structural reforms, then i see but one solution.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 05:13 PM
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reply to post by Helig
 


NO!!!!!! I love their beer! Please continue to export it!




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