Monday, June 14, 2010

Meet the next EU President

Or, rather, you cannot meet the next EU President. Belgium is due to take over the rotating presidency on July 1 but it is highly questionable whether it will have a government in place by then. Indeed, despite the Guardian's assurances, there may be no Belgium by then (though I think it will probably survive a little longer). Really, one wonders where that paper gets its commentators. To be fair, a later article in that newspaper pontificates about language being a divisive issue.

Actually, it is considerably more than just about the language or the complexities of the Belgian constitution. The differences between the Flemish and the French sections of the country are becoming so wide as to be almost unbridgeable.

Deutsche Welle analyzes the situation far more coherently and points out the indubitable fact that the Flemish separatist party, the New Flemish Alliance (NVA) actually came top in the poll, naturally doing extremely well in the Flemish part of the country but one would expect that.
Belgium has begun the search for a coalition government after right-wing Flemish separatists won Sunday's parliamentary election. Final official results released by the national electoral commission on Monday show that the New Flemish Alliance (NVA) secured 27 seats in the 150-seat lower house of parliament, up from just eight seats in 2007.

The NVA, led by 39-year-old Bart De Wever, ultimately wants to split the wealthy Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north from Belgium's poorer, French-speaking region of Wallonia in the south. De Wever passionately advocates the end of Belgium, calling its six million Dutch-speakers and 4.5 million Francophones a "hopeless mismatch." Linguistic disputes have long hounded Belgium and dominated the election campaign. But a split-up of Belgium after this election is unlikely.
Probably not, but it the count-down must have started. After all,
Due to linguistic, political and economic differences, Belgium has had four governments and three prime ministers since 2007.
As ever, in Belgium, it is the King's constitutional duty to find some kind of a solution. The man must be getting heartily sick of the whole subject.

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