Rantings of a Sandmonkey
That's one reason why Belguim is cool!
at least they don’t take the arms to fight each others
Anyway, I find the flamishs unfair : today because they handle the economy, they want to get rid of the wallons who have been losing their economy in the eighties (mines metallurgy…) and are a charge for the whole country . Flamishs ought to remember that in the both former centuries, their life depended on Wallons’ wellfares.
Now if the country is going to scind, then I don’t mind if the Wallons become Frenchs, I love their great sense of humor, a few more immigrants, that would do it
Welcome back, Sandmonkey!
(OK, you’ve been back for 3 months now, but I did not know it until just now.)
It’s not true that Flemings depended on Walloon funding in the past. When Wallonia was the economical powerhouse of Belgium, there was not yet a welfare state.
But the financial transfers are not the main reason for a possible breakup of the country. The main reason is that Flanders and Wallonia have a different vision on almost any political subject. There’s no such thing as a Belgian public opinion. This makes Belgium a very difficult country to govern. Much time is spend in trying to reach compromises. More and more Flemings think that time could be put to a better use if Flanders and Wallonia would both go their own ways.
Although the Dutch speaking Flemings have always been the majority in Belgium (60%), The only official language used to be French after Belgium seceded from The Netherlands in 1830 (Many Flemings were opposed to this secession. After the secession, the Flemish cities kept electing pro Dutch mayors. Because of that, the law was changed and mayors are no longer elected by the people, but by the city council). The political emancipation of the Flemings has been a long struggle. We had to wait until 1930 for the first Dutch university in Belgium. Nowadays, Flanders has it’s own government, but Flemish politicians grow more and more frustrated about the difficulty to achieve things on the Belgian level and the limited power on the Flemish level. All Flemish political parties want more power to go to the regional Parliaments but all Walloon political parties oppose such a transfer of power. They are afraid that eventually, Belgium will disappear if it has to transfer more and more power to the European union on one side and the Belgian regions on the other. The Flemish politicians on the other hand think that transferring more power to the regions, is the only way to save Belgium. (There are 3 Flemish political parties that favour Flemish Independence. They are an important political factor, but they don’t have a majority (yet?). The majority of the Flemish politicians want more power for the regions, but don’t want Belgium to disappear)
That’s why we still don’t have a new Belgian government (the old government is still in place, but with very limited powers, and of course the regional governments are just doing their jobs as usual). The Flemings want guarantees that the new government will transfer more power to the regions, but the Walloons don’t want to discuss that subject. And while many Walloon citizens are getting afraid about the future, hanging Belgian flags out of their windows to show that they don’t want the country to split, most Flemings don’t really care about the absence of a new government. Their are no flags hanging out of windows in Flanders. No Belgian flags, but also no Flemish flags (only Turkish flags, but that’s a different story). We’re doing fine without a government.
(by the way, today is a very important day for Belgian politics. This might be the first time that the Flemings will use their majority to pass a law in Parliament against the will of the Walloons. This law is about an institutional subject that the parties trying to form a government can’t agree upon. If this law is accepted in a parliamentary commission today, the Walloons will leave the negotiations about the forming of a new government. But the law can’t be ratified. Only a new government can do that. This means the voting would be purely symbolic. If it comes to a vote today, it might take months before we actually have a new government. Some say we might get a provisional government until the regional elections in 2009.)
When Wallonia was the economical powerhouse of Belgium, there was not yet a welfare state.
I didn’t think of a “welfare state” for that period, it only existed afterWWII ; but that Wallonie was providing jobs to the whole country ; lots of flanders moved to wallonie.
I read though that the Flanders are the “radicals”, well of course in french
You say: ‘I read though that the Flanders are the “radicals”, well of course in french’
That’s what I meant when I wrote “There’s no such thing as a Belgian public opinion”. We read different newspapers, watch different television stations and don’t understand each others language anymore. According to the Walloon press, the Flemings are radical nationalists. According to the Flemish press, the Walloons still think they own Flanders. If you only read one side of the story, you’ll never really know what’s going on.
In reality, there are radicals on both sides. I just heard an interview with the French speaking mayor of Wezembeek-Oppem (a Flemish town, near Brussels but with a French speaking majority). He says: “We are in a situation of war. I advocate the principle of an Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth and I will in principle and in reality prepare and take all necessary measures to defend ourselves with all necessary measures. I see no reason why I should respect the Flemish legislation”.
This sounds pretty extreme to me. I can’t imagine any Dutch speaking mayor using that kind of language.
dunno what to think, wait and see then
That’s one reason why Belguim is cool!
Don’t forget the beer!
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