September 6, 2007

THERE IS NO BELGIUM:

Time to call it a day: Sometimes it is right for a country to recognise that its job is done (The Economist, 9/06/07)

[W]hen they vote, as they did on June 10th, they do so along linguistic lines, the French-speaking Walloons in the south for French-speaking parties, the Dutch-speaking Flemings in the north for Dutch-speaking parties. The two groups do not get on—hence the inability to form a government. They lead parallel lives, largely in ignorance of each other. They do, however, think they know themselves: when a French-language television programme was interrupted last December with a spoof news flash announcing that the Flemish parliament had declared independence, the king had fled and Belgium had dissolved, it was widely believed.

No wonder. The prime minister designate thinks Belgians have nothing in common except “the king, the football team, some beers”, and he describes their country as an “accident of history”. [...]

In short, Belgium has served its purpose. A praline divorce is in order.


Though the Realists think it should stay together and the Ba'ath be given a share of power....

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 6, 2007 5:47 PM
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