Friday, September 07, 2007

belgian blues

according to tomorrow's times, the dutch-speaking north and the french-speaking south of belgium cannot find enough consensus to form a coalition government, and various media speak of 'the czechoslovakia option' and 'velvet divorce':

"Living together in one country is impossible if year after year the minority prevents the majority from realising its most important desires,” said Het Laatste Nieuws, Belgium’s largest daily, voicing the frustration of many in Flemish-speaking Flanders, where 6 million of the population of 10.5 million people live. “Prepare for divorce,” announced the cover of Le Vif, an influential French-language weekly magazine, which spelt out the far-reaching costs for the impoverished region of Wallonia of splitting the health and social services, railways and the national debt."

while belgium, if it means anything at all (in the hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy the word is the worst of expletives), is chocolate and beer to most and the bit on the way to germany that i got to drive because they were strict about speed limits and my mother preferred that i do that ... don't forget that its capital is home to the european union and to nato. so this story is of interest even to americans.

here is the story.

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