Friday, August 20, 2010

King Wants to "Cool Off"

Belgium’s King Albert has started a series of meetings with party leaders after the Francophone socialist leader, Elio Di Rupo, on Wednesday agreed to pursue his efforts to reach a seven-party deal on state reforms. Flemish nationalist leader, Bart De Wever, saw King Albert at Laken Castle on Thursday morning. The king has appointments with a further six other party leaders.
Wednesday was a day of high political suspense as the country eagerly awaited the outcome of the meeting between the monarch and Mr Di Rupo. The Francophone socialist leader has been involved in talks aimed at brokering a deal on state reforms, a prerequisite to government formation days, for many weeks.

Would Mr Di Rupo throw in the towel or would King Albert ask him to soldier on?
In the event King Albert asked Mr Di Rupo to continue his efforts, which he agreed. The Francophone socialist leader will resume his mediation on Saturday.
Between then and now King Albert will see the party leaders. Political analysts say that the crisis triggered by disagreement about whether or not to change the funding mechanisms under which the regions and the state receive cash has been resolved.

Sensitive issues including making the regions and communities financially responsible for their policy decisions and possible changes to the financing law have still not been cleared up though.
Mr Di Rupo broached these subjects at his news conference following his meeting with the monarch, but tellingly he added that those around the table disagree profoundly about these issues.

He warned his audience that he would not allow any citizen to become poorer as a result of the reforms: “If this principle is not accepted, then it will be very difficult to continue the talks. Flemish parties have welcomed the extra time now granted to Mr Di Rupo, but are now eager to see what they will be allowed to discuss as part of demands to reform the funding of the regions and communities. (from Flanders News)

This comes after the rather disturbing news from La Figaro that "one third of Belgians are ready to become French". And also,"Twenty percent of Belgians fear their country is going to disappear""Ninety-six percent of Walloons say the situation is serious.... 32 % of Walloons in favour of the incorporation of Wallonia into France, if Belgium collapses".....67% refuse any kind of concession to the Flemish..." (full article)

When has national solidarity been more needed? Does so many people really think they will be happier as annexed Frenchmen? Of course I have nothing against the French but I am a royaliste and not a republicain and I cannot believe that France would accept the Belgians as their own and I cannot believe that conditions would improve for Walloons under the rule of Paris. This is not what the heroes of the two wars sacrificed their lives for.


  1. It's very sad, I don't know how some people can talk so cheerfully about the country dividing.

  2. Makes me very depressed. I have to try to do something to encourage myself.