Friday, September 10, 2010

The King and Political Situation

Over in neighboring Belgium, King Albert II is not only seeking a government form, but also keep his country from disbanding. Clashes between the Dutch speaking Flemish and the francophone Walloons continue to trouble the Kingdom, with calls to split the country becoming more strife.

Last Saturday, the mediator between the warring parties quit, sending Belgium back into political crisis. This happened almost three months after an election that was meant to restart the Belgian government.

Earlier this year, another coalition collapsed when the two warring linguistic communities could not settle an electoral dispute over the region around Brussels.

King Albert’s next step is to ask representatives from each community to negotiate once again.
“The King … charged the speakers of the lower house and the senate with the mission of mediation of restarting negotiations to form a government,” the palace said in a statement.
While the Flemish parties are pushing for more powers for their region, the Walloons fear that their region, which is poorer, will lose out, and that the process will eventually lead to Belgium breaking up.
Also, Royaliste de Belgique comments on the possible division and the precedent this would set for countries across Europe -something not often considered!


  1. Makes me feel ill. The anti-Belgian Britishers one often encounters, who blithely dismiss Belgium and are happy enough to see it divide, would do well to consider how such a precedent might contribute to a breakup of the U. K.

  2. I absolutely understand, one reason I have really never been able to completely trust the British. I snapped at a fellow educational exile from Britain over just that. He said the usual insult that Belgium is not a "real" country and should just dissolve itself. I got very mad and said something about how the British got their unity through conquest of Wales, Ireland and Scotland, forced one language on everybody and even after all of that still have not stayed together. They get very touchy about Ireland breaking away or the SNP that wants Scotland to break away but don't relate at all that to what is happening in Belgium when they want success to the nationalists.

  3. Their attitude reminds me of Churchill's joining in on the attacks on Leopold III in WW2.

  4. Churchill was never fond of the Belgians. He had done nothing but criticize the country before WW1 which is why so many raised eyebrows when he claimed that Britain had to enter the war to defend "brave little Belgium" -he was not genuinely concerned but simply used the country to further his own goal. He even admitted that he would have no hesitation to violate Belgian or Dutch neutrality if it served his purposes. Then there was playing the blame game with Leopold III in the Second World War and so on. You also saw the attitude displayed in Africa in WW1 when the British were anxious for Belgian help in German East Africa but were quick to try to box them in because they didn't want to lose any spoils of war to them. King George V was more genuinely appreciative but Churchill was cynical about the whole episode.

  5. Which is why I don't swoon with gratitude over the British intervention. Naturally I appreciate those who did come to fight and I am glad things worked out as they did but the motives were far from pure. It also makes no sense to me that any British could be favor to breaking up Belgium when they talk about coming to the war for our sake. Why support the destruction of the country you say you were fighting to save? It is incomprehensible for me.