While the Flemish-speaking
north of the country strongly favors free trade, resistance to expanded free trade agreements is growing in the French- and German-speaking south, as exemplified in the region government of Wallonia's successful last-minute negotiations with the EU to insert clarifying clauses in the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
Today's Belgium lies at the cultural crossing where Flemish-speaking
and French-speaking traditions mix with those of a German-speaking minority.
Visiting a label converter in the Flemish-speaking
part of the country, he was kept waiting until an interpreter could be found because the boss couldn't (or more probably wouldn't) conduct business in French, English or any language but Flemish.
The air tickets are paid for," said Hans Bonte, mayor of Vilvoorde, a city of 41,000 in Flemish-speaking
Belgium that has seen at least 22 young people leave for Syria, including the most recent group in early November.
His son, 53-year-old crown prince Philippe, was sworn in as the seventh monarch of a country deeply divided between their French and Flemish-speaking
He also stressed that his wish was that Belgium, split between the Flemish-speaking
north and the French south, remained united.
But while the French-speakers of the south remain largely royalist, Flemish-speaking
Flanders, home to 60 percent of the population, has cooled.
In Belgium, arguably the institutional heart of Europe, on October 14th a divisive and secessionist Flemish political party, the New Flemish Alliance won local elections in Antwerp, the capital of the Flemish-speaking
"I was born on a small farm in southwest Manitoba in 1924, into a Flemish-speaking
For the proper functioning of the state, a deal was reportedly being considered last light, in which a number of minority parties - left, right, Flemish and French-speaking - opined their differences over Belgium's contentious constituency boundaries, including on French-speaking and Flemish-speaking
lines, the paper said.
This time even the French speakers are publicly raising the question: the very existence of the Kingdom of Belgium is at stake today after some 30 years of growing radicalisation among Flemish-speaking
This may be partly due to the fact that guidance services tend to be associated by such youths with the very system they resist or have abandoned--which is why such innovative strategies as the use of ex-school drop-outs as peer counsellors (e.g., in Flemish-speaking
Belgium) are promising.