Tuesday, 7 September 2010

What's Belgium for?

What's Belgium for? I'd always imagined its principal export was young princesses with lengthy entries in the Almanac du Gotha, bred to be married to obscure outbranches of the Euro Aristocracy, but apparently it's beer and chocolate.

The Flemings are a bit like Ulster unionists, slightly embarrassing in company with their ultra-patriotism and a bit gauche, and consequently the more sophisticated Dutch are not wholly enthusiastic over the prospect of absorbing them into a greater Netherlands. The Walloons are, well, poor. The French, already pouring millions of our taxes into the Nord Pas de Calais region, are also not keen on absorbing Wallonia with its high unemployment and low potential. France and Holland are really quite happy with Belgium the way it is. There is also a tiny German minority, a few tens of thousands, and Germany alone seems eager to expand its borders by half a mile to absorb them, but then I expect it's genetic.

Belgium is no closer now than it was in 2007 when this blog started to having a stable government. The more the recession bites, the greater the pressure for a split, and Europe will have a spare king and lots of spare princesses with no country to call their own. I suppose there's a vast hotel in the South of France somewhere where they all live, those ex-kings of Greece, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and their retinues. I'm sure they'll find room for Albert.

9 comments:

Robert said...

If the Dutch, the French or the Germans took their part of Belgium would we have to declare war on all of them as in 1914?

Chuckles said...

I have a nagging semi-recollection of a quote that noted that it was necessary for Belgium to exist so that Germany, France and GB would have somewhere to fight their wars?

Rush-is-Right said...

In Belgium there are two main divisions following linguistic lines. The Flemish, northern, part is free-enterprise, inclined to low taxation and a (relatively) pro-business culture. The Walloons in the south on the other hand are mostly left-leaning spongers on the taxes paid in the North. Think of Newcastle and Liverpool and you get the general idea.

It seems to me that there is no reason that the Flemish people of the North should not form an independent nation within the EU. There is no need for them to affiliate with Holland or anyone else. They are perfectly equipped in terms of their industry and commerce to pay their own way and more.

There would be advantages in this... the new Flanders would be rendered free from the left-leaning political influence of the Walloons and would be capable of instituting a low-tax free-enterprise economy.

The frogs in the south could then either struggle on by themselves or try to persuade the French (or maybe the Luxembourgois in the case of Luxembourg province) to absorb them. Either way, they would be no loss to greater Belgium. (Would that Newcastle and Liverpool etc could be cast off from England so easily).

Blue Eyes said...

Isn't the main problem that Bruxelles is mostly French-speaking but is right in the middle of the Flemish-speaking bit?

talwin said...

'What's Belgium For?'

Where to start? Buns, chocolate, Leffe beer, waffles, Spa Francorchamps, 'blue' cattle, the Manneken Pis.

Oh, and Leopold's finest murdering 10(?) million Congolese - often cutting off hands (see, Sierra Leone's old hat) - including, probably, President Patrice Lumumba.

talwin said...

.....and the EU Parliament.

Elby the Beserk said...

Duvels and Chimay beer. Beers of mass destruction.

Anonymous said...

More Lebensraum for the Germans?

Die Deutschen haben immer mehr Platz benotigt!

Anonymous said...

A typical Belgian....

http://www.neatorama.com/2006/08/25/the-begian-penguin-man/