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Belgium Fracturing On Linguistic Divide (Will Belgium Be Around Next Tuesday Alert)
Los Angeles Times ^ | 11/13/2007 | Geraldine Baum

Posted on 11/13/2007 9:29:42 AM PST by goldstategop

To continue the literary analogy, consider the library at Belgium's Leuven University. Make that two libraries.

German armies had burned down Leuven's library in the two world wars, and it was rebuilt after each. But then in 1970, the last time the Flemings and the Walloons got seriously restive, the million-volume collection was carved into two: Odd-numbered books remained on the original campus in the Dutch-speaking part of the country, while even-numbered books went to a new Francophone school built in a field 17 miles to the south.

Thirty-seven years later, Belgium's national identity is still so elusive, so fragile and so fractured that the little country wedged between the Netherlands and France may be on the verge of breaking apart.

The more prosperous Dutch-speakers in Flanders in the north want to shake off their relatively poor French-speaking neighbors in Wallonia to the south.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: belgium; dutch; flanders; flemish; french; geraldinebaum; losangelestimes; walloons
What does it mean to be Belgian? The French speaking Walloon elite always dominated the country until the 1970s. Today, its two peoples, the Dutch speaking Flemings and French speaking Walloons, are on the verge of divorce. It may be a civilized one at that. So will the country still be around in a thousand Tuesdays? This is a country famous for chocolate, french fries and 500 varieties of beer. And the EU capital in Brussels.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

1 posted on 11/13/2007 9:29:43 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop

How can I take seriously an article that doesn’t even get the name of one-half of its subject correct?

It’s FlemISH, not Fleming.

Geraldine. time for a refresher in Belgian history.

2 posted on 11/13/2007 10:13:59 AM PST by Don W (I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.)
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To: Don W

I think the term Flemish is an adjective or collective term, like “British,” whereas an individual is a Fleming, analogous to a “Briton.” I.e. the Flemish people are a bunch of Flemings.

3 posted on 11/13/2007 10:34:13 AM PST by hellbender
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To: goldstategop

Ain’t really that new. Remember Leon Dagrelle?

4 posted on 11/13/2007 11:08:00 AM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: hellbender

I prefer to refer to them as the “Phlegms.”

(Or just “Miserable Fat Belgian Bastards!”)

5 posted on 11/13/2007 11:12:56 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: goldstategop

The country will be split by can see it coming and almost everyone in Belgium has an opinion on it. The interesting that this split will have an effect on other countries as well. Germany’s Bavaria has a similar feeling being the “pump” of Germany. Most German politicians don’t want this topic to take off...realizing the impact on the rest of the country. If Bavaria were to split’d be the most wealthy country in Europe within five years.

6 posted on 11/13/2007 11:24:53 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: pepsionice

IF Bavaria split off and lowered it’s capital gains tax rates, tens of thousands of high net worth Bavarian families would repatriate their wealth to the Bavarian soil. Don’t see why the Swiss should be getting all that banking business anyway.

7 posted on 11/13/2007 11:29:36 AM PST by JerseyHighlander
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