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Future of Belgium under threat over language row
The Telegraph ^ | 4/22/2010 | Henry Samuel, Paris

Posted on 04/23/2010 1:31:36 AM PDT by bruinbirdman

"Survival" of Belgium as a unified country was called into question last night after a row between French and Dutch speakers brought the government to the verge of collapse.

The wrangle has already brought down the government four times in the past three years but the latest spat is the gravest yet and threatens to split the country into Flemish areas and French-speaking areas.

King Albert II warned politicians that the political crisis "seriously threatens" the country's role in Europe, after the Prime Minister, Yves Leterme tendered his resignation.

Mr Leterme stepped down after talks broke down over plants to give French speakers in the suburbs of Brussels special voting powers which the Flemish parties want to see denied.

The failure to reach a deal led the Flemish liberal party, Open VLD, to pull out of the five-party ruling coalition and just hours later Mr Leterme resigned. King Albert has delayed a decision on whether to accept the resignation.

Dutch speakers make up 60 percent of the population in Belgium, where only the capital Brussels is officially bilingual. Prosperous Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north wants greater autonomy, whereas poorer, French-speaking Wallonia in the south argues enough powers have been devolved.

The Brussels-Hal-Vilvorde districts at the centre of the row have acted as a focal point for these deep-seated linguistic tensions, as they are Flemish-run but with a sizeable French-speaking community.

Some Wallon politicians saw the latest crisis as a Flemish plot to break up Belgium.

"There was no other choice but for the government to resign," said Didier Reynders, the finance minister.

Yesterday, Olivier Maingain, a francophone leader, promised that the collapse of the coalition "won't win Flanders what it really wants, separation and the end of the country".

However, Pierre Vercauteren, a political analyst at the University of

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: belgium; country; dutch; flemish; french; future; language; row; threat; unified; united

1 posted on 04/23/2010 1:31:36 AM PDT by bruinbirdman
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To: bruinbirdman

maybe they should compromise with english?


2 posted on 04/23/2010 1:33:00 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Why am I reminded of Canada?

The Belgians haven't really had a functional government for more than 20 years.

yitbos

3 posted on 04/23/2010 1:42:25 AM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds.")
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To: bruinbirdman

“The Belgians haven’t really had a functional government for more than 20 years.”

Sure they do, the functional one is more interested in ruling the world through the financial system though.


4 posted on 04/23/2010 2:46:58 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I thought maybe it was going to be about Arabic.


5 posted on 04/23/2010 2:47:10 AM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (NEW TAG ====> **REPEAL OR REBEL!** -- Islam Delenda Est! -- Rumble thee forth)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Or more likely an arabic language.


6 posted on 04/23/2010 2:50:05 AM PDT by Hexenhammer (sic semper tyrannis)
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To: bruinbirdman

The battle between Flemings and Walloons still rages I see.
Been going on a long time.


7 posted on 04/23/2010 2:54:12 AM PDT by Happy Rain ( "Tyranny's End In 2010--Delivered From Hell In 2012!")
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To: bruinbirdman

Good thing that could never happen here. By the way, does anybody know what “Para espanol, oprima numero dos” means?


8 posted on 04/23/2010 2:56:39 AM PDT by Jaxter ("Pro Aris et Focis")
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To: Hexenhammer

If they can’t agree on what to do, it sounds like they will become part of New Arabia.


9 posted on 04/23/2010 2:58:27 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: Jaxter

for spanish hit two


10 posted on 04/23/2010 2:59:03 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck

They should return the large portion of Luxembourg, where French and Letzeburgish language prevail, to the Grand Duchy! It was stolen from them after the Treaty of Vienna in order to create the Pseudo state of Belgium.


11 posted on 04/23/2010 3:04:26 AM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: bruinbirdman

Maybe they need a Two state solution!!


12 posted on 04/23/2010 3:15:34 AM PDT by timetostand (Ya say ya wanna revolution -- OK!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Exactly. en Español

The very same thing is coming here soon. You can’t hardly walk into a major store or pick up a pamphlet without dueling languages. In certain parts of the country Spanish is already the predominate language.


13 posted on 04/23/2010 3:27:46 AM PDT by Altura Ct.
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To: bruinbirdman

French or Dutch? Moot point!

They are all destined to end up speaking Farsi and various Arabian languages.


14 posted on 04/23/2010 3:36:21 AM PDT by Iron Munro ("Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you." - Steinbeck)
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To: bruinbirdman

The future of Belgium at risk - oh no! No more waffles or Leonidas chocolate! Sacre Blue! Verdammt!


15 posted on 04/23/2010 4:23:21 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Jaxter
By the way, does anybody know what “Para espanol, oprima numero dos” means?

Sometimes its even "numero uno."

16 posted on 04/23/2010 5:10:54 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: bruinbirdman; All

Belgium? Really? Belgium?

These Euroweenies can’t even keep Belgium from falling apart.

Sheesh! And our own weenies want us to be more like them. John Wayne...paging Mr John Wayne.


17 posted on 04/23/2010 5:15:43 AM PDT by LurkLongley (Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam-For the Greater Glory of God)
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To: Gumdrop

A separate language for Luxembourg, there is something I did not know. When I googled it I found out that Letzeburgish, a German dialect, was the most common language spoken in Luxembourg. I had thought it was French. Thanks.


18 posted on 04/23/2010 6:11:50 AM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: bruinbirdman

This better never affect the output of beer!


19 posted on 04/23/2010 6:14:41 AM PDT by szweig (Had it up to here)
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To: Rummyfan
"The future of Belgium at risk - oh no! No more waffles or Leonidas chocolate! Sacre Blue! Verdammt!"

In all fairness, they do make some pretty great dogs...


20 posted on 04/23/2010 6:19:25 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: bruinbirdman
Too bad Charles De Gaulle is no longer around--he could visit Brussels and proclaim "Vive la Wallonie libre!"

I don't know if you can really call the Walloons' language "French"--they say octante rather than quatre-vingt for "80." For "90" they say nonante instead of quatre-vingt-dix. How can that be considered French?

21 posted on 04/23/2010 6:28:11 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

Don’t the Swiss French do the same? Mais, alors, je suis d’accord avec vous.


22 posted on 04/23/2010 6:29:55 AM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten

Yes, according to my Harrap’s French dictionary, the French-speaking Swiss do too.


23 posted on 04/23/2010 8:24:16 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: bruinbirdman
Why don't they just all speak Belgian?
/0bama
24 posted on 04/23/2010 8:30:32 AM PDT by tnlibertarian
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To: ops33

You are very welcome for the information.

The Letzeburgesch dialect is quite far removed from high German, however, and often Germans cannot understand it at all. However, the Germans living around Bitburg, just north of Trier in the western part of the Rheinland do understand it and still speak it in their homes. In fact, prior to 1815, the District of Bitburg belonged to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg!

I have a genealogy friend with 100% Luxembourg ancestry, whose ancestors came to central Minnesota beteween about 1860-1870. The older generation still speaks Letzeburgesh among themselves. My friend’s mother went on a trip to Germany,and when she returned, she told her daughter, “I could not understand most of the Germans at all, until I came to Trier where I could speak my “German” and they understood me.”


25 posted on 04/24/2010 2:36:16 PM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: bruinbirdman

Monty Python - Derogatory terms for Belgians

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e-3dfQK7w4


26 posted on 04/24/2010 2:43:24 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Gumdrop

Very interesting. We spent 8 years in Germany, 4 at Zweibrucken AB, and 4 in Berlin. I knew there were many dialects of German but to tell the truth, my German was so poor it was hard to distinguish between them. I do remember that the Berliners talked very fast.


27 posted on 04/25/2010 6:24:22 AM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: bruinbirdman

The Belgian government just collapsed.

http://www.langlophone.com/


28 posted on 04/26/2010 9:38:47 AM PDT by rdl6989 (January 20, 2013- The end of an error.)
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To: bruinbirdman

The only thing that united Belgians in the past was their Catholicism. As the country become secularlized, ethnic/linguistic divisions rose to the fore.


29 posted on 04/26/2010 9:41:09 AM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: rdl6989
"The Belgian government just collapsed."

The article you link to is dated April 22.

Note that this article above is also dated April 22 and states in the second paragraph:

"King Albert II warned politicians that the political crisis "seriously threatens" the country's role in Europe, after the Prime Minister, Yves Leterme tendered his resignation."

yitbos

30 posted on 04/26/2010 10:58:13 AM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds.")
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To: bruinbirdman

Doh! I had just seen it on twitter as "breaking news" and found this but didn't see the date.

31 posted on 04/26/2010 11:02:40 AM PDT by rdl6989 (January 20, 2013- The end of an error.)
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