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Keyword: flemish

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  • Flemish party banned as racist by Belgium's high court

    11/10/2004 3:20:07 PM PST · by swilhelm73 · 21 replies · 692+ views
    Telegraph ^ | 11/10/04 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    Belgium's most popular political party was banned as racist by the country's high court yesterday, fuelling concerns that the judicial branch is being used to eliminate political enemies. The Vlaams Blok, a Flemish independence party promising to abolish Belgium as a nation, now cannot receive funding of any kind, and will have to disband. Frank Vanhecke, the party's chairman, accused the ruling elite of using totalitarian tactics to stop legitimate political expression and vowed to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights. "This is an attack on democracy and free speech. Our political opponents have changed the...
  • Frontrunner in Belgian election may be uniting nation over need to split up

    06/08/2010 11:58:45 AM PDT · by Pantera · 26 replies · 51+ views
    Fox News ^ | June 8, 2010 | AP
    GHENT, Belgium (AP) — The frontrunner in Belgium's elections this weekend is running on perhaps the ultimate in divisive proposals: the breakup of the nation. Despite its status as the home of the European Union, Belgium itself has long struggled with divisions between its 6 million Dutch-speakers and 4.5 million Francophones but until recently talk of a breakup has been limited to extremists.
  • Redrawing the map

    04/30/2010 12:00:00 PM PDT · by lizol · 4 replies · 721+ views
    The Economist ^ | Apr 29th 2010
    Redrawing the map The European map is outdated and illogical. Here's how it should look Apr 29th 2010 | From The Economist online PEOPLE who find their neighbours tiresome can move to another neighbourhood, whereas countries can’t. But suppose they could. Rejigging the map of Europe would make life more logical and friendlier. Britain, which after its general election will have to confront its dire public finances, should move closer to the southern-European countries that find themselves in a similar position. It could be towed to a new position near the Azores. (If the journey proves a bumpy one, it...
  • Fear of Islamists Drives Growth of Far Right in Belgium

    02/12/2005 6:17:20 AM PST · by Pharmboy · 29 replies · 1,557+ views
    NY Times ^ | February 12, 2005 | CRAIG S. SMITH
    Tomas van Houtryve for The New York Times Jean-François Bastin, 61, a Belgian convert to Islam, in his home in Brussels. His party is aggressively pursuing a pro-Muslim agenda. ANTWERP, Belgium - Filip Dewinter, a boyish man in a dark blue suit, bounds up two flights of steep stairs in his political party's 19th-century headquarters building where posters show a Muslim minaret rising menacingly above the Gothic steeple of the city's cathedral. "The radical Muslims are organizing themselves in Europe," he declared. "Other political parties, they are very worried about the Muslim votes and say let's be tolerant, while...
  • Right-Wing Party Threatens To Abolish Belgium

    05/16/2003 5:24:05 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 52 replies · 410+ views
    The Daily Telegraph ^ | May 17, 2003 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    French-speaking enemies call him a "designer fascist", with his air of having just stepped off a plane from San Francisco. Filip Dewinter, the strongman of the Vlaams Blok, the Right-wing anti-immigration party that is poised to do well in tomorrow's Belgian election, is a man who provokes that sort of angry reaction. His Flemish front poses a mortal threat to the Belgian state and the welfare apparatus that keeps the French-speaking regions afloat. Filip Dewinter Each year, the Dutch-speaking majority in the north pay a bigger share of GDP to subsidise their former masters in Wallonia than the west Germans...
  • Meet the Mayor of Brussels: She's a Muslim

    01/16/2006 4:37:53 AM PST · by spkpls4 · 16 replies · 845+ views
    Brussels Journal ^ | 1-16-2005 | Paul Belien
    Faouzia Hariche (38) is the acting mayor (or “bourgmestre” – burgomaster, from the Dutch burgemeester) of Brussels, the capital of Belgium and of the European Union. Ms Hariche was born in Algeria in 1967. She moved to Belgium when she was seven years old. Though Brussels was historically a Dutch-speaking city and is also considered to be the capital of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern half of Belgium, the city was forcibly “frenchified” after the establishment of Belgium in 1830 by French radicals who used French-speaking Wallonia, Belgium’s southern half, as a power base to conquer Flanders. Since 1830 the Dutch...
  • Flemish wife calls Walloon spouse "lazy," arrested

    10/29/2005 10:52:41 AM PDT · by cloud8 · 21 replies · 898+ views
    Reuters ^ | 10-27-05
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium's history of linguistic bickering between Flemings and Walloons entered a new phase this week when police arrested a Flemish woman for calling her Walloon husband lazy, Belgian media said Thursday. The 48-year-old husband filed a complaint for racism against his spouse for scratching him and calling him "a lazy Walloon, a slave and an inferior creature," De Standaard daily said. The 47-year-old woman will appear before a magistrate later Thursday to face charges of racism, the newspaper said. Dutch-speaking Flemings and French-speaking Walloons are not only linguistically divided but also split socio-economically between a prosperous Flanders...
  • Belgium : far-right Vlaams Belang steps closer to victory

    10/05/2006 1:50:57 AM PDT · by Republicain · 6 replies · 577+ views
    Expatica.com ^ | 10/05/2006
    BRUSSELS - A recent documentary "Questions à la Une" acts as whistleblower against the progression of the Belgian extreme right. French-speaking Belgian TV and radio organisation RTBF recently broadcast a worrisome documentary on the growing popularity of the extreme-right party, the Vlaams Belang, in the Flemish part of the country. A popularity, according to La Libre Belgique, that may bring the Vlaams Belang to victory and which is grossly underestimated in French-speaking Belgium. Christophe Deborsu's documentary is well structured. The investigation starts with an anecdote surrounding a street name and ends with the Vlaams Belang's highly effective campaign strategy. The...
  • It's the end of Belgium as we know it... only joking

    12/14/2006 5:14:06 PM PST · by Shermy · 9 replies · 633+ views
    Times of London ^ | December 15, 2006 | David Charter
    Thousands of Belgians were thrown into a panic by news that the Flemish half of the country had declared independence. A two-hour live television report on the break-up of the nation showed images of ecstatic Flemish nationalists waving flags on the streets and queues of French speakers heading for the “border”. The panic turned to anger after RTBF, the French public broadcaster, admitted 40 minutes into the show that it was a hoax designed to dramatise tensions between Flanders, in the north, and French-speaking Wallonia, in the south. Thousands of viewers called the station during the broadcast, some of them...
  • Fury at fake TV news claim of Belgian split

    12/15/2006 5:04:48 AM PST · by MadIvan · 9 replies · 554+ views
    The Scotsman ^ | December 15, 2006 | PHILIP BLENKINSOP
    A FAKE television news bulletin that Belgium was to split provoked outrage in both halves of the country yesterday."Irresponsible", "questionable" and "regrettable" were among the reactions from Belgium's political mainstream in both French-speaking Wallonia and Dutch-speaking Flanders after a fictional report that Flanders had declared independence. The prime minister Guy Verhofstadt's office described the bulletin as a "misplaced joke". A commission of the Francophone parliament was set to view RTBF's footage, which included a report that King Albert II had fled the country. Only much later during the broadcast did a subtitle reveal that the reports were fictional. The Francophone...
  • Belgium to pull further apart after federal vote

    06/04/2007 2:27:11 PM PDT · by knighthawk · 7 replies · 412+ views
    Swissinfo ^ | June 04 2007 | Philip Blenkinsop/Reuters
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium's sharp divide between Flemings and Walloons is likely to widen but fall short of full separation after Sunday's general election given the likely next prime minister's remark about almost half the population. "Apparently the francophones do not have the intellect to learn Dutch," Christian Democrat Yves Leterme told a French newspaper last August, to the consternation of the 40 percent of Belgians whose native language is French. Leterme, premier of Dutch-speaking Flanders, is the frontrunner to succeed liberal Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt -- also a Fleming -- in an election likely to see Belgium's regions inch...
  • Belgium PM to resign after conservatives make big gains in general elections

    06/10/2007 11:47:37 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 4 replies · 615+ views
    Chronicle Journal ^ | 6/10/2007 | ROBERT WIELAARD
    Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt planned to tender his government’s resignation Monday, one day after a general election in which conservatives - led by Christian Democrats - dealt his Socialist-Liberal coalition a stunning defeat. As votes were still being counted Sunday, Verhofstadt, 54, conceded defeat, saying he would leave the limelight after eight years as prime minister. "The voters of our country...have opted for a different majority," he said. That majority faces a difficult agenda that is bound to be dominated by steps to grant further autonomy to Flanders, Belgium’s Dutch-speaking northern half, and Wallonia, its francophone south. Since the...
  • Belgium's Liberal-Socialist government suffers major losses in general elections

    06/10/2007 11:26:14 AM PDT · by LdSentinal · 13 replies · 572+ views
    PRInside.com ^ | 6/10/07
    BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt's government of Liberals and Socialists took a fierce beating in Sunday's general elections as Christian Democrats translated eight years on the opposition benches into major gains, according to early vote projections. After two four-year terms, the coalition partners were predicted to lose ground across Belgium, a country of 10.5 million where political parties are split into separate Dutch and French-speaking factions. With 30 percent of the vote counted, the VRT television network gave Christian Democrats 32.4 percent of the vote in Dutch-speaking Belgium (up from 25.8 percent in 2003) and Verhofstadt's...
  • Belgium: Split down the middle

    08/25/2007 11:07:16 AM PDT · by knighthawk · 4 replies · 557+ views
    Radio Netherlands ^ | August 24 2007 | Bram Posthumus
    More than ten weeks after the Belgian elections and there is still no government in sight. On 23 August, Mr Yves Leterme, the Christian Democrat who won last June's parliamentary elections and was subsequently charged with forming a new Belgian government, gave his job back. His job was in essence: looking for a workable coalition. Any government in Belgium needs to be a coalition, as no single party is large enough to rule on its own. Mr Leterme was banking on a coalition between two parties from the Dutch speaking north, known as Flanders - and the French speaking south,...
  • Culture clash may break up Belgium

    09/19/2007 10:21:54 AM PDT · by Republicain · 44 replies · 897+ views
    financialtimes.com ^ | Sarah Laitner
    Belgium, it is business as usual. Trains run, the prime minister greets visiting foreign leaders, social security benefits are paid and the country’s famed bureaucracy functions unabated. If everything seems normal, it is – bar one glitch. Belgium has no new government, 101 days after a general election. Since it won independence in 1830, the country has had trouble keeping itself together. Now, concerns are growing that the Franco-phone Walloons of the south and the Dutch-speaking Flemings in the north will finally split. While Belgium bears few visible scars of political impasse, disagreements over state reform have left negotiators unable...
  • Belgium: No Government - No Worries

    09/20/2007 2:51:01 PM PDT · by bamahead · 11 replies · 102+ views
    Anorak ^ | September 20th, 2007 | Samizdata
    One hundred and three days after their general election, life goes on in Belgium. People go to work, they meet their friends, the beer is world class, the food is good, folks go about life as they always have. And there is still no government. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20841339/) Hopefully the country will provide an inspirational example to the rest of the EU and split under the pressure caused by increasing Flemish unwillingness to pay the parasitic leftists who dominate Wallonia. Of course things might get messy but more likely it will be a velvet divorce... but the really interesting thing for me...
  • Belgium's political impasse continues

    12/01/2007 10:08:53 AM PST · by knighthawk · 7 replies · 118+ views
    Radio Netherlands ^ | December 01 2007
    Brussels (1 December) - The head of Belgium's Flemish Christian Democrats Yves Leterme has announced that he is unable to form a coalition government. King Albert II has accepted his resignation as coalition negotiator. Mr Leterme resigned after the French-speaking Christian Democrats rejected a proposal which would lead to greater regional autonomy. Belgium's political parties have been attempting to form a government since elections were held in June.
  • Collapse of Belgian coalition talks deepens national crisis

    12/01/2007 8:43:34 PM PST · by ConservativeJen · 15 replies · 245+ views
    AFP ^ | Sat Dec 1, 11:02 AM ET | AFP
    BRUSSELS (AFP) - The head of Belgium's Flemish Christian Democrats on Saturday abandoned efforts to form a coalition government, after more than five months of fruitless talks, plunging the country further into crisis. Yves Leterme announced his decision to Belgian King Albert II after the two Dutch-speaking Flemish and two francophone parties involved in talks failed to bridge their differences over devolving more power to the regions. His move, swiftly accepted by the king, deepens the political crisis in the country where some are even talking of a possible split between the richer Flemish majority to the north and the...
  • Outgoing Belgium PM to form interim government

    12/17/2007 1:57:05 PM PST · by knighthawk · 6 replies · 43+ views
    Radio Netherlands ^ | December 17 2007
    Brussels (17 December 2007) - Belgium's outgoing Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has agreed to King Albert's request to form an interim government. The king wants the prime minister to address the most urgent issues, including negotiations on important institutional reforms. Belgium is divided into French-speaking Wallonia in the south and Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north. Parliamentary elections were held in Belgium on 10 June, but so far no coalition has been formed because the French-language and Dutch-language parties have been unable to reach agreement. Mr Verhofstadt has suggested forming a government, consisting of a Christian Democratic-Labour bloc representing the Walloon...
  • Belgium 'placed on democracy watch list' (3 elected mayors banned from office for speaking French)

    12/03/2008 9:14:39 AM PST · by Stoat · 8 replies · 576+ views
    The Telegraph (U.K.) ^ | December 3, 2008 | Bruno Waterfield
    European human rights watchdogs are now watching Belgian democracy closely after the move by Flemish local authorities. The Council of Europe has "opened a monitoring procedure on local democracy" fuelling a row between Dutch speaking and francophone Belgians that has threatened the existence of Belgium. Flemish regional authorities have blocked three French-speaking mayors from taking up public office since they were elected in January 2007 in the Brussels suburbs of Linkebeek, Wezembeek-Oppem and Kraainem. Marino Keulen, the Flemish Interior Minister responsible for the ban, remained defiant and announced he will stick by his decision to outlaw the elected mayors....
  • The death of Belgium?

    07/29/2008 4:14:50 AM PDT · by shrinkermd · 51 replies · 147+ views
    LA Times ^ | 28 July 2008 | By Ian Buruma
    Belgium is in danger of falling apart. For more than six months, the country has been unable to form a government that is able to unite the French-speaking Walloons (32% of the population) and Dutch-speaking Flemish (58%). The Belgian monarch, Albert II, is desperately trying to stop his subjects from breaking up the nation-state. But perhaps we should all care at least a little, for what is happening in Belgium is unusual but not at all unique. The Czechs and Slovaks already parted ways, as did the different nations of Yugoslavia. Many Basques would like to break away from Spain,...
  • Belgian government resigns (rejected by king)

    07/15/2008 3:57:30 AM PDT · by knighthawk · 12 replies · 102+ views
    Expatica ^ | July 15 2008 | AFP
    Belgian Prime Minister offered his government’s resignation to the king Monday, said a source BRUSSELS - Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme offered his government's resignation to the king Monday after talks between Flemish and French-speakers on new reforms failed, a source close to the government said. "He will present his government's resignation," the source told AFP under cover of anonymity. "It's an admission of a complete deadlock on community questions, combined with the fact the government will not be able to present an agreement on reforming the state by 15 July," as Leterme had promised, the source said. Leterme only...
  • Flemish Separatists Win in Belgium

    06/13/2010 4:09:43 PM PDT · by americanophile · 67 replies · 1,535+ views
    NYT ^ | June 13, 2010 | STEPHEN CASTLE
    BRUSSELS — The move to break up Belgium gathered momentum Sunday as separatists won an emphatic election victory in Flanders, the prosperous Dutch-speaking half of the fiercely divided nation. A stunning electoral success for Bart de Wever’s Flemish nationalist party marks a significant new challenge to the fragile unity of a country where tensions between French and Dutch speakers run deep. Scheduled to take over the rotating presidency of the European Union in less than three weeks, Belgium will now do so with a caretaker administration and facing months of tortuous negotiations to put together a coalition government. “We are...
  • Future of Belgium under threat over language row

    04/23/2010 1:31:36 AM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 30 replies · 760+ views
    The Telegraph ^ | 4/22/2010 | Henry Samuel, Paris
    "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...
  • New Miss Belgium gets Flemish tongues wagging

    12/17/2007 7:51:34 AM PST · by SkyPilot · 100 replies · 130+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | 17 Dec 07 | None
    BRUSSELS (AFP) - Belgium's political tensions entered the glamour stakes after it was revealed that the new Miss Belgium does not speak Dutch. Belgium's political tensions entered the glamour stakes after it was revealed that the new Miss Belgium does not speak Dutch. Alizee Poulicek, who comes from the country's French-speaking region, was booed at the contest by some of the 4,000 audience when she admitted that she could not understand a question put to her in Dutch. Alizee Poulicek, who comes from the country's French-speaking region, was booed by some of the 4,000 audience when she admitted that she...
  • Belgium Fracturing On Linguistic Divide (Will Belgium Be Around Next Tuesday Alert)

    11/13/2007 9:29:42 AM PST · by goldstategop · 6 replies · 102+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 11/13/2007 | Geraldine Baum
    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...
  • The language battle that is tearing Belgium apart

    05/08/2005 11:43:04 PM PDT · by MadIvan · 45 replies · 1,682+ views
    The Times ^ | May 9, 2005 | Anthony Browne
    LANGUAGE wars between French and Flemish-speakers in Belgium have reignited, sparking riots, bringing the Government to the brink of collapse and prompting some commentators to say that the country is “finished”.The dispute, over whether 120,000 French-speakers living in Flemish areas should have the right to elect French- speaking politicians, arouses high passions in a country split between the two languages. As the apparently innocuous spat in an electoral district just outside Brussels escalated out of control, demonstrations ended in violent confrontations with police. Senior government ministers cancelled all other work for emergency negotiations, but failed to broker a deal over...
  • New racist death threat for Flemish business chief (Islamist Terror Alert)

    02/11/2005 4:27:04 AM PST · by Cornpone · 7 replies · 374+ views
    expatica ^ | 10 Feb 2005 | expatica
    BRUSSELS - The head of the Remmery firm in Ledegem has been sent a sixth death threat by nationalist extremists. The letter, sent by the Nieuw Vrij Vlaanderen to the Belgian press, threatens the "execution of Remmery as an example to other company bosses." King hails Flemish boss for braving racist death threats Rik Remmery's 'offence' has been to allow a Muslim employee, Naima Amzil, to wear her headscarf at work. In December, the Belgian king openly voiced his support for Remmery, inviting him and Amzil to the palace to discuss the racist harassment they were experiencing. Although Amzil stopped...