Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The men were here to get your Belgian things

This is a great story (hat tip to Interfluidity).

From Euro Intelligence (I know, I know):

"The political situation in Belgium is becoming increasingly dramatic. After negotiations have broke down twice, the king asked for a new round of consultations to find a compromise over institutional reforms, possibly the last chance before organising new elections. Many expect that new elections would nothing but radicalise the positions, Le Monde reports. According to polls, the separatist NVA would get more than 30% of the votes in Flanders. French-speaking socialists now evoked a plan B, where Wallonia and Brussels would form a new Belgium. The Flemish response was that if they want to keep the heritage they can also keep the whole of the Belgian debt."

So Bolivia has managed to hold together but Belgium might not?

How fast could Evo learn Flemish?


Barry said...

No Angus you don't know. Despite all the scoffing from US libertarians, who sadly appear to regard Daniel Hannan as the only source of opinion on European affairs, the Euro still exists, the 'PIGS' are making worthy economic adjustments, political mechanisms are being discussed to enforce debt targets in the Eurozone more strongly. Belgium has survived supposed imminent dissolution before, which Hannan is always gloatingly predicting. And so what if a democratic nations peacefully splits? What exactly does that prove? Why is it a bad thing? And more than 30% support for separatists in Flanders means more than 60% not supporting separatism. Last time I checked 60 was a much larger number than 30. So what is your point? And just so there's no misunderstanding when I refer to US libertarians I support US libertarians, from my UK classical liberal based in Turkey perspective, on the whole. And whatever Hannan tries to tell you, there are a lot of European libertarians/classical liberals who support the Euro.

Angus said...

Hi Barry:

Don't know who Daniel Hannan is, sorry.

Not sure why you're upset with the post. I put it up because I thought it was funny.

Thanks for letting me know the Euro still exists and that 60 is greater than 30. I obviously need all the help I can get.

Barry said...

Hello Angus
Maybe I'm too touchy, but I just find the US libertarian attitude to Europe disappointing.
Sorry you don't know who Hannan is, maybe I'm paranoid because I though everyone of libertarian inclination in the US knew him through his Reason.tv interview, and the YouTube speech against Gordon Brown in the European Parliament which I understand was a big hit in the US.
No doubt I'm being unreasonably bad tempered about a post in what is a funny blog.
I'm just a bit exhausted by so many US libertarians taking the same line on Europe as the UK Conservative Party right wing (including Hannan).
Jokes tend to rely on underlying assumptions, so while maybe I shouldn't be so touchy, the underlying assumptions of the joke here are
1. The Euro is a failure
2. Flanders might separate from Belgium
3. Points 1 and 2 show European Union politics to be a failure.
If I'm being unreasonable, it's because these points are constantly made by a certain kind of Conservative in the UK with absolutely no humour whatsoever.
I read the blog regularly and enjoy it, thanks for your posts, I just needed to vent on the topic in the post.

Angus said...

Always glad to hear from readers. We are all about venting here at KPC!

Unknown said...

Having lived in Belgium, this doesn't surprise me. There has been tension between the Wallonians and Flemish since the country's inception (in 1830) with tensions heightened post WW2 (when Hitler let the Flemish troops go home, and detained the Wallonians). Further back in the past, the Wallonians dominated the region, and not very kindly towards the Flemish.

In general, when I was in Belgium in the mid 90's the economy was much stronger in Flanders (with Antwerp, Brugges, Gent and sea access), so there is a financial push for Flanders.

Many folks in Wallonia (which was where I lived) claimed that the purpose of the King was to hold the country together, and many thought that this was an important job. He might be out of a job soon.