Belgian waffling: 249 days of negotiations, and still no government

Today's post is a bit different and longer. The subject is of course Belgium and 249 Days of NoGov( No Government). We, Belgians, are bit different than Egyptians. We rather laugh with our problems and yes, there are several protests and marches but in a humourous way. The Belgians are also seeking for a possible sound track like: I Just Can't Get Nogov - Depeche Mode, No Gov, No Cry - Bob Marley and Smells like No Gov - Nirvana. Let me post some extracts from StarTribune( Seems like it's a paper from Minneapolis, My family lives there :D)
BRUSSELS - What would be a humiliation for many turned into a party for Belgium Thursday as the country's citizens marked 249 days without a government, a figure that they are treating as a world record in political waffling.

On every other day, the crisis pits the leaders of 6 million Dutch-speakers against those of 4.5 million French speakers, but people from across the country put aside their differences to celebrate the occasion.
In Leuven a long line of students snaked through the central square for a free portion of fries, Belgium's beloved national dish, in a show of gastronomic unity. Across the linguistic border, Belgian beer was expected to flow freely in French-speaking Louvain-la-Neuve.

In Ghent, organizers hope 249 people will strip naked to mark the days of the crisis as part of a party expected to draw thousands.

"Finally world champion" the usually serious De Standaard headlined its Thursday edition, tongue firmly in cheek.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yves Leterme cautioned not to make too much of the day. "Don't overestimate the impact on politicians and decision-makers," he told VRT network.
It is arguable whether 249 really is the world record. Iraq took 249 days to get the outlines of a government agreement last year, but the approval of that government took a further 40 days. Still, the way things are going, Belgium will have little problem claiming the record whichever standard is used.

"We never take ourselves seriously. We are the country of the Smurfs, of Tintin, of Rene Magritte and surrealism. So it is a country that, compared with England or France, we dare to make fun of ourselves," said Brussels politician Luckas Vander Taelen.

"In any country in the world where two peoples live on the same territory, there are always problems. And mostly these problems are solved with a war. And in Belgium we have a history of 180 years without one casualty," he said. "It might be boring, but it is better than a civil war."

On Thursday, though, all thoughts of problems to come were put aside. There was a party going on.

"After that, there is another day. After you have the world record, there is the world record-plus-one, and then you have to start negotiating," Vander Taelen said.
"It takes time. A world record is not a shame," he said.
By Raf Casert , Associated Press

EDIT: It's finished! Behold, my two and a half hour work!

8 opmerkingen:

  1. I love how they celebrated with nudity and beer.

  2. Do you think the country will break up?

  3. DDX: No, Belgium won't split. Why? Politicians first have to AGREE on alot of things to split up like the borders of the country, Brussels, several laws. For Example: What to do with Brussels? Part of Flanders? or PArt of Walloon? Or should it be independant? A unique European State? Another thing is that we would lose our position in the EU and UN (other things too of course)

    A new idea(heard it today is) is a "Belgian Union": All the central power would be send to four states, A Flemish State, A Walloon State, a German state and Brussels. We would be still together with one King, but the power is divided. We can all do what we want in our own State without interference of another state.
    This would be the Best solution if you ask me.

    Sorry for the explanation. I might start a political blog too ;)

  4. You must be so proud to be citizen of such a gr8 country. Shocking to hear but I guess "old countries dont disappear overnite and they stay for breakfast" - the pride you are caring wont be tossed I beleive.
    Waiting with fingers crossed


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