Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Letter of the day

Sir, F. de Hennin writes that the Belgian head of state is the "King of the Belgians". I have lived in the country for more than 10 years , and have often been told that the King is in fact the only Belgian. The others are either Flemish or Walloons.
Charlotte Andsager
Brussels, Belgium

Yesterday's FT


Anonymous kinglear said...

In fact, Belgium is simply part of the Low Countries that were - Spanish

10:10 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Let's see what ED thinks about that!

8:44 am  
Blogger Eurodog said...

The present monarch of Belgium is Abert II and is called King of the Belgians. The Belgae were a celtic people whose territory since it was first conquered by Julius Cesar has been ruled by a panoply of nations. Charlemagne, the Dukes of Burgundy, the Habsburgs, Spain under Philip II, the Austrian Empire, the French and most recently, before independence in 183O, the Dutch (under French influence). Today Belgium has 3 language communities: French speaking or Walloon, Flemish speaking and a German speaking minority. Belgium as a nation has throughout its history and its language conflicts managed to survive and has maintained its territory as it is known today. Belgian politics are extremely complex and today we have no government but let it be an example to the rest of the world that this country is running itself without government and has done so for the past 8 months so there must be a unity somewhere. There must be a common bond between the communities. We can only call ourselves Belgians at the end of the day.

1:42 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Salut ED and many thanks for your clear assessment of your country

2:31 pm  
Anonymous kinglear said...

I think the "no government" thing has happened before. Perhaps we should adopt this here and then we would be finished, presumably, with government interference...

8:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nope we are flemish, walloon or german europeans. Belgian does not has no language, no national political party and a national anthem that noone remembers , not even the prime minister whom when asked started to sign the marseillaise... go figure!!! go belgium go!!

11:21 am  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ah, ED has cleared that up, then.

11:16 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

LOL KL & Anon!

Not quite, WL!

8:56 am  
Blogger Eurodog said...

I am Belgian and Flemish and speak French and that's that and I do not have a problem with that. I am fluent in all three languages and am happy to live in all three cultures. Surely I am not the only one! The politicians are the problem.

3:50 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

I think it's even more mixed than that.

7:12 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Good for you, ED!

Quel melange, Ellee!

8:43 am  

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