Feature

Redrawing the map of Europe.

The week's news at a glance.

Belgium

Laurent LintermansLa Libre Belgique

If the Flemish secede from Belgium, will the rest of our nation become absorbed into neighboring nations? asked Laurent Lintermans in the Brussels Libre Belgique. It’s not just a rhetorical question. More than half of the residents of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern half of Belgium, support independence for their region. Last year, when a Flemish TV station broadcast a fake news report announcing secession, showing scenes of crowds waving the Flemish flag and police surrounding the regional parliament building, most Belgians believed it had really come to pass. So it only makes sense to consider Belgium’s options. In Wallonia, the French-speaking province, “many believe their destiny lies with France.” But if all of southern Belgium were to become part of France, the small German-speaking region would be left adrift in a sea of Francophones. And how could France absorb Brussels, which as the capital of the European Union has a large international population in addition to its own French- and Dutch-speaking populations? A better option would be for Belgium to merge with Luxembourg, which already has French, Dutch, and Germans. Belgium and Luxembourg are “kindred souls,” very “pro-European” in outlook. We complement one another. Luxembourg needs workers; Walloons need jobs. Best of all, we already have a national symbol: “Our royal families are blood relatives.”

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