I’ve been following the political problems in Belgium between the Flemings and the Walloons with interest over the past few weeks. The best explanation of I’ve seen of what’s going on was published today at Strange Maps. I had always known that Belgium was home to groups of people who speak different languages, but I had no idea of the degree of separation between the French-speaking Walloons and the Dutch-speaking Flemings. Apparently partition of the country is a real possibility, but Brussels stands in the way:
The resulting gridlock for some observers indicates that Belgium has reached the end of its tether. Although the present impasse seems to meet with apathy from the general public, this is not an improbable proposition – were it not for Brussels. The capital of Belgium isn’t just also the capital of Europe: it’s also the capital of Flanders, which maintains its parliament there. But 85% of the bruxellois are Francophone, and thus not inclined to think kindly of incorporation into Flanders. Annexation by Wallonia is rather impractical, as Brussels is completely surrounded by Flemish territory.
I’ll be interested to see what happens next.