• It has come to our attention that some users may have been "banned" when they tried to change their passwords after the site was hacked due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software. This would have occurred around the end of February and does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you believe you were affected by this, please contact a staff member or use the Contact us link at the bottom of any forum page.

Speech by King of the Belgians Upsets some Flemish


blokesbloke

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
23,296
I've always found Belgium's on-going seperatism issue quite interesting.

It is often said that Belgium has very little to unify it as a country.

One of the few unifying things is their royal family.

The King has given a speech which some Flemish politicians seem to have interpreted as a dig against them...

BBC News - Belgium King Albert II Christmas speech sparks controversy

I am not quite sure if this is correct - they may well be being over-sensitive.

However having said that, I do think their current monarch, King Albert II, has never done very much for the cause of national unity as he can basically only speak French - his Flemish/Dutch is very poor.

Since he is a largely ceremonial monarch, like all European monarchs, and therefore has very few really crucial official roles to fill. Given that he'll have had the very best educational opportunities, I am surprised he wasn't taught Flemish at a young age - and preferably German too for the German-speaking minority of his country.

He couldn't control that - but as an adult he could. I feel he wants to be a unifying force for the country but that can never happen when he only speaks one of the two main languages spoken there.

Given that, even if the Flemish politicians are being over-sensitive, perhaps the King has only himself to blame - if he can't be bothered to learn the language of half his subjects, is it surprising they sometimes misinterpret what he says, partly because of the attitude to them his failure to trouble himself learning it reveals, and possibly even purely linguistically, as what he says in French could lose some subtle meanings when translated in Flemish - particularly if translated by those with an agenda.

If he could speak Flemish himself, he would avoid this issue as he could speak to half his country directly in his their own language.

What do other users feel about this particular situation and the wider Belgian seperation issue? What does the future for Belgium hold?
 

AIESCD

Active member
Joined
Dec 15, 2012
Messages
116
I've always found Belgium's on-going seperatism issue quite interesting.

It is often said that Belgium has very little to unify it as a country.

One of the few unifying things is their royal family.

The King has given a speech which some Flemish politicians seem to have interpreted as a dig against them...

BBC News - Belgium King Albert II Christmas speech sparks controversy

I am not quite sure if this is correct - they may well be being over-sensitive.

However having said that, I do think their current monarch, King Albert II, has never done very much for the cause of national unity as he can basically only speak French - his Flemish/Dutch is very poor.

Since he is a largely ceremonial monarch, like all European monarchs, and therefore has very few really crucial official roles to fill. Given that he'll have had the very best educational opportunities, I am surprised he wasn't taught Flemish at a young age - and preferably German too for the German-speaking minority of his country.

He couldn't control that - but as an adult he could. I feel he wants to be a unifying force for the country but that can never happen when he only speaks one of the two main languages spoken there.

Given that, even if the Flemish politicians are being over-sensitive, perhaps the King has only himself to blame - if he can't be bothered to learn the language of half his subjects, is it surprising they sometimes misinterpret what he says, partly because of the attitude to them his failure to trouble himself learning it reveals, and possibly even purely linguistically, as what he says in French could lose some subtle meanings when translated in Flemish - particularly if translated by those with an agenda.

If he could speak Flemish himself, he would avoid this issue as he could speak to half his country directly in his their own language.

What do other users feel about this particular situation and the wider Belgian seperation issue? What does the future for Belgium hold?
First of all my Dutch is not perfect but as it's almost the same as Flemish I had to look at the original speech.
Veel kritiek op koning België na waarschuwing voor populisme :: nrc.nl
I see where it might sound controversial but might be just harmless.

He might just be reminding people not to forget the 30s
" De crisis van de jaren dertig en de populistische reacties die ze teweegbracht mogen niet worden vergeten"
It's weird in the contents of a xmas speech alright.

There's a joke that says that Belgium is just a road between France and the Netherlands.
BTW, I didn't know he's not fluent Flemish, when I've lived in the Netherlands at least I've bothered learning the language.
goedenavond, AIESCD.
 

Radix

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
10,031
Methinks the King is worried about the throne. He should do like our one and threaten to abolish something or other.
 

Analyzer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,201
The way I see it, Belgium is heading for a divorce.

When it happens it will make the divorce of the former Czechoslovakia look calm and courteous. Because in that instance they reach a mutual agreement to form two seperate countries, but decided to still get along afterwards. They Czechs and the Slovaks have not resorted towards insulting each other. Or even arguing about money - but then even the former Czechoslovakia was never as financially leveraged as Belgium. They agreed everything on the basis of mutual consent.

In Belgium, there will be a massive fight over money. Currently Wallonia is a big net receiver and Flanders is a perennial contributor to the Belgian state. The state debt is massive. The current crisis has forced both sides to think very carefully about the issue of breaking up, in the context of borrowing costs afterwards.
 
Last edited:

Analyzer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,201
I wonder what Gerard Depardieu, Wallonia's newest resident would say on this matter ?
 

Iphonista

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
4,200
This endless bickering is getting boring. Why can't they just agree to separate? The Czechs and Slovaks are moving along nicely with their lives.
 

drummed

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
37,438
Belguim won't be breaking up any time soon.
 

b.a. baracus

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
2,230
This endless bickering is getting boring. Why can't they just agree to separate? The Czechs and Slovaks are moving along nicely with their lives.
Money money money. The french speaking portion is dependent on the Flemish portion to subsidise them. Who will pay the enormous national debt? The Flemish will say it was mainly run up to keep the Wallonians going, the Wallonians can't pay it. Standoff.
 

jo9jo

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
4,895
Money money money. The french speaking portion is dependent on the Flemish portion to subsidise them. Who will pay the enormous national debt? The Flemish will say it was mainly run up to keep the Wallonians going, the Wallonians can't pay it. Standoff.
It seems to be a theme running through Europe with many wannabe breakaway states like :

Catalonia,
Bavaria,
Flanders,


And many more.

The engines of Europe want to be independent and do not like to subsidies others.
 

feedmelies

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2011
Messages
2,463
It seems to be a theme running through Europe with many wannabe breakaway states like :

Catalonia,
Bavaria,
Flanders,


And many more.

The engines of Europe want to be independent and do not like to subsidies others.
There's no serious debate on independence in Bavaria.

With Flanders - what is the likelihood of Flanders joining the Netherlands if it were to become independent? Anyone have any opinion polls?
 

jo9jo

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
4,895
There's no serious debate on independence in Bavaria.

With Flanders - what is the likelihood of Flanders joining the Netherlands if it were to become independent? Anyone have any opinion polls?
The Free State of Bavaria together with the State of Baden Wuertemburg are the economic powerhouses of Germany and these States run a substantial surplus (as do the States of Hesse and Hamburg (iirc)).

Bavaria resents having to subsidise other states and are considering reducing taxes on their own citizens so as to reduce their surplus. They have also brought a case to the court against the 'Finanzausgleich'.
While the government of Bavaria have no official stance on Bavarian Independence, the ordinary citizens who like to eat weisswurst and drink weizen beer before high noon would like to see Bavaria break away and become an independent state.
 

feedmelies

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2011
Messages
2,463
The Free State of Bavaria together with the State of Baden Wuertemburg are the economic powerhouses of Germany and these States run a substantial surplus (as do the States of Hesse and Hamburg (iirc)).

Bavaria resents having to subsidise other states and are considering reducing taxes on their own citizens so as to reduce their surplus. They have also brought a case to the court against the 'Finanzausgleich'.
While the government of Bavaria have no official stance on Bavarian Independence, the ordinary citizens who like to eat weisswurst and drink weizen beer before high noon would like to see Bavaria break away and become an independent state.
Well they can start by giving a secessionist party more than 1.1% of the vote
 

Socratus O' Pericles

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
33,553
Why does anyone bother with or care about the inane ramblings of these cosseted mini-celebrities inanyway?
 

The Herren

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2011
Messages
4,866
Down with those aul phlegms.
 

Analyzer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,201
There is a seccionist movement in North Eastern Italy, which proposes getting out of the rest of Italy, on account of the way that Italy has been mismanaged.
 

dresden8

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
14,937
There is a seccionist movement in North Eastern Italy, which proposes getting out of the rest of Italy, on account of the way that Italy has been mismanaged.
I'm still hoping and praying for that independent republic of Cork.
 

Analyzer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,201
I'm still hoping and praying for that independent republic of Cork.
You can have your very own Pfizer Rizer GDP statistics......
 
Top