And shameful it is... 225 days without a government in Belgium.
No new budget passed which means that very shortly, state employees at every level plus pensioners won't get payed. The country will be totally and economically paralyzed and smothered.
Foreign companies are already moving away or planning to leave whatever is left of Belgium, with a lot of laid-off workers in a very unstable economy.
Yesterday, 50.000 people (more or less) took part in a march through Brussels.
Belgium is a small country but it beats all European records. The last legislative elections took place in June 13th, 2010 and still no government.
‘What do we want?' the protesters said. 'We want a government.’
Great wish when you think about the ugly fights and bickering that have been going on between Flemish and Walloons politicians.
I’ve felt so many times like an outsider in Belgium but I remember being very scared sometimes about what would happen to Belgium, the very heart of Europe.
I remember writing about a train accident that really was one of the many warning signs of the ugly times that were to come. This was in Frebruary 2010.
In June, I remember being very shaken when a Flemish politician talked about Belgium’s clinical death.
Now I start feeling better. I always thought that Belgians did accept too easily what was going on in their daily lives. They did hang flags from their windows. But what good was a flag hanging outside when they should have fought against despair and partition?
The only verbose ones were extremists - Flemish and Walloons alike. With a length ahead for the Flemish far right.
Belgians are awakening. This is very good, wonderful, so great. Let's hope it won’t be too late. The Flemish far right is already bent on proving that French speaking Belgians were the majority in the ‘Shame’ march.
Thank goodness, there is a Flemish young tv reporter called Kris Janssens. His You Tube performance called 'Politieke chaos' should win him the Oscar for best fit of anger.
Go watch it. You can even choose your own subtitles! Kris, the world is listening to you!
But you know, while I was listening to his heartfelt diatribe and appeal, I couldn't help it. I smiled. And you know why? He is Flemish, all right but here and there, he uses French words. I’m pretty sure he’s not even aware of this.
This is Belgium - two main communities who think they are so different that they can’t even speak the same language but they do somehow.
I only wish that Belgian French speaking people were using as many Flemish words. Just a thought, really. Let's not be negative today.
Will ‘SHAME’ become HOPE and then PEACE and VICTORY?
With people like the five students who launched the idea of the march on Facebook and people like Kris, Belgian politicians, Flemish and Walloons alike, should start relating to real life.
They should get back to building a new and stronger Belgium where Flemish and Walloons will keep on living together, getting married and having lots of young and healthy Belgian kids, the way it’s been for so many decades.
You know what? I'm so hopeful that I may even be quite ready to take up Flemish again now that it’s going to be quite ‘in’ to drop a few French words here and there.
*Good Luck, and Good Night* and a Very Happy New Year to Belgium and Belgians