Believe it or not, sometimes I wish there are more than 24 hours in one day! It’s amazing how time flies, when you are about to make the most out of it…
I must confess that I still have a backlog of stories and pictures to share with you all, but what a shame my “real” workloads (home and work fronts) are taking quite a toll on my energy lately. I promise you this: the stories are kept under lock and key, until such time when I get back to rhythm.
So, here I am, starting the first in my serie of “Did you know….?” just so to make up for my tardiness 🙂
I’m starting with Belgium, my adopted country for the past 15 years!
Belgium is really quite a small country, with a total area of 30,528 sq km, compared to Malaysia with a total of 329,847 sq km. Sarawak, with a total area of 124,450 sq km is even bigger than Belgium! But, hey, Belgium may be small, but she is one of the most powerful countries in Western Europe. The first (and current) President of the European Union is Mr Herman Van Rompuy, a Belgian.
Did you know that Belgium is one of THE most complicated countries in Europe, or even in the world? Believe it or not, the Belgians still do not have a running government since 2007! The politcal tension continues in the linguistically divided country. The dispute may be obscure to outsiders, but oh so familiar and contentious to Belgians who know it by the abbreviation BHV (Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde).
The sad truth about the politics in Belgium is a catch-22. There are two issues. If you try to solve one, you increase the other.
Belgium is not a democracy. It’s TWO democracies. The Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Wallons do not watch the same television channels. They do not read the same newspapers and for these reasons, it is only logical to say that they do not have a clue about what is going on with each other’s part of the country. Oh yes, I forgot, there is the German-speaking part of Belgium as well.
Er…. the only way to solve this problem is splitting the country, right? Uh-uh, the presence of Brussels in Belgium makes it quite impossible. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and is the headquarter of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the NATO (No Action Talk Only??????) LOL!
For Brussels to flourish, you need both the Dutch and French speaking Belgians to cooperate. Oh, by the way, Brussels is the main bi-lingual part of Belgium. So, splitting the country is out of the question, despite that being one of the items on the political agenda. Confused? You’re not the only one…
A Belgian journalist once said this. Quote, “Belgium is like a married couple who are fed up with each other and want to divorce, but stay together for the sake of the children”. Unquote.
Here’s a short animated film explaining the Belgian political structure. The Belgium you did not know of but will get to know in less than 5 minutes, and yet, will not understand why this brouhaha all started and when it will ever end. By George, I’m flat-out confused!!
Jusqu’à la prochaine fois!
Bis zum nächsten Mal!
Tot de volgende keer!
See you next time!