Monday, August 14

“Belgians wake up to discover that they actually enjoy living together”

Belgians went to sleep as usual on Thursday evening last, muttering insults about their compatriots. They awoke, Friday, to sweetness and light. “It reminds me of Woodstock”, commented one man, who skipped off whistling the tune to All You Need is Love before he could be asked his name. He looked Flemish, noted somebody, failing to adjust quickly enough to the new environment in which the language barrier fails to matter.

Initial reports suggest that the new spirit has infected each of the language communities, as we refer to them out of nothing more than habit. “I think that the last fifteen years of increasing political independence of the regions should be undone” was the initial reaction of Geert from Aarschot. “Absoluut” agreed Yves from Brussels, promising that he would follow his first public utterance in Flemish with an actual conversion of mother tongue. Nobody from the German east of the country could be found for comment. All Eurocrats had already left for the weekend and probably couldn't care less anyway.

Reaction from the political classes has been unanimously positive. Early speculation had suggested that the big losers from the new environment would be Vlaams Belang. However they no longer exist. A person who used to be referred to as woordvoerder, but never porte-parole, muttered something about “slight embarrassment”, adding “désolé!” Belgian Premier Guy Verhofstad told the assembled press corp, “it is the culmination of my life’s work”, and declared it yet another national holiday. Members of the few surviving opposition parties cried, possibly of happiness.

Urgent plans were being made for the re-unification of the Catholic Universities of Louvain-la-Neuve and Leuven. Professors in Louvain-la-Neuve were making plans to sell the ‘city’ to a multi-storey car park magnate.

Analysis P9: Thirty five mile daisy chain built round previously disputed Brussels a sign of the new age.

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