Thursday, March 15

Love is in the air

Just days ago we were busy searching the golden pages for the divorce lawyers, regretting the fact there was no pre-nup, wondering what effect it would all have on the children.

Belgium was trapped in a loveless marriage. There appeared to be no return. Not even beer and chocolate could paper over the cracks anymore.

Today, however, we can hear the sound of vows being renewed. The only cracks are wise ones during the celebratory speeches. Champagne glasses splintering from over exuberance.

La Libre Belgique has been conducting a Tour de Flandre, its own inquiry into what Flanders really thinks. And the results are quite surprising.

One in two Flemish wants a unified Belgium. Apparently. For those who think that Belgium is currently unified – think again by the way - what this figure actually means is that one in two Flemish wants powers transferred back from the Regions (Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels) to the Federal level. They want less Flanders not more.

An independent Flanders, no way. The status quo at a push but no further. As La Libre puts it, ‘we are not far from a qualified majority of 75% (for the current arrangements) if we add the 23% of Flemish favourable to the institutional status quo.’

As surprising, 70% of the Flemish don’t regard Brussels as their capital. Antwerp’ll do, they say. Or something to that effect.

If there is one generally accepted ‘truth’ in Belgium, it is that Brussels – rather than chips, beer, chocolate, football, the royalty - is the glue that binds the country together. It is a francophone island in a sea of flanders. Neither ‘side’ will consider letting it go and so the loveless marriage trundles on.

Well it has taken the intrepid La Libre Belgique a couple of days to discover that this may not actually be the case.

So can we can all live happily ever after then? Well yes, unless of course the Flemish respondents were telling tales….. Or La Libre Belgique was just making it all up....heaven forbid.

I think there will probably be a little bit more debate necessary before we can conclude that the marriage bed is today a warmer place.

1 comment:

pittstop designer said...

But what about the real hard hitting questions...

1) Who's better looking?
2) How many Flems and Walloons have crossed the great divide in between the sheets?
3) If so, who's better in bed?