Monday, June 25

Battle Royale

Back from a long break, the witloof goes into crusading mode.

El Pais (you have to go a long way to find any news on Belgium these days) brings us news of the success that Galway-based Belgian author and journalist Mario Danneels' has had with his new book, The Trauma of the Throne. Sitting atop the Belgian book charts for weeks now, The T of the T investigates how the members of the Belgian royal family have become totally alienated from the real world and normal life and how this has affected their standing amongst their subjects.

A sex scandal, an embezzlement affair, even an antique chair controversy, there is very little that they appear able to do right at present. You would almost feel sorry for them if they did not have the rather plush castle in Laeken, on the outskirts of Brussels, at which to lick their wounds.

It is this particular piece of real estate that really gets the witloof’s blood boiling. It is 189 hectares of nature situated between the densely populated districts of Laeken and Schaarbeek. Unfortunately it is also surrounded by a very high wall and utterly inaccessible to the general public.

Thankfully, the local representatives of the Flemish Liberal Party share the witloof’s discontent with the offending wall. They have launched an online petition for (at least part of) the park to be made open to the public.

So come on people, sign the petition. And let's tear that wall down!

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