Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thurs 9 Sept - More Politics

Because it's necessary and absolutely fascinating in a country like Belgium, especially for a political animal such as myself.

A few stories that caught my eye in the papers this week. The first was a short article proclaiming that despite all the political differences in the north and south, both Walloons and Flemish still maintain a healthy respect for each other. Unsurprisingly, the Walloons are far more likely to express an attachment to the state of Belgium.

A study has found that Wallonia would actually cope rather well, rather than implode, if Belgium ever was to split up. The biggest economic obstacle would be in tackling its stubbornly high rates of unemployment. But, the report finds that there exists good levels of productivity and innovation amongst current and up and coming businesses and companies. Wallonia also has a much younger population than Flanders, which places a lesser burden on things such as state pension, and means a potentially more active workforce, in relation to its size.

Meanwhile a French politician, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, has said that his country must show solidarity with its cousins from across the border, and be prepared to welcome its compatriotes from Wallonia and Brussels. The articles doesn't expand on this or say what the reaction amongst the French to this would be. But, you can probably guess! Either way, I found his comments to be very poignant.

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