Wither Belgium — Divided Views?

A hundred eighty years ago, European nations created a new country named, Belgium, which was to serve as a point of separation between rival Germany and France. In creating this entity, people from French and Dutch speaking areas were brought together and a monarch was identified who would rule, Initially, French speaking areas were wealthier than their Dutch speaking people in Flanders. But, times changed, and now Flanders contains greater economic wealth than its French speaking neighbors. The latest election revealed dramatic changes set to occur. The New Flemish Alliance(N-VA) which seeks the dissolution of Belgium into two areas emerged as the largest party in Parliament with 30 of 150 seats. French speaking Socialists won 26 seats and the remainder were spread among smaller parties.

At a time of serious economic crisis with a debt-to-GDP ratio set to rise above 100% this year, Belgium can ill afford divisive politics which would prevent unified action. Recent elections in Europe and the upcoming American congressional elections reveal a confused, angry population which prefers dealing with other than important issues at times of crisis. Such is the way of the world.

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