Is Belgium Collapsing?

The amount I know about Belgium could probably be written on a post card (except for its role in military history, which is substantial due to its location and its famously brave stand against Germany in the opening act of WWI).  So this article about the tremendous split developing between French (Wallonia) and Flemish (Flanders) Belgium was new to me.  In particular, I noted this:

Every year 6.6% of Flanders' GDP is spent on welfare in Wallonia.
The money has not helped the Walloons but turned them into welfare
addicts. Belgium is a case study of how socialist redistribution
schemes lead to economic perversions.

It appears that 60% of Wallonians are either unemployed or on the government payroll (roughly the same thing in Europe), vs. just 28% in Flanders.  And this despite the fact that Brussels and the EU HQ are in Flanders.

  • dearieme

    Fashionably diverse, Belgium.

  • Craig

    French people cause trouble everywhere! See Quebec also.

  • Jay

    Wasn't Belgium essentially an artificially created country? IIRC that was a way to get rid of some dude who wanted a country to run, so he wouldn't cause trouble elsewhere. That's vague memory of something I read, and could be totally wrong.

    Still, it smacks of artificial, just by dint of that division, shades of Iraq or the former Yugoslavia.

  • TCO

    Fly into the airport and look at the PC sign as you come through customs. That should educate you. (I won't say what the sign says.) Then go on down to the Firm office and talk to the taxi driver about the major industries: pairliaments and smuggling.

  • dearieme

    "Wasn't Belgium essentially an artificially created country?" The list of countries that weren't would be rather short. A few island nations, perhaps?

  • Jacob

    The 72% of Flemish people not unemployed, or employed by the Belgian government are probably employed by the EU institutions, which is another way of saying government.

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  • Wasn't Belgium essentially an artificially created country? IIRC that was a way to get rid of some dude who wanted a country to run, so he wouldn't causehappylife trouble elsewhere. That's vague memory of something I read, and could be totally wrong.
    shylife
    Still, it smacks of artificial, just by dint of that division, shades of Iraq or the former Yugoslavia.goodlife

  • Anna

    I'm actually living in Flanders right now. Belgium was actually created back in the 1800's. Also, the reason that Wallonia was originally given such a welfare system is because while the Flemish had the canals to ship goods back in the day, Wallonia did not, and therefore had no way to ship their goods. The problem now is that they are so used to being supported by Flanders, that they don't want to let go of that. And actually, Brussels, though it is located in Flanders, is 90% French. The Flemish typically don't work there.

  • david

    Belgium was created in the 1800s by england.the reason is that the entire netherlands wich included nowadays netherlands belgium and luxembourg was the first created country.belgium wanted out and waged war against the netherlands. The dutch army crushed them and the french started aiding them to fight the dutch. England interveined to stop the french from claiming the lands as theirs.thats the reason belgium was created. Also thats the reason the english joined in ww1 to protect belgium, well 1 of the reasons.So actualy belgium is nobodies land it doesnt have a language and its best claim would be the dutch republic back in history but so much has changed over the centuries that its to complex to solve over night.