10 December 2007
Sorry for such a long absence. I will soon be writing regularly again. This week, we will have a band review and a film critic. But today I can't resist bashing our Southern neighbors a bit (I mean Belgium, of course).
Yesterday, Yves Leterme, who had received from the Belgian king the responsibility of negotiating a new government, declared to the press that the RTBF, the French speaking national Belgian TV channel, was like "Radio Mille Collines", the genocidal civil war time Rwanda radio. The absurdity of the charge alleviates probably some of its sting. RTBF is a highly respected quality public channel, relatively independent despite its language bias. The same case can hardly be made about Flemish channels who gather certainly more funds but for a result which is not really shining.
Obviously, it is Yves Leterme himself which will be the most damaged by this moronic and insulting comment. C&V leader Yves Leterme lost all credibility, adding to an already long list of past outrageous comments. The Flemish politician was once seen as the next Prime Minister to replace Guy Verhofstadt after the present record power vacuum. Unfortunately, it is now unlikely that the French speaking community parties can ever trust him anymore. This is probably the reason why the king asked Guy Verhofstadt to renegotiate a government agreement. But furthermore, it underlines again (if it was ever needed), the unlikeliness of a Blue Orange coalition in Belgium. The differences between the coalition members is so obvious, core to their convictions and rooted in their voters that I can hardly see them working together. Their only points of agreements are on economic policies. This proves again (if it was still needed) that there is more to politics than economics. Our European leaders seem to forget this fact all too often.
Let's hope that the sad Belgium example is going to give them food for thoughts. Politics, let's repeat it once more is what binds us as a community. It is the basic contract of living togetherness (if you allow me this weird expression). It is what the Dutch call "samenleving", or the French "contrat social". Belgium has reach a point where Flemish and Walloons will have to chose if this still exists between them and under which conditions. I desperately hope for them that they will. Despite the Dutch good will towards such an idea, I doubt that a Flanders reunification to the Netherlands is desirable...