171 days of gloom and doom - whatever happened to Belgium, the surprise package of Europe?


One hundred and seventy-one days and one minute have passed since our national elections and yes, incredible as it may seem, our politicians still seem to think that they have all the time in the world to bicker about a new coalition.

The simple question of why a temporary government hasn't been put in place is so evident that one does not even dare ask it at this point.

No revolution has broken out. The people aren't screaming in the streets. No cars are being burnt (for that you have to head to the Paris banlieues these days, I am told, if it's fireworks and adrenalin that you are looking for).

In fact Belgians are going about their business as usual. Eating and drinking like true rabelaisians, preparing to spend money, etc. Incidentally, did you know that Belgium numbers 135,000 very fortunate dollar millionaires among its population? This puts it in twelfth place worldwide. Not bad for a country, whose impact in the EU was cited by MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit as being "zéro" today. Now I know that Belgium is particularly good at scoring "nul points" in the Eurovision song extravaganza, but Mr CB's comment is stretching it a tad, don't you think?

So is Belgium irrelevant? Would you miss it? Did you even know it existed?

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