I am not familiar with Belgian history and its current problems and it seems it is too touchy issues to bring this up with people. So I am just investigating what is going on. Sure I can understand the problems better if I can understand Dutch but my Dutch is limited to familiar science topics. But it seems that the eventual split is possible even though it will not strengthen neither part; but it will satisfy the nationalism of some Flanders. How deeply is the passion rooted? The problem seems to be extremely deep. I just realized that it is almost impossible for Americans, Canadians and in some sense Japanese to understand the complexity of European histories. Japanese history is mostly internal up to 150 years ago except several very ancient critical events. US and Canada both experienced civil wars but not as bad as other countries.
Viewers fooled by ‘Belgium split’ BBC
Belgians reacted with widespread alarm to news that their country had been split in two – before finding out they had been spoofed. The Belgian public television station RTBF ran a bogus report saying the Dutch-speaking half of the nation had declared independence. I can not imagine Anglo Canadian can do a similar stunt to Qubec. Probably resentment of Flanders is not felt by Wallonie. This seems to similar to the resentment of Korean against Japan where the victims remember tragedies far longer than the accused. Remember Hiroshima??? Japanese remember this far more than any things else and most of the people do not even know Japan had its own atomic bomb project.
Serious mistreatment by the south in the past (wiki)
The French-speaking bourgeoisie showed very little respect for the Flemish part of the population. French became the only official language in Belgium and all secondary and higher education in the Flemish language was abolished. Belgium’s co-founder, Charles Rogier, wrote in 1832 to Jean-Joseph Raikem, the minister of justice:
“Les premiers principes d’une bonne administration sont basés sur l’emploi exclusif d’une langue, et il est évident que la seule langue des Belges doit être le français. Pour arriver à ce résultat, il est nécessaire que toutes les fonctions civiles et militaires soient confiées à des Wallons et à des Luxembourgeois; de cette manière, les Flamands, privés temporairement des avantages attachés à ces emplois, seront contraints d’apprendre le français, et l’on détruira ainsi peu à peu l’élément germanique en Belgique.”
“The first principles of a good administration are based upon the exclusive use of one language, and it is evident that the only language of the Belgians should be French. In order to achieve this result, it is necessary that all civil and military functions are entrusted to Walloons and Luxemburgers; this way, the Flemish, temporarily deprived of the advantages of these offices, will be constrained to learn French, and we will hence destroy bit by bit the Germanic element in Belgium.” In 1838, another co-founder, senator Alexandre Gendebien, even declared that the Flemish were “one of the more inferior races on the Earth, just like the negroes”.
In 1834, all people even remotely suspected of being “Flemish minded” or calling for the reunification of the Netherlands were prosecuted and their houses looted and burnt. Flanders, until then a very prosperous European region, was not considered worthwhile for investment and scholarship.
A study in 1918 demonstrated that in the first 88 years of its existence, 80% of the Belgian GNP was invested in Wallonia. This led to a widespread poverty in Flanders, forcing roughly 300.000 Flemish to emigrate to Wallonia to start working there in the heavy industry.
Flemish conservatist view
Crisis in Belgium: If Flanders Secedes Wallonia Disintegrates
Flemish-Nationalists Want Belgium to “Evaporate” into EU
by Paul Belien
Since the Lisbon Treaty came into force last December, the European Union (EU) has the status of a genuine state. This new state now threatens the existence of multinational states such as Belgium, the United Kingdom and Spain. Peoples such as the Flemings in Belgium, the Scots in the UK, the Catalans in Spain, would rather be provinces of the federal EU than of the federal or devolved states to which they currently belong…