Another Brussels suburb votes on language issue
28 January 2005, BRUSSELS – Francophone councillors in another of the communes on the outskirts of Brussels have voted to link up with the bi-lingual capital if their Flemish counterparts insist the district becomes Dutch speaking only.
28 January 2005
BRUSSELS – Francophone councillors in another of the communes on the outskirts of Brussels have voted to link up with the bi-lingual capital if their Flemish counterparts insist the district becomes Dutch speaking only.
French speaking councillors in Rhode St Genese, currently a bi-lingual commune, took the vote on Thursday.
Flemish councillors walked out of the council chamber before the vote was taken.
The French speakers want assurances that their commune will not be absorbed by Flanders and that French will remain an official language in Rhode St Genese.
Similar votes have been taken in the Brussels suburbs of Linebeek, Crainhem and Wezembeek.
The votes come at a time of increasing tension between French and Dutch speakers in Belgium.
The two linguistic communities are currently at each others' throats over the question of whether another Brussels commune - Brussels Hal Vilvoorde (BHV) - should remain part of the capital region or should be absorbed by Flanders.
Flemish political parties want BHV to change its status as more of its Belgian residents are Flemish than francophone.
However when the commune's large non-Belgian population is factored into the equation, the majority of people living there use French as either their first language or their language of preference in Belgium.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news