King bids to calm Walloon-Flemish spat

26th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

26 January 2005, BRUSSELS – King Albert II has appealed to Flemish and francophone Belgians to put aside their differences.

26 January 2005

BRUSSELS – King Albert II has appealed to Flemish and francophone Belgians to put aside their differences.

The Belgian monarch used a New Year’s reception to urge Flanders and French-speaking Belgium to stop squabbling.

His remarks come as Flemish MPs ask for a parliamentary debate on whether the Brussels suburb of Brussels-Hal-Vilvoorde (BHV) should become part of Flanders.

"In a multicultural country, real courage consists in encouraging entente, cooperation and mutual understanding," said the king.

"Diversity is a source of cultural and material richness but it can create tensions. It’s up to us all to manage this diversity and to carry out policies of dialogue and closeness."

Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt also appealed for cooperation between Flemish and French speakers, insisting again that no decision would be reached on BHV without the agreement of both communities.


"There won’t be any solution unless it’s a negotiated deal, a deal without winners or losers," he insisted.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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