Brussels politician sees roomfor ‘Wallonian-Brussels’ state
17 August 2004
BRUSSELS – Hervé Hasquin, the outgoing minister-president of the Belgium’s French-language community and a history professor in Brussels, has said that he could well imagine the creation of a ‘Wallonian-Brussels’ state though not a separate nation as such.
“I remain convinced that Belgium is a country destined to evolve,” he said in an interview with Le Soir newspaper published Tuesday.
The interview is the first part of a three-part series debating a suggestion put forward recently by Elio di Rupo, president of Belgium’s French-speaking Socialist Party. In July, Di Rupo called for the establishment of a ‘francophone nation’ in Belgium as a counterweight to Flanders.
“The Socialist Party wants to preserve the unity of the country,” Di Rupo said in a speech last month. However, he noted that it may be necessary to form a ‘francophone’ community in response to response to continued isolationistic efforts among Flemish speakers.
In Tuesday’s interview, Hasquin noted that some 90 percent of Brussels’ 19 communes are French speakers, compared to only 40 percent at the end of the 19th century.
However, he also underscored that Belgium’s institutional complexity, though often criticized, remains its strength and “the fruit of democracy.”
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject : Belgian news