Government-for-Belgium web protest gathers strength

20th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Some 20,000 Facebook users are vowing to take to the streets Sunday to demand a government for Belgium after seven months of haggling between politicians from the Dutch-speaking north and French-speaking south.

The weekend march in Brussels is being organised by a group of students from both sides of the country's language divide who met up in cyberspace and then jointly launched a call for a march on headlined "Shame".

As Belgium holds on to Europe's record as the nation longest without a government, frustrated citizens are multiplying initiatives to get the country a government.

Politicians have been squabbling over plans to give its different communities more autonomy ever since an inconclusive June 13 general election that also saw a strong vote for Flemish separatists.

The call for the Sunday demonstration "has met huge success, more than we hoped for," Thomas Royberghs, one of the organisers, told the press.

By Thursday, some 22,000 Facebook users had signed up for the lunchtime march, with a further 25,000 "perhaps" coming too.

Organisers say they want to show the country's political leaders that, unlike them, "people from different places who speak different languages can work together."

© 2011 AFP

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