Belgium celebrates National Day with more media coverage

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More international media was in town to cover Belgium’s National Holiday celebrations amid the country’s political crisis.

22 July 2008

BELGIUM – The Belgian National Holiday celebrated on Monday attracted more foreign media attention this year than in 2007.

Many attribute the additional media attention to the fact that this could potentially be the last national day for Belgium as the government remained in a political deadlock.

The German public broadcaster ARD even sent a whole team to Brussels.
"The situation in Belgium is very interesting. In Germany, people want to know where all this will end", said an ARD journalist.

Belgium celebrates her National Day on 21 July as Leopold of Saxe-Coburg - the first king of the Belgians - swore his oath on 21 July 1831. Leopold I swore allegiance to the constitution in front of the Sint Jacobs Church on the Coudenberg in Central Brussels.

On Monday, the celebrations started officially with the traditional Te Deum at the Saint Michael and Saint Goedele Cathedral in central Brussels.

The Warande Park, located between the Federal Parliament buildings and the Royal Palace, hosted the "Olympicnic". Only weeks before the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, the fourth edition of the event included some Chinese acts. Other attractions included a European village and a police village.

At 4 p.m., the traditional military parade started at the Paleizenplein and commemorated the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The Belgian army also showed its newly acquired vehicles.

Due to the wet and windy weather, the number of spectators seemed a little down on other editions.

At 11pm, the festival came to a close with fireworks in the centre of Brussels.

[ / Expatica]

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