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Belgium: Clothes Off For Your Country!

  • February 18th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

brussels-strip-2.pngIn Belgium, hundreds of protestors, mainly young, have turned out in the street (17.2.11) to demand an end to the country’s drawn-out political stalemate – several getting off their gear to make sure of drawing attention to the cause.

brussels-strip-1.jpgThe stripping-down-to-just-one-layer marked day number 249 of talks and non-talks among the country’s bickering political parties – divided not only left, right and centre, but also, across the ideological lines, according to language and regional affiliation  – Dutch-speaking Flemish or French-speaking Walloon.

See EUAustralia Online, “Belgium: Right Royal Mess”, 30.12.10.

In the corridors of power the most recent talk has been directed towards yet another change in the federal structure of the state, a kind of renovation meant to allocate broad powers, but apparently never settling who is going to be in charge overall.

The impatient demonstrators this time are having none of it, if it would mean more delay.

One young woman, in the protest at Ghent, stressed the point, that Belgium’s current problems are as much with the economy as language, and one should not hold up settlement of the other.

“We want action, not words!”, she said, and with some hitching and wriggling and unzipping, along with her friends, made the point.

Not that anybody should doubt the patriotism and authenticity of these Belgians.

Who else would get down to their smalls in February, in the open air; it is not Bondi Beach at this time of year.

They also had on hand ample frites-frite (the best in the world), and some beer (also the best, arguably), and had a competition of the beards.

A kind of reverse-tactic tried a week or so ago got equal attention; one woman Senator suggesting that she and her colleagues in the parliament might give up on sex until they got a settlement – following up a desperate idea born of a crisis in Kenya.

Not much success with that proposal, as yet.

Reference, Qatar, “Belgium marks ‘political record’ “, 18.2.11.

Stephen Castle, “Belgium – Beer and frites honour political failure”, NY Times, NY, 18.2.11.

Michael Mes, NL, The one and only Belgian fries website: “The Fries Revolution in Belgium”, 18.2.11; “Fries keep Belgium united”, 9.11.10; “The importance of Belgian fries in life”, 29.8.10., (18.2.11).