Saturday, August 19, 2006

Chance encounter

Belgium 'an accident of history with football and beer'
By David Rennie in Brussels
(Filed: 19/08/2006)

The political leader of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking half of Belgium, has caused outrage by saying that the 175-year-old Belgian nation was an "accident of history" with "no intrinsic value".
Years of devolution had eroded the kingdom to the point where it now amounted to nothing more than the "king, the national football team and certain brands of beer", said Yves Leterme, the Flemish region's premier.
The two halves of the nation read different newspapers, watch different television programmes, listen to different pop music and follow different celebrities. Outside Brussels, road signs and notices are strictly monolingual, to the point of farce.
Tourists driving from Brussels to nearby Mons or Lille frequently panic when they leave the capital and those two city names suddenly vanish from road signs. They do not realise that the road runs through Flanders, so motorway signs must say they are heading for "Bergen" and "Rijsel" - the Flemish names for Mons and Lille, respectively.
Daily Telegraph


Blogger gazza27 said...

Mons was once twin towned with Bootle here in sefton,it was probably that,that sent them all off their head's lol.

8:09 PM  
Blogger ByronB said...

Was that around 1913? Could this be the cause of that rumpus?

12:10 PM  

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