Thursday, 4 September 2008

Walloons would like to be French

An opinion poll has found that 49 per cent of Walloons would like their part of Belgium to be annexed to France if the Flemings declare independence. The poll was conducted by the French polling agency Ifop for the newspaper, La Voix du Nord. If true, it means that support for the existence of the Belgian state is crumbling on both sides of the linguistic divide: previously the Walloons had been considered pro-Belgian, if only because they profit from political union with the richer North. Hitherto, political parties which have campaigned for Wallonia to become part of France have been very marginalized: now all the old taboos are disappearing and presumably France appears as a useful anchor for the Walloons who will have lost their country. Of course the disappearance of Belgium would be very embarrassing for the EU, which would thereby lose not only one of its founder members (“The King of the Belgians” is the first signatory of the European treaties, because the heads of state sign it in alphabetical order) but also a country whose multi-national arrangements are a model for the greater EU as a whole. The Belgian capital is, of course, the EU’s own capital and so the fault-line of national division would run right through the EU city itself.

-- From The European Journal. Sign up for FREE to John Laughland's 'Intelligence Digest' to find out what’s really happening in Europe --

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