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Old February 2nd, 2011, 04:46 PM   #801
Thermo
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Don't forget there are huge regional differences in Belgium. The GDP per capita in Flanders would be interesting to compare with the Netherlands...
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 05:03 PM   #802
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There are always regional differences. What I don't get is that Brussels is the area with the highest GDP per capita, but also the area with the highest unemployment and many notorious neighborhoods. If you travel the high speed rail through Brussels it's appalling what you see there.

I assume the money is only made in Brussels but spend in the edge communities (mainly Flanders). I've also read Brussels is the subdivision with the highest amount of commuters from another area in Europe.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 09:36 PM   #803
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Unemployment in Belgium is twice as high as the Netherlands though. Public debt is also much higher and may become problematic in a few years (99% of GDP).
The unemployment rate in Flanders dropped with 7% last year. When talking about economy you should always judge on the seperate economy's of the different states of Belgium.

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If you look at GDP per capita The Netherlands still outperforms Belgium as well. Economic growth says only so much about the situation in a country.

8 Netherlands 40,777
18 Belgium 36,274

The overall GDP in Belgium is also much lower than in The Netherlands, as is the total population.

The GDP per capita as well as the overall GDP are both higher in Flanders than in the Netherlands.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 09:41 PM   #804
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The unemployment rate in Flanders dropped with 7% last year.
7% of 7 percentage points? It's quite a difference; from 11 to 10.2% or from 11 to 4%...

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When talking about economy you should always judge on the seperate economy's of the different states of Belgium.
Because it would probably suit you because Wallonia is obviously performing worse than Flanders. Normally you compare countries, not regions. Every country has regional variations in economic performance. In Germany you have places like Brandenburg and in France you have places like Nord-Pas-de-Calais which are performing considerably worse than average.

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The GDP per capita as well as the overall GDP are both higher in Flanders than in the Netherlands.
Apples and oranges. You're comparing a region with an entire country. If you compare København to all of Germany there will be differences too.

Besides that, GDP per capita doesn't say everything, for instance I don't think the average inhabitant of Luxembourg makes $ 85,000 per year.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 10:04 PM   #805
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If you want to compare only Flanders, you would have to compare it with Western Netherlands only, excluding Limburg, Gelderland, Drenthe and Zeeland, for instance.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 11:14 PM   #806
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A more interesting comparison would be between Dutch- and French-speaking portions of Belgium. From what I know Dutch part has a higher GDP per capita than French. Anyone knows exact numbers?

Last edited by Trilesy; February 3rd, 2011 at 01:49 AM.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 11:30 PM   #807
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In terms of "Belgian problem" the best solution probably would be to divide the country and have Flanders join the Netherlands and Wallonia join France. Seems like it will be true to history.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 11:48 PM   #808
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No way that would happen...
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 11:56 PM   #809
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trilesy View Post
In terms of "Belgian problem" the best solution probably would be to divide the country and have Flanders join the Netherlands and Wallonia join France. Seems like it will be true to history.
Read up a bit on the country. You're forgetting about Brussels, among other things.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 12:11 AM   #810
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Quote:
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In terms of "Belgian problem" the best solution probably would be to divide the country and have Flanders join the Netherlands and Wallonia join France. Seems like it will be true to history.
Problem is the French don't want Wallonia... I think it would be best to divide the country and just have two new countries so everybody can get on with its life...
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 12:15 AM   #811
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Come on now, are we comparing which country has the BIGGEST






















GDP.... ??? :S
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 01:56 AM   #812
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Read up a bit on the country. You're forgetting about Brussels, among other things.
They can make Brussels a separate entity within the Netherlands (something like Vatican or, less radical, as a self-governing city; and still keep NATO and all other Euro structures in there). Is that what you're worried about?
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 02:03 AM   #813
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Quote:
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Problem is the French don't want Wallonia... I think it would be best to divide the country and just have two new countries so everybody can get on with its life...
I agree with you. This is probably a more realistic solution considering that both Flanders and Wallonia will be too proud to join any other country. Although my suggestion is more true to history and would prevent from creation of 2 more tiny states in Europe.

When do you think separation can became a reality?
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 02:15 AM   #814
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No way that would happen...
Why?
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 04:05 AM   #815
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Originally Posted by Trilesy View Post
They can make Brussels a separate entity within the Netherlands (something like Vatican or, less radical, as a self-governing city; and still keep NATO and all other Euro structures in there). Is that what you're worried about?
I'm not "worried" about anything; it's just that your solution of French-speakers-go-this-way/Dutch-speakers-go-that-way disregards Brussels' very existence (since it's a city that's historically Dutch-speaking but currently predominantly French-speaking, officially bilingual and treated by the Flemish as their capital....) (or the existence of the German-speakers in the east, or the messiness that is the so-called periphery). Now, I do like Brussels, and Belgium, so I admit to being biased in favor of not breaking the country up; I also admit it's none of my business, as an American. But I've spent time there and I pay a lot of attention to the situation just out of interest.

Now, that said: who's this "they" who are going to make Brussels a separate entity (within the Netherlands? Why?) The real sticking point to me - besides the fact that all polls indicate that most people do not in fact want the country broken up - is that any separation would have to be negotiated. By the same politicians who are unable to negotiate the formation of a government. If they can't figure out that stuff now, how are they going to reach an agreement about the status of Brussels, among many other things? That's your real problem: "They" can't make Brussels a separate entity; in fact "they" can't do anything.

Obviously, the actual Belgians on the forum are free to disagree with either one of us, or tell us to butt out. :-) And anyone is free to tell us to get back on topic, since this is, after all, a roads forum.

Unrelated: I do like your avatar.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:06 AM   #816
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
I'm not "worried" about anything; it's just that your solution of French-speakers-go-this-way/Dutch-speakers-go-that-way disregards Brussels' very existence (since it's a city that's historically Dutch-speaking but currently predominantly French-speaking, officially bilingual and treated by the Flemish as their capital....) (or the existence of the German-speakers in the east, or the messiness that is the so-called periphery). Now, I do like Brussels, and Belgium, so I admit to being biased in favor of not breaking the country up; I also admit it's none of my business, as an American. But I've spent time there and I pay a lot of attention to the situation just out of interest.

Now, that said: who's this "they" who are going to make Brussels a separate entity (within the Netherlands? Why?) The real sticking point to me - besides the fact that all polls indicate that most people do not in fact want the country broken up - is that any separation would have to be negotiated. By the same politicians who are unable to negotiate the formation of a government. If they can't figure out that stuff now, how are they going to reach an agreement about the status of Brussels, among many other things? That's your real problem: "They" can't make Brussels a separate entity; in fact "they" can't do anything.

Obviously, the actual Belgians on the forum are free to disagree with either one of us, or tell us to butt out. :-) And anyone is free to tell us to get back on topic, since this is, after all, a roads forum.

Unrelated: I do like your avatar.
I'm in no way an expert in Belgian affairs and I know that in real life things tend to be "a little complicated". So, seriously I have little hope that Belgium will break up anytime soon (if ever).

In terms of Brussels that's a good point. The city is historically Dutch, but mostly French-speaking now. On the other hand, why can't there be a French-speaking city (historically Dutch) within the Netherlands?

Avatar: Vick is awesome, but sadly no Super Bowl for Eagles this year.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:13 AM   #817
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The language border was established in the 1960's, with Brussels as a predominantly French-speaking entity as an enclave within Flanders. As in every city, suburbanization also occured in Brussels, hence, many French-speaking population left for the suburbs, which are evidently in Flanders. This created the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde issue which has been hampering efforts to create a stable government since 2007. There have been 4 governments between 2007 and 2010, and they are now attempting to create a 5th one, which is still unsuccessful even though elections were in June 2010.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:20 AM   #818
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At the end of the day, the effect on highway network is clear: Belgium has a worse network than nearby countries (proportionally). It is underdimensioned and - more important - has a huge backlog of maintenance to be done. Not much construction of new lanes and alignments is seen in Belgium.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 04:14 PM   #819
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I'm embaressed when I see our highways , The potholes that formed last winter where not even repaired and now its even worse...its dangerous!
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Old February 4th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #820
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trilesy View Post
A more interesting comparison would be between Dutch- and French-speaking portions of Belgium. From what I know Dutch part has a higher GDP per capita than French. Anyone knows exact numbers?
The Flemish state of Belgium has an unemployment rate of 8 percent (4 percent pre-crisis but dropping back to that number), the Wallonian state of Belgium has an employmentrate of about 19 percent (about the same as before the crisis).

Average income of a Flemish citizen: 16.199 Euro
Average income of a Wallonian citizen: 14.377 Euro
Average income of a citizen of Brussels: 12.740 Euro

Provincee with the highest average income is the Flemish province of Brabant: 17.599 Euro
Province with the lowest average income is the Wallonian province of Luxemburg: 13.000 Euro

Richest city: the Flemish city of Sint-Martens-Latem: 22.786 Euro
Poorest city: the Brussels district of Sint-Joost-Ten-Node: 8.100 Euro

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At the end of the day, the effect on highway network is clear: Belgium has a worse network than nearby countries (proportionally). It is underdimensioned and - more important - has a huge backlog of maintenance to be done. Not much construction of new lanes and alignments is seen in Belgium.
You're right about the lack of maintenance in the past. Maybe I should make clear that the government of Belgium does not maintain its roads but the different states of Belgium do so. As the Flemish state of Belgium is much richer, the budget for road-building and maintenance has been sixfolded. The plan is to get our freeways back on an excellent level of quality and a lot of roadwork has been done last year. The results are already showing in the Flemish province of Brabant nearly all freeways have been dealt with in the past 3 years and thus almost all of them are in Excellent condition. 2 new freeways are currently planned or already under construction (A11 & N74). Many cities are getting extended ringroads or new ringroads. And I didn't even explain about the Antwerpen 2020 plans yet...

This is one of the reconstructed freeways


Last edited by Wimpie; February 4th, 2011 at 12:18 PM.
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