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Old February 4th, 2011, 12:35 PM   #821
g.spinoza
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It is somewhat surprising that Brussel city inhabitants have such low income, isn't it?
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Old February 4th, 2011, 01:31 PM   #822
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Its not really that surprising, 33% of the inhabitants of Brussels is of foreign (Northern-African) origin.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 05:30 PM   #823
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Its not really that surprising, 33% of the inhabitants of Brussels is of foreign (Northern-African) origin.
And a lot of people who work in Brussels live outside it. Like in any major city really. Hence the high income for Flemish Brabant.

Anyhow, I have a question about the new vignette: will it apply only to autosnelwegen/autoroutes (A-numbered roads, including the ones everyone uses the E-numbers for), to freeway/motorway-type roads with N numbers like the N74 as well, or to all roads?

Also, which N-roads would you consider freeways? It's hard to tell from looking at maps.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 06:10 PM   #824
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Also, which N-roads would you consider freeways? It's hard to tell from looking at maps.
Belgium has a lot of freeway stubs and divided highways with a 120 km/h limit. That is also why the country is interesting for road enthusiasts, there are dozens and dozens of examples of partially built infrastructure for never fulfilled plans. I'd say the majority of them are in Wallonia (look at all the freeway stubs in the Charleroi area for instance) but there are also a good deal of them in Flanders.

If you use Google Earth (not maps), the roads indicated in orange are motorways or motorway-like.

One of my favorite nostalgic roads are the E46 and N4 in Wallonia. It's like going back in time 4 - 5 decades.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 07:23 PM   #825
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And a lot of people who work in Brussels live outside it. Like in any major city really. Hence the high income for Flemish Brabant.
I should also mention that there is a German community within the state of Wallonia that is getting more and more state-like responsibilities. From this year on their wealth is significantly higher than the state of Wallonia itself.

About which roads are freeways and which aren't; the state of Flanders has introduced a category system to steer the future construction of road and adjust the existing ones. N-roads which are freeway like are from now on known as Primary Roads Type 1. That means that they're built like freeways with a few exceptions.

Roads like these






Last edited by Wimpie; February 4th, 2011 at 07:28 PM.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 11:51 PM   #826
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And a lot of people who work in Brussels live outside it. Like in any major city really. Hence the high income for Flemish Brabant.
I guess a lot of the high-incomes in Flemish Brabant come from the French-speakers since that's where the periphery lies... that's why the average income of Brussels appear so low compared to other capitals, where the "periphery" is part of the city; in Brussels the periphery is considered to be Flemish Brabant and not Brussels so only the poor people of inner city are considered in the "average income" of Brussels.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 03:51 AM   #827
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Originally Posted by Wimpie View Post
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



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

Thanks for the detailed answer.

I'm assuming those figures for salaries are per year. Is that correct? They seem to be a little low for a country like Belgium. Is that net or gross?
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Old February 5th, 2011, 10:30 AM   #828
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Thanks for the detailed answer.

I'm assuming those figures for salaries are per year. Is that correct? They seem to be a little low for a country like Belgium. Is that net or gross?
Maybe it's per capita. So if the average family had one wage-owner and three other people - a stay-at-home partner and two children (which is probably not the case any more....), average salary would be four times that, because that salary would be supporting four people.

I'm just guessing, though.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #829
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I guess a lot of the high-incomes in Flemish Brabant come from the French-speakers since that's where the periphery lies... that's why the average income of Brussels appear so low compared to other capitals, where the "periphery" is part of the city; in Brussels the periphery is considered to be Flemish Brabant and not Brussels so only the poor people of inner city are considered in the "average income" of Brussels.
How does Walloon Brabant - Brabant wallon - compare to the other Walloon provinces, or to the less urban Flemish provinces?

There are stories in the (francophone) Belgian press today about an extension of Brussels' boundaries possibly being on the table in the negotiations (It's extremely unlikely to get anywhere), and that's why breaking up the country peacefully would be so difficult. You've got areas that are simultaneously part of Flanders (thus of an officially Dutch-speaking entity, and everyone's understood for nearly 50 years that the official language in those areas was Dutch and it's not subject to change) and suburbs of Brussels (and thus have substantial French-speaking populations, French-speaking majorities in some of those municipalities and neighborhoods, because the city itself does). The Flemish (at least their politicians) say not one centimeter of this will cease to be part of Flanders and people living here should learn the language, francophones living in the area say it's part of metropolitan Brussels.... If an outsider (albeit an interested one) may offer an opinion, I really can't say either side is right and the other wrong: I understand both points of view. At times it does seem anomalous to me that Brussels can't expand its political boundaries, but then I look at cities like New York, Paris, Washington, even Philadelphia where I live, none of which have extended their city limits since the 19th century (for Washington, it would require a change to the Constitution), so....

If Brussels' boundaries are not to change, there at least need to be mechanisms between it and the surrounding areas to coordinate things like insfrastructure, and that's wouldn't be any easier if the regional borders suddenly became international ones.

Last edited by Penn's Woods; February 5th, 2011 at 10:42 AM.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #830
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Maybe it's per capita. So if the average family had one wage-owner and three other people - a stay-at-home partner and two children (which is probably not the case any more....), average salary would be four times that, because that salary would be supporting four people.

I'm just guessing, though.
Guessing right I think: Here you can find very detailed information:
http://statbel.fgov.be/nl/modules/pu...tonderzoek.jsp

Here are the most recent I could find:

These are average income for a household/year

Belgium total: (Wallonia + Flanders + Brussels)= 38.123 euro
Brussels= 37.431 euro
Flanders= 39.448 euro
Wallonia= 36.047 euro
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Old February 5th, 2011, 12:36 PM   #831
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How does Walloon Brabant - Brabant wallon - compare to the other Walloon provinces, or to the less urban Flemish provinces?

There are stories in the (francophone) Belgian press today about an extension of Brussels' boundaries possibly being on the table in the negotiations (It's extremely unlikely to get anywhere), and that's why breaking up the country peacefully would be so difficult. You've got areas that are simultaneously part of Flanders (thus of an officially Dutch-speaking entity, and everyone's understood for nearly 50 years that the official language in those areas was Dutch and it's not subject to change) and suburbs of Brussels (and thus have substantial French-speaking populations, French-speaking majorities in some of those municipalities and neighborhoods, because the city itself does). The Flemish (at least their politicians) say not one centimeter of this will cease to be part of Flanders and people living here should learn the language, francophones living in the area say it's part of metropolitan Brussels.... If an outsider (albeit an interested one) may offer an opinion, I really can't say either side is right and the other wrong: I understand both points of view. At times it does seem anomalous to me that Brussels can't expand its political boundaries, but then I look at cities like New York, Paris, Washington, even Philadelphia where I live, none of which have extended their city limits since the 19th century (for Washington, it would require a change to the Constitution), so....

If Brussels' boundaries are not to change, there at least need to be mechanisms between it and the surrounding areas to coordinate things like insfrastructure, and that's wouldn't be any easier if the regional borders suddenly became international ones.
I don't really care but I know one thing: Flanders is monoligual and Walloons should speak Dutch here just like we speak French in Wallonia. Flemisch people that live in Wallonia just addapt and speak French. But for some reason, Walloons think they can permit to impose their language upon us and fail to addapt. Becasue around Brussels lots af Walloons live in the BHV county, Walloon people can vote for a Walloon party on Flanders territory while it would never ever be that Flemisch people living in Wallonia could do the same with a flemisch party. This makes that Flemisch speaking communities around Brussels are getting more and more French speaking communities. Walloons want to make city limits bigger so they can have priveliges on Flemisch territory, something a Flemisch person living in Wallonia would never ever get. So that's really fair right?

Ofcourse we Flemisch people do not want enlarge city limits. That means we lose territory the French speaking wich already demand priveliges like being informed in French and French speaking services in monolingual Dutch speaking Flanders. If I would go and live in Wallonia there is no way I could ever ask for a letter in Dutch as a Flemish.

What we can't ever have, they can't ever get...

Sometimes companies from Wallonia call to cell things over phone. They call to someone living in Flanders but can't do their explanation in Dutch. I can perfectly understand them but I always answer: can you do that explaination in Dutch? When they say no, I say: No interest.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 01:07 PM   #832
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How does Walloon Brabant - Brabant wallon - compare to the other Walloon provinces, or to the less urban Flemish provinces?
Well, I don't know, I thought in the first place that Walloon Brabant was the richest part of Belgium... in any case it is the richest region of Wallonia.

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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
There are stories in the (francophone) Belgian press today about an extension of Brussels' boundaries possibly being on the table in the negotiations (It's extremely unlikely to get anywhere), and that's why breaking up the country peacefully would be so difficult. You've got areas that are simultaneously part of Flanders (thus of an officially Dutch-speaking entity, and everyone's understood for nearly 50 years that the official language in those areas was Dutch and it's not subject to change) and suburbs of Brussels (and thus have substantial French-speaking populations, French-speaking majorities in some of those municipalities and neighborhoods, because the city itself does). The Flemish (at least their politicians) say not one centimeter of this will cease to be part of Flanders and people living here should learn the language, francophones living in the area say it's part of metropolitan Brussels.... If an outsider (albeit an interested one) may offer an opinion, I really can't say either side is right and the other wrong: I understand both points of view. At times it does seem anomalous to me that Brussels can't expand its political boundaries, but then I look at cities like New York, Paris, Washington, even Philadelphia where I live, none of which have extended their city limits since the 19th century (for Washington, it would require a change to the Constitution), so....

If Brussels' boundaries are not to change, there at least need to be mechanisms between it and the surrounding areas to coordinate things like insfrastructure, and that's wouldn't be any easier if the regional borders suddenly became international ones.
I think Brussels suffers from a severe case of Middle-class flight (or "White flight") and that's the problem I guess... Brussels is too small for its ambitions (as the capital of Europe) and it grows within a small and intricate country...
The flighters should have stayed in Brussels proper and make it a nice city instead of moving elsewhere I guess...
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Old February 5th, 2011, 01:24 PM   #833
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I don't really care but I know one thing: Flanders is monoligual and Walloons should speak Dutch here just like we speak French in Wallonia. Flemisch people that live in Wallonia just addapt and speak French. But for some reason, Walloons think they can permit to impose their language upon us and fail to addapt.

...


Wallonia is far more dutch-friendly than you want to believe. For exemple, in Namur, shopkeepers received manuals to receive Dutch-speakers in their language (while many shopkeepers in Flanders just blank French-speakers). Who's disrespectful?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post
Sometimes companies from Wallonia call to cell things over phone. They call to someone living in Flanders but can't do their explanation in Dutch. I can perfectly understand them but I always answer: can you do that explaination in Dutch? When they say no, I say: No interest.
That's the kind of thing that makes Belgium a ridiculous country in the eyes of foreigners.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 01:42 PM   #834
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I'd prefer that I could post something positive here, but sadly enough, it seems that the current plans to renovate the roads aren't sufficient enough or not followed sufficiently enough:

http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuw...10205_lamppost
Quote:
For the second consecutive day a lamppost has fallen over on the Brussels Antwerp motorway, the E19. Flemish Public Works Minister Hilde Crevits (Flemish Christian democrat) is having the matter investigated.

A lamppost crashed down onto a vehicle at Rumst (Antwerp) just as the evening rush hour was getting underway on Friday evening. A second car crashed into the lamppost. Two people were injured.

On Saturday morning another lamppost collapsed onto the same motorway in the vicinity of Mechelen (Antwerp).

All lampposts are now being checked. One has already been removed after a first examination. After it became light more thorough checks were initiated. The Roads Agency will soon decide what other action needs to be taken.
From what I've heard on the radio, these posts are checked once each 5 years, but they didn't want to release when they were last checked (which makes me think it was quite recently). Either they outsourced it to a contractor who did a half-assed job or the inspections only took place on paper.

I happened to have taken pictures of the E19 the day before yesterday, so here's an image of what kind of lamppost we're talking about:



Our country's situation is very complex to explain. It won't be splitting up any time soon (and then I'm talking about more than two decades) and I'm certain that Flanders wouldn't join up with the Netherlands since we don't want to, and France wouldn't want to join up with Wallonia either. We're stuck together and we should make the best of it. Simple as that.

Greetings,
Glodenox

Last edited by Glodenox; February 5th, 2011 at 01:47 PM.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 01:52 PM   #835
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R9 Charleroi



A one-way beltway!

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160 Binnenring Charleroi by Chriszwolle, on Flickr

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161 Binnenring Charleroi by Chriszwolle, on Flickr

Charleroi is full of industrial estates.
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165 Binnenring Charleroi by Chriszwolle, on Flickr

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166 Binnenring Charleroi by Chriszwolle, on Flickr

Left exit: downtown (literally)
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168 Binnenring Charleroi by Chriszwolle, on Flickr

Electronic signs.
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172 Binnenring Charleroi by Chriszwolle, on Flickr

This is the only sign that indicates the A503, the most important exit on the south side of Charleroi... We missed the exit.
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173 Binnenring Charleroi by Chriszwolle, on Flickr

So we take N5 instead.
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175 Binnenring Charleroi by Chriszwolle, on Flickr

The actual road number, R9, is nowhere signed.
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176 Binnenring Charleroi by Chriszwolle, on Flickr

End freeway. Begin idyllic and romantic city of Charleroi.
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177 Binnenring Charleroi by Chriszwolle, on Flickr
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Old February 5th, 2011, 02:18 PM   #836
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What about teaching both languages at school so the entire adult population, in the future, be bilingual? Belgians already have a high level of English proficiency, maybe they should turn English into another official language of the whole country, thus people could communicate with it.

Meanwhile, if only they dropped the stupid habit of making road signs, supposed to be informative, into a nationalistic issue... it is of no help to anyone outside Belgium searching for directions to read "Anvers" direction signs in Charleroi or "Liuk" direction signs in Hasselt.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 02:23 PM   #837
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I think you missed some important facts about education in Belgium. Education is split amongst the states, thats why internationally the Flemish education is ranked alot higher than the Wallonian one.
In Flanders, kids get French education starting from the age of 9...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Maybe it's per capita. So if the average family had one wage-owner and three other people - a stay-at-home partner and two children (which is probably not the case any more....), average salary would be four times that, because that salary would be supporting four people.

I'm just guessing, though.
Average anual incomes in Belgium are always calculated per head. Stay-at-home partners are quite rare. The average number of childeren per Flemish family is slightly above 2, the rate for average Wallonian families is slightly below 2.

Last edited by Wimpie; February 5th, 2011 at 02:30 PM.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #838
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post
Guessing right I think: Here you can find very detailed information:
http://statbel.fgov.be/nl/modules/pu...tonderzoek.jsp

Here are the most recent I could find:

These are average income for a household/year

Belgium total: (Wallonia + Flanders + Brussels)= 38.123 euro
Brussels= 37.431 euro
Flanders= 39.448 euro
Wallonia= 36.047 euro
Now this makes much more sense. Thanks.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #839
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Quote:
Wallonia is far more dutch-friendly than you want to believe. For exemple, in Namur, shopkeepers received manuals to receive Dutch-speakers in their language (while many shopkeepers in Flanders just blank French-speakers). Who's disrespectful?
Lol, They don't. I live near the linguistic border and half of the people shopping in the city I live in are French speaking and they are always helped in french while in Wallonia it's hard to get a "dank u" out of the people that need to help you.

Even in Brussels you can't get around with Dutch. I was in Mc donalts on the Louisa Laan for a quick snack and the person behind the desk couldn'd help me in Dutch. I changed lines and the other person could hardly speak Dutch but enough to understand me.
I refuse to speak French when not in Wallonia.


I don't think a lot of Flemish people go to Namur for shopping. They might wanna do that Liège where you are absolutely lost when you can't speak French because English won't help you either.

Quote:
That's the kind of thing that makes Belgium a ridiculous country in the eyes of foreigners.
You don't get it. Flemish companies also don't need to expalin things in Dutch in Wallonia. It's as simple as that...
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Last edited by joshsam; February 5th, 2011 at 05:26 PM.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 08:09 PM   #840
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[QUOTE=ChrisZwolle;72055495]R9 Charleroi



A one-way beltway!

Thanks a lot for the Charleroi-Beltway-summary. Nice road in spite of bit old-fashioned (seems so)... I would like to hope that the current economy of the city would be the same as its roads-network again.
In comparison with Charleroi the ring-road R5 in neighboring Mons is not completed.
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