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Old February 5th, 2011, 09:41 PM   #841
Penn's Woods
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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. 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.
I understand all that, I really do - and I admit it's none of my business - but the problem is cities expand....
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Old February 5th, 2011, 09:43 PM   #842
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I think alot of the infrastructure in Wallonia was a pure waste of money. Most of the wide and fancy roads were under construction when their economy was already running its last miles.
In Flanders the construction of necessary infrastructure was blocked for years because the French oriented unitairy Belgian government didn't want to stimulate the Flemish economy.
When the Waffle-Iron Political Principle of Public Infrastructure (or WIPPOPI) was introduced, we were able to obtain the necessary infrastructure but that always involved an obligatory and equally expensive project in the Wallonian part of the country. (thus the "waffle iron principale").

Last edited by Wimpie; February 6th, 2011 at 12:54 PM.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 11:01 PM   #843
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DO you honestly think Wallonia has too many highways? They don't have many connections. Many cities lack ring roads. They have few international highway connections, just one with Luxembourg, one with Germany and one with France... They need more highways to stimulate their economy. They need some new tunnels in Liège and to upgrade some N-routes to highway standards.

Bear in mind that Wallonia is hilly, meaning highway construction is naturally higher.

Now, enumerate which highways you think were a waste of money in Wallonia.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 11:03 PM   #844
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Hence, the large number of GTI's (Grand Travaux Inutiles) in Belgium. What an incredible inefficient way to spend tax money. I would be extremely discontent with the way tax money was spent in those years if I were a tax payer in Belgium.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 11:04 PM   #845
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DO you honestly think Wallonia has too many highways? They don't have many connections.
The motorway network is good. However, there is a huge amount of 2x2 expressways going to nowhere. It could have made sense if their economy was booming but it isn't. The upside is though that Walloon cities are nowhere near congested as Flemish cities are.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 11:10 PM   #846
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DO you honestly think Wallonia has too many highways? They don't have many connections. Many cities lack ring roads. They have few international highway connections, just one with Luxembourg, one with Germany and one with France... They need more highways to stimulate their economy. They need some new tunnels in Liège and to upgrade some N-routes to highway standards.

Bear in mind that Wallonia is hilly, meaning highway construction is naturally higher.

Now, enumerate which highways you think were a waste of money in Wallonia.
And there are plenty of non-Walloons passing through. What role does the EU (or the Belgian federal government, for that matter) have in financing infrastructure? I know Wallonia's got about a third of Belgium's population but more than half the land area.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 11:12 PM   #847
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DO you honestly think Wallonia has too many highways? They don't have many connections. Many cities lack ring roads. They have few international highway connections, just one with Luxembourg, one with Germany and one with France... They need more highways to stimulate their economy. They need some new tunnels in Liège and to upgrade some N-routes to highway standards.

Bear in mind that Wallonia is hilly, meaning highway construction is naturally higher.

Now, enumerate which highways you think were a waste of money in Wallonia.
I actually come up with two autoroutes (the A3/E40 and A27/E42) reaching the German border, and two (the A7/E19 and A8/E42) reaching the French border, and I feel like I'm forgetting something.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 12:57 PM   #848
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And there are plenty of non-Walloons passing through. What role does the EU (or the Belgian federal government, for that matter) have in financing infrastructure? I know Wallonia's got about a third of Belgium's population but more than half the land area.
The Belgian government has no role whatsoever in financing public infrastructure. The states, and the states alone are responsible for that.
Wallonia did however pulled out an infrastructural loan at the EU a couple of months ago. But the amount they got (240 million euros) was barely enough to deal with the most urgent problems.
And they haven't discussed the terms of paying it back yet. Somewhere I have the feeling we - Flemish taxpayers - will have to deal with that.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 12:58 PM   #849
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Complete list international connections:

Wallonia

-The A2 in Liège connecting Wallonia and The Netherlands...
-The A6/E411 reaching Luxemburg.
-The A3/E40 to Germany
-The A27/E42 to Germany
-The A7/E19 to France
-The A8/E42 to France

Not to mention all the 2x2 express ways that Wallonia has where you can drive 120km/h

Now lets make that list for Flanders:

-The A18/E40 to France
-The A???/E17 to France
-The A12/E??? to The Netherlands
-The A1/E19 to The Netherlands
-The A21/E34 to The Netherlands
-The A2/E314 to The Netherlands

How is Wallonia more bad connected to neighbours than Flanders?
They have the same amount of connections with twice as less population.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 03:15 PM   #850
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I understand all that, I really do - and I admit it's none of my business - but the problem is cities expand....
So the borders should expand with them? If the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez (right next to the US border) "expands", does this mean they could claim US territory? What would be the US reaction you think?

Cities can expand perfectly without changing the official borders, certainly within the EU. We have a perfect example alongside the French/Belgian border. The French city of Lille (right next to the border) is co-operating perfectly with neighbouring Flemish and Walloon regions without annexing them.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 06:17 PM   #851
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Do you think Belgian motorways lack international connections? I would rather think new motorways to avoid the congested city ringroads to be more pressing.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 05:23 AM   #852
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So the borders should expand with them? If the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez (right next to the US border) "expands", does this mean they could claim US territory? What would be the US reaction you think?

Cities can expand perfectly without changing the official borders, certainly within the EU. We have a perfect example alongside the French/Belgian border. The French city of Lille (right next to the border) is co-operating perfectly with neighbouring Flemish and Walloon regions without annexing them.
I'm really trying to avoid taking sides in this, but the way places like Brussels, Montreal and Barcelona, where different languages are competing, has always been interesting to me, so I know enough about them to compare....

What I mean by "cities expand" is that their urban areas grow, whether you want them to or not. The 1962/1963 language law makes perfect sense when it's a matter of individual Flemings settling in Mouscron (or individual Walloons in Spiere-Helkijn) and adapting to the majority language. It's another matter entirely when you draw a language border through what were already the outer suburbs of a major, mostly-French-speaking city. It wasn't going to work. It was inevitable that people from Brussels were going to settle in these areas (heck, they were already there), not one by one but in such numbers that offically-Flemish municipalities like Kraainem were going to end up 75-percent French-speaking. I really can see both sides' point of view, but it was asking for conflict. These areas are Flemish, but they're also suburbs of Brussels. If Flemish politicians hadn't spent the last 50 years crying "Walen buiten!" and issuing Peeters circulars and "wonen in eigen streek" decrees, treating these people like invaders rather than fellow Belgians, maybe the francophones wouldn't be asking to be annexed to Brussels. But Flemish politicians have spent 50 years alienating this population (Did you think no one outside Belgium was paying attention?), so it's understandable that it'd (in general) prefer to be part of Brussels. What is your solution to the "periphery"? Kick all the francophones out?

Look at Quebec: Quebec has been able to protect French without closing English-language universities (McGill and Concordia, both in the heart of Montreal), shutting out English-language media, or prohibiting English-speaking parents from educating their children in English. Montreal's a wonderful, cosmopolitan-feeling place; one of my favorite places in the world.

Also, Ciudad Juárez and El Paso are in different countries. Brussels and Vilvoorde aren't, yet. And the United States is far, far more accommodating of Spanish than Flanders is of French. A place in the U.S. that's 75 percent Spanish-speaking (or 7.5 percent, for that matter) will have Spanish-language government services by law. Any large US city has Spanish-language TV stations (Philadelphia has three.) So annexation isn't really the issue; it's treatment of minorities. When minorities are treated like unwelcome foreigners, that's when they start to ask to be annexed to a place that'll be a home to them.

I've said more than once that this is none of my business and I didn't want to take sides. But you asked for my opinion....
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Old February 7th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #853
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Interesting never completed freeway link between Charleroi and Maubeuge, currently numbered N54.

route:


Western stub


Hugely oversized border crossing


Eastern stub
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Old February 7th, 2011, 02:35 PM   #854
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I'm really trying to avoid taking sides in this, but the way places like Brussels, Montreal and Barcelona, where different languages are competing, has always been interesting to me, so I know enough about them to compare....

What I mean by "cities expand" is that their urban areas grow, whether you want them to or not. The 1962/1963 language law makes perfect sense when it's a matter of individual Flemings settling in Mouscron (or individual Walloons in Spiere-Helkijn) and adapting to the majority language. It's another matter entirely when you draw a language border through what were already the outer suburbs of a major, mostly-French-speaking city. It wasn't going to work. It was inevitable that people from Brussels were going to settle in these areas (heck, they were already there), not one by one but in such numbers that offically-Flemish municipalities like Kraainem were going to end up 75-percent French-speaking. I really can see both sides' point of view, but it was asking for conflict. These areas are Flemish, but they're also suburbs of Brussels. If Flemish politicians hadn't spent the last 50 years crying "Walen buiten!" and issuing Peeters circulars and "wonen in eigen streek" decrees, treating these people like invaders rather than fellow Belgians, maybe the francophones wouldn't be asking to be annexed to Brussels. But Flemish politicians have spent 50 years alienating this population (Did you think no one outside Belgium was paying attention?), so it's understandable that it'd (in general) prefer to be part of Brussels. What is your solution to the "periphery"? Kick all the francophones out?

Look at Quebec: Quebec has been able to protect French without closing English-language universities (McGill and Concordia, both in the heart of Montreal), shutting out English-language media, or prohibiting English-speaking parents from educating their children in English. Montreal's a wonderful, cosmopolitan-feeling place; one of my favorite places in the world.

Also, Ciudad Juárez and El Paso are in different countries. Brussels and Vilvoorde aren't, yet. And the United States is far, far more accommodating of Spanish than Flanders is of French.

A place in the U.S. that's 75 percent Spanish-speaking (or 7.5 percent, for that matter) will have Spanish-language government services by law. Any large US city has Spanish-language TV stations (Philadelphia has three.) So annexation isn't really the issue; it's treatment of minorities. When minorities are treated like unwelcome foreigners, that's when they start to ask to be annexed to a place that'll be a home to them.

I've said more than once that this is none of my business and I didn't want to take sides. But you asked for my opinion....
It's clear you are not neutral and don't understand the Flemish position. It's always the same: the foreign media only reads the Francophone press, and so the 'outside world' has more sympathy for the Francophone position (the "poor victims" of those "evil Flemish").

You say the US is more accommodating of Spanish than Flanders is of French. Have you ever compared the size of Flanders and the US? We are a small state with 6 million inhabitants. In the past (you know Belgian history?) we had to fight for our rights. Dutch was considered to be a completely useless and inferior language by the Belgian state. The Dutch language was always in the weak position. Take Brussels for example. It was historically a Dutch-speaking city. Now it's almost completely Francophone. If I go to a restaurant in Brussels, most of the time I cannot order in Dutch and the menus are French only. "Bilingual" often meens French-speaking. That's why we are so afraid in the aera around Brussels. The French-speakers rarely showed some basic respect for our language and culture, even on our own territory.

Francophones in Flanders can even vote for anti-Flemish parties like FDF (and they do!), while the (large) Flemish community in Wallonia (area around Wavre, Jodoigne) cannot vote for Flemish parties.

And if we react to this, we are the 'bad guys'. It's really the world upside down.

Last edited by Thermo; February 7th, 2011 at 02:42 PM.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 02:47 PM   #855
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It's clear you are not neutral and don't understand the Flemish position. It's always the same: the foreign media only reads the Francophone press, and so the 'outside world' has more sympathy for the Francophone position (the "poor victims" of those "evil Flemish").
It's not like that, please don't play the victim. In most cases the Belgian situation is even not so interesting to reach foreign media, let alone to blame the "evil Flemish"...
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Old February 7th, 2011, 02:56 PM   #856
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It's not like that, please don't play the victim. In most cases the Belgian situation is even not so interesting to reach foreign media, let alone to blame the "evil Flemish"...
I have seen enough examples of articles in foreign media, that were almost a perfect translation of articles in the Francophone press.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 04:52 PM   #857
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It's clear you are not neutral and don't understand the Flemish position. It's always the same: the foreign media only reads the Francophone press, and so the 'outside world' has more sympathy for the Francophone position (the "poor victims" of those "evil Flemish").

You say the US is more accommodating of Spanish than Flanders is of French. Have you ever compared the size of Flanders and the US? We are a small state with 6 million inhabitants. In the past (you know Belgian history?) we had to fight for our rights. Dutch was considered to be a completely useless and inferior language by the Belgian state. The Dutch language was always in the weak position. Take Brussels for example. It was historically a Dutch-speaking city. Now it's almost completely Francophone. If I go to a restaurant in Brussels, most of the time I cannot order in Dutch and the menus are French only. "Bilingual" often meens French-speaking. That's why we are so afraid in the aera around Brussels. The French-speakers rarely showed some basic respect for our language and culture, even on our own territory.

Francophones in Flanders can even vote for anti-Flemish parties like FDF (and they do!), while the (large) Flemish community in Wallonia (area around Wavre, Jodoigne) cannot vote for Flemish parties.

And if we react to this, we are the 'bad guys'. It's really the world upside down.

Ik lees Le Soir, La Libre EN DE STANDAARD. Century-old grievances against the francophone elite of the time do not justify picking on francophone individuals today who are really just trying to find a nice place to live. And why not pick on the Flemings who sell them their houses?
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Old February 7th, 2011, 06:15 PM   #858
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Ik lees Le Soir, La Libre EN DE STANDAARD. Century-old grievances against the francophone elite of the time do not justify picking on francophone individuals today who are really just trying to find a nice place to live. And why not pick on the Flemings who sell them their houses?
The only (only!) thing we ask is that people who want to live in Flanders accept that Dutch is the official language, just as we accept that French is the official language in Wallonia. Is this too much to ask? Isn't this just fair?

They can speak whatever language they want at home, on the streets, in the restaurants, they can have French-speaking schools, libraries, (talking about good integration, ahum...)etc... But the language of the local authorities is Dutch. Only Dutch. It's just a matter of protecting our language against the big French language.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 07:00 PM   #859
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I agree completly!

Belgium in the golden sixties (yes, it's about roads)

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Old February 7th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #860
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Talking of languages, why is this thread labelled "Autoroutes de Belgique" and not "Belgische Autosnelwegen" as well?
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