Hamstrung by an inability to take decisive action
Belgians, indecisive? Indubitably maybe.
Belgium could be the second European country after the Netherlands to adopt net neutrality for both fixed and mobile networks. Three political parties have joined forces to launch a proposed law (in Dutch), which they hope will be approved early next year. If accepted, all internet traffic in Belgium needs to be treated …
... has three official languages : Dutch, German and French.
This is part of the reason why they have been rudderless for 400+ days : they can not agree on which language is first in documents.
Shame really, because Belgians fabulously friendly people with astonishingly good beer, brilliant chocolate, wonderful waffles [Brussels and Liege!] and the Speculoos is marvellous.
It is not 100% accurate there is no Gov'. In reality, their "new" Gov' can not agree on which official language is first, so the previous Gov' is carrying on running the place. And as they have what we call PR, it is mostly the same people, from the same parties, just using the previous mandate.
And as fair point really : if you /do/ believe in a federal europe, is there really a need for national Gov's ? A bit like Scotland : no need at all for the Scottish parliament, there IS Westminster..!!
Agreeing on which language to use is not an issue. This is determined by law, i.e. all documents are required to be drafted in the language of the federal state they are used in, and all federal government documents are drafted in 3 languages.
The inability to form a government is the result of the Flemish and Walloon federal states having opposite positions on how to proceed with the federation as such. A lot of it is cultural.
Still a great place for IT contractors!
Beer - oh yes! Most of the World's top beers come from here and are in the local supermarket.
Chocolate - oh my!
Motorbike laws are liberal (I am a biker and so is the king!).
They can't agree on a national language and so English is often used in bigger companies hence good for Brits.
Food - certainly good enough!
Fun - always something going on!
Connections - a couple of hours travel sees you in many interesting foreign places i.e. Germany, France, Holland, Luxembourg.
Weather - same as the UK so no nasty surprises.
Visiting Rels - nearer to most of the UK than Scotland.
Internet - our cable is very fast and getting faster.
Telly - BBC is free.
If you fancy somewhere abroad but not strange then Belgium is definitely good.
Considering the messes that the governments of Greece, Italy, Spain etc have gotten themselves into, I guess Belgium is doing quite well without a formal government.
The thing with parliamentarians is that once they're in parliament they believe they HAVE TO DO THINGS, even though many times the best solutions aren't new laws but to repeal existing bad / outdated laws, properly enforce existing ones and otherwise leave well enough alone.
Just to clarify : language is indeed a big issue in the negotiations in Belgium. But to say we don't have a governement...is a bit flawed.. Actually Belgium has five (5!) Governements.. :
- The Flemish governement (for the dutch speaking part )
- The Wallon governement (for the french speaking part )
- The German ""
- The Brussel Gewest governement (for the Brussels area..)
- The federal Governement (for everything that is handled across all governements)
It is the federal governement that is the issue here...the four others are 'ok'...
Needless to say that clarifies a lot why we have one of the highest taxes in the world..all those people working for those different governements need to be paid.
Now, the current issue why a new governement cannot be formed, is because there is a debate re. Brussels and some flemish (as in ruled by the flemish governement) communities around brussels.. In the sixties some idiots created a system where (french speaking) people of those communities are allowed to vote for (french) politions in Brussels during elections.. and of course our 'Raad van State'( a constitutional court) has declared this illegal.. So the big dbate now is how they can solve this.. and of course if it gets just dismantled..the french speaking politicians would stand to loose a lot of power in the Brussels Govenrement (which is supposed to be bilingual, but isn't really..due to this stupid system)
I could go on for a few hours as of course there is more than meets the eye...but i hope this gives a small picture of what is going on... And draw your own conclusions...
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