Belgium to break up?
The favourite in Belgium's elections this weekend is running on perhaps the ultimate in divisive proposals: the break-up of the nation.
Despite its status as the home of the European Union, Belgium has long struggled with divisions between its six million Dutch-speakers and 4.5 million Francophones but, until recently, talk of a break-up has been limited to extremists.
Now, Bart De Wever of the centrist New Flemish Alliance is pressing for exactly that. What once seemed a preposterous fantasy of the political fringes has, in the mouth of a man seen as a possible prime minister, taken on an air of plausibility.
"We are in each other's face," Mr De Wever told 800 party faithful ahead of tomorrow's elections. "And together we are going downhill fast. Flanders and Wallonia must be masters of their own fate."
Robert Wielaard, "Election front-runner defies Belgian break-up taboo," The Scotsman, June 12, 2010.