With Flemish Nationalism on the Rise, Belgium Teeters on the Edge

Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, August 5, 2008

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It’s about culture in the end. In its escalating dysfunction Belgium demonstrates the inextricable link between culture and nationhood. As acting mayor Mr. Thiéry presides over tense meetings at which nationalists from out of town listen to hear if he utters a word in French instead of Flemish, as the various Dutch dialects of Flanders are known. If so, he said, all council decisions can be annulled, and he can be replaced as mayor by someone the Flemish choose.

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