What are some strange traditions in Belgium

Why Belgium has such a bad image

Will Belgium still exist in four years? This was asked by a presenter on the Belgian broadcaster RTBF Liesbeth Homans. The interior minister of the Flemish regional government was quick to answer. 2020 is "too early", but she certainly has the hope that the country will no longer exist from 2025 onwards. The regions would gain more influence, the country now known as Belgium would dissolve itself in Europe. Somehow like that. Indignant politicians spoke up. But the statements of the politician of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) were not interpreted as a major political scandal.

The dispute between Flemings and Walloons has a long tradition in Belgium, and some have already described the country as a “failed state”. This criticism may be exaggerated. But in view of the many unsolved problems and the massive distrust in the authorities, the question is being asked louder and louder: does Belgium still have the situation under control?

The heart of Europe beats in Belgium. The European institutions have their headquarters here. NATO has its headquarters here. But there is little understanding of the country. In Brussels there is a microcosm in which Germans, French, Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, Americans and numerous other nations live together as if on a strange planet where there are chocolates and chips. Few stay long enough to perceive Belgium as a country with its own identity.

Belgium is fighting against a bad image

A terrorist stronghold, political clashes, crumbling nuclear reactors, secession and child murder: Belgium's image is bad, and it has got even worse in recent weeks. The state seemed driven by the current political situation and worn out between the many interests in the country. Nothing made this as clear as the fight against terrorism after the Paris attacks, which were allegedly planned in Belgium. The government paralyzed the city for fear of further attacks. Shops and restaurants, schools and train stations remained closed.

Nevertheless, it was not possible to catch the alleged Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam. According to one theory, he escaped because the police were not allowed to search the house between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. The world shook its head in disbelief. Investigations then became known against two policewomen and eight soldiers who, while the country was trembling with terror, allegedly held a sex orgy in a police station. The world grinned.