Not sure if Lesoir.be is some major news source over there, but I have had it in my bookmarks for at least a decade.
I have no idea how the website fairs, but Le Soir is one of the bigger newspapers.
While local governance has been historically good under all circumstances, the country itself is a historical oddity. Wikipedia says there were some riots in 1830 after people had seen some nationalistic opera. The riots, called the Belgian Revolution, led to the declaration of independence.
On 25 August 1830 riots erupted in Brussels and shops were looted. Theatergoers who had just watched a nationalistic opera joined the mob. Uprisings followed elsewhere in the country. Factories were occupied and machinery destroyed. Order was restored briefly after William committed troops to the Southern Provinces but rioting continued and leadership was taken up by radicals, who started talking of secession.
While any nationalistic revolution narrative is always cute and enjoyable, it seems to have been dominated by the French-speaking population who completely ignored the presence of another ethnicity that would have benefitted from totally different national borders, while with Belgium as a nation itself benefits no one in particular. In my opinion, strings were pulled collectively in the surrounding countries and the riots were an effect or symptom rather than the cause. Precious few countries are born by self-determination and neither did Belgium.
Do you have one now? Does it make a difference if there is a prime minister or not? Curiously, at the same time it hasn't occurred to anyone to do away with the monarchy.
Very, very weird country. Then again, maybe not so weird. Most what I said describes the EU too one way or another. Belgium is like the EU in miniature.
Quote from: ersi on 2015-01-16, 10:55:16Very, very weird country. Then again, maybe not so weird. Most what I said describes the EU too one way or another. Belgium is like the EU in miniature.What's weird is the modern nation state. But anyway, look up the Benelux on Wikipedia. Most things later implemented by the EU were tested here first.
What failed? I <3 the Benelux and the EU.
Weren't these features present already in the Benelux experiment?
I'm not sure I even comprehend what you're complaining about.
Yes, I happen to be in favor of integrating all of our respective national entities into an EU diplomatic corps and an EU army, and yes, I believe that Crimea shows these would be good things to happen for Europe and the world.
In short, it sounds like you're complaining that 1950s Europe didn't create that which we may finally be ready for in the 2010s thanks precisely to those humble and universally acceptable beginnings.
I truly don't understand where you're even coming from. Did the Estonian government present the EU as something it's not when they sold it to the Estonian people?
Regarding the "visibility" of the Benelux, two points:1) Post-1995, after many decades of Benelux success, the most important goals have been supplanted by the EU. Mission accomplished.
2) The Nordic Council is quite invisible from over here too.
My complaint is politics in general, I guess. People generally do their job, furthering circumstances of life so that it benefits their neighbours, but politicians are just leeching on the rest of the population while pretending to be useful.
Maybe this is the complaint of some in the Benelux, but in the Baltic countries we have sharper complaints against the entire post-WWII world order. We object to Yalta agreements that gave us borders as bad as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact did. We complain that the EU gives us neither any consolation for that those agreements took place or the security against their ever happening again.
Ready to give up your own identity in favour of integration? The pro-integration cosmo-metro multi-cultists are forgetting that some of the population (namely the overwhelming majority of the natives of each member country) have an identity to keep under the pressure of encroaching integration. The dark side of integration is assimilation. It so happens that e.g. Estonians are barely above the threshold of assimilating others. More likely we are on the verge of becoming assimilated, i.e. the identity is endangered.
So the success of Benelux consists in the fact that it was supplanted. Maybe from your angle this indeed looks like a success.
Btw, did you read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?
I do not believe the EU holds any of those weird ideas of centuries past, like one state one religion or one state one people. Quite the opposite.
It's really more of a status question,...
Presently our armies are in the process of working increasingly closely together, so that it's becoming a Benelux Defense Force in all but name. Who knows, perhaps there is a pioneering role left for the Benelux yet.
No. Does it say something insightful?
Obviously, we need some survival policies, and when the Western countries have their survival policies despite their integration rhetoric, then why should we behave any different?
Yet our politicians behave according to the rhetoric, ("because that's EU directive" - all unpopular policies are justified this way, so the reputation of the EU is nothing pleasant) and I say this is one of the very reasons why the integration policies have been failing. If the natives are behaving suicidally without any self-respect, justifying all stupidity by that it's orders from Brussels, then Russians see no point to get assimilated or integrated. Local natives are inconsequential to them. According to them, Mother Russia will take her lands back soon enough, and until then they can speak English with the locals, if any speaking be needed. The EU matters. And Russia matters. The local people are just a weird curiosity of centuries past that doesn't matter.
They really missed a great opportunity to show themselves in Ukraine when the airplane fell. There will be no other such opportunity.
Besides, instead of the invisible cooperation of the armies, Wikipedia mentions this
Quote from: ersi on 2015-01-24, 01:25:55No. Does it say something insightful?The people of planet Whatever came up with a plan to get rid of the useless third of their population, such as politicians and telephone sanitizers. Their plan worked. Then they all died of a fatal viral infection that spread via dirty phones.
Quote from: ersi on 2015-01-24, 01:25:55Obviously, we need some survival policies, and when the Western countries have their survival policies despite their integration rhetoric, then why should we behave any different?I really have no idea what rhetoric you're talking about. Are you hearing distant echoes from the '90s?
If the Estonian government implements Russian-friendly immigration politics and claims this is an EU directive, they're lying.
Before the Benelux there was the European community for steel and coal or something like that. Wasn't it?
Note that Cameron is speaking against one of the four so-called freedoms of the EU - freedom of movement of people, a foundational principle of EU. An EU3 prime minister can afford it without any consequences. If some Balkan or Baltic prime minister spoke the same way, there would be sanctions.
May I neatly remind you at this point that this is an island we live on.
Quote from: ersi on 2015-01-25, 18:01:25Note that Cameron is speaking against one of the four so-called freedoms of the EU - freedom of movement of people, a foundational principle of EU. An EU3 prime minister can afford it without any consequences. If some Balkan or Baltic prime minister spoke the same way, there would be sanctions.What I'm hearing: "UK welfare is kind of retarded and I want it to become retarded in a different way (or possibly even more retarded)."
There would be no sanctions for someone merely saying stupid things. There might be repercussions for implementing rules that breach EU law, but rather than sanctions that would most likely be something more like the ECJ nullifying a national law or forcing a different interpretation of it.Promising things that are impossible as per EU directive is just as delectable as pushing things through which are wholly your own idea. (And in the case of the UK they have a nasty habit of proposing things in the EU, somehow successfully convincing others of getting it passed, and then claiming to their own populace that this is an idea that came from Brussels so they can shift the blame.)
I actually linked to an EU page refuting false stories about the EU in the news on My Opera, but I can't seem to find the link in my bookmarks. I suppose I forgot to add it at the time.
You are not hearing well enough. He is speaking up against EU-internal immigrants, saying he'd make different welfare and employment benefit rules about them.
Do you remember Jörg Haider?
he gets to say it without even an admonition from others.
I'm quite sure I just refuted your link, whatever it was.
That's the uninteresting surface message. Thinking it through is much more fun. Provided he is not lying (which he probably is), the UK welfare system is in grave trouble with or without any foreigners. Which he's probably lying about as well. In any case, he's promising things he knows he can't do.
Quote from: ersi on 2015-01-25, 20:55:51Do you remember Jörg Haider?Not especially, but you largely disproved your own point by making Austria your example. And for future reference, "most likely" leaves room for exceptions. Haider's a pretty egregious exception.
Quote from: ersi on 2015-01-25, 20:55:51he gets to say it without even an admonition from others.What, this doesn't count?
Quote from: ersi on 2015-01-25, 20:55:51I'm quite sure I just refuted your link, whatever it was.I'm quite sure I just refuted everything you ever said and every will say in this very sentence, no matter the content.
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, had made clear she would never agree measures that would impinge of the fundamental principal free movement.
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