Could Plan B Work?

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Eleven experts and representatives of many of the country’s political parties were featured in “Plan B, a way to divide Belgium”. Analyses and commentary explored the various issues: future of monarchy, determining borders, the status of Brussels, social security and taxation and international recognition. The subject is still taboo to some but if it happens negotiations could be long difficult. 

The programme explained that a transitional period, before separation, would produce serious tensions with financial consequences that could last for years afterwards. The current external borders of Belgium will not be disputed, but the borders between the new states will be much more complicated issue and the new entities would still have to pay off the national debt.

“The collapse in solidarity that creates smaller entities is a retreat of civilization”, said Bea Cantillon, professor  of sociology at Antwerp University. However, Philippe Van Parijs of the University of Louvain was more sanguine, saying the Belgian quarrel resembles that of a spouse that for years threaten to leave, but finally remains together. “Few people believe it will happen.

“It appears an alternative will be even more difficult to negotiate,” said Wouter Beke, president of the Flemish Christian Democrats (CDV), about the TV programmes proposed plan for a breakup. “Let us continue to work together as this is the only way towards both change and stability.”

Caroline Gennez, president the Flemish Socialist party s.p.a. , warned, “To divide this country will take years, even generations.” However, the Flemish nationalists N-VA said that a separation is part of an “evolution” towards independence of Flanders.

French-speaking Socialist minister Paul Magnette however pointed out that his party wanted the current negotiations to succeed. Alexander De Croo, head of the Flemish liberal attacked the NV-A and the Wallonian Socialists of not speaking about what they want. of blocking. “One of them one speaks about plan B but does not want it and another does not, but supports the idea.”

The programme’s conclusions were unfortunately as inconclusive as the current negotiations to form a new government. Only time may tell whether the initial predictions come true or not.