I've always found Belgium's on-going seperatism issue quite interesting.
It is often said that Belgium has very little to unify it as a country.
One of the few unifying things is their royal family.
The King has given a speech which some Flemish politicians seem to have interpreted as a dig against them...
BBC News - Belgium King Albert II Christmas speech sparks controversy
I am not quite sure if this is correct - they may well be being over-sensitive.
However having said that, I do think their current monarch, King Albert II, has never done very much for the cause of national unity as he can basically only speak French - his Flemish/Dutch is very poor.
Since he is a largely ceremonial monarch, like all European monarchs, and therefore has very few really crucial official roles to fill. Given that he'll have had the very best educational opportunities, I am surprised he wasn't taught Flemish at a young age - and preferably German too for the German-speaking minority of his country.
He couldn't control that - but as an adult he could. I feel he wants to be a unifying force for the country but that can never happen when he only speaks one of the two main languages spoken there.
Given that, even if the Flemish politicians are being over-sensitive, perhaps the King has only himself to blame - if he can't be bothered to learn the language of half his subjects, is it surprising they sometimes misinterpret what he says, partly because of the attitude to them his failure to trouble himself learning it reveals, and possibly even purely linguistically, as what he says in French could lose some subtle meanings when translated in Flemish - particularly if translated by those with an agenda.
If he could speak Flemish himself, he would avoid this issue as he could speak to half his country directly in his their own language.
What do other users feel about this particular situation and the wider Belgian seperation issue? What does the future for Belgium hold?