Belgium: The Congo of Europe

Headquarters of the Common Market, on which Europe's hope of unity is pinned, Belgium is itself an eloquent example of disunity. It is so torn by the linguistic rivalries of Dutch-speaking Flemings and French-speaking Walloons that outsiders sometimes wonder how the country stays together at all. Last week one of the longest Cabinet crises in Belgian history (65 days) ended when Pierre Harmel, 54, wearily patched together a government and received the seal of office from King Baudouin.

The root of the crisis goes all the way back to 1830, when the Catholic Flemings and Walloons broke away from Protestant...

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