Belgium: When More Is Not Better

When More Is Not Better

Belgium is a land of 5.6 million Dutch-speaking Flemings, 3.2 million French- speaking Walloons and, since World War II, no fewer than 33 governments. Most of those formed since the late 1960s have faltered over the contentious question of who should speak what language where. Last week the issue claimed its latest victim as Prime Minister Wilfried Martens resigned.

Martens, a Dutch-speaking Christian Democrat, threw in the towel after it became clear that his four-party, bilingual governing coalition was about to dissolve. The issue: what to do about Jose Happart, the acting mayor of Les Fourons, a small French-speaking town in...

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