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Philippe Becomes King of Belgium.....

MMC

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Belgians shouted "Long live the king" Sunday to welcome their new monarch to the throne on a sunny national holiday. But several legislators from northern Flanders boycotted King Philippe I's coronation, highlighting longstanding feuding between the nation's Dutch-speaking Flemings and Francophones — the biggest challenge the new monarch will face.

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In his first speech as king shortly after his father King Albert II abdicated, Philippe made no attempt to paper over those cracks, instead casting the country's division between its 6 million Dutch-speaking Flemings and 4.5 million Francophones as one of its strengths.

"The wealth of our nation and our institutions consists in turning our diversity into a strength," he said after taking his oath of office at the country's parliament.

The ceremony capped a day of transition which started when Philippe's father, the 79-year-old Albert, signed away his rights as the kingdom's largely ceremonial ruler at the royal palace in the presence of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, who holds the political power in this 183-year-old parliamentary democracy.

Less than two hours later, the nation got its seventh king when Philippe, 53, pledged to abide by Belgium's laws and constitution.

One Flemish separatist group, the Flemish Interest party, boycotted the parliamentary ceremony, while the legislature's biggest party, the N-VA New Flemish Alliance, sent only a limited delegation.

"We are full-blooded democrats and the purest form of democracy is the republic," said Jan Jambon, the parliamentary leader of the alliance, which has surged to become the main opposition party seeking Flemish independence through democratic transition. It wants the new king not to have any role in coalition negotiations to form a new government, not be head of the armed forces and not sign any laws.

President Barack Obama sent the new king congratulations.

"The president also sends his heartfelt appreciation to King Albert II for his warmth, service, and leadership as he steps down after nearly 20 years," the U.S. government statement said. "Belgium is a valued friend of the United States, and the president looks forward to continuing to deepen this bond in the years to come.".....snip~

Philippe becomes king of Belgium
Associated Press – 2 hrs 43 mins ago <<<<< More here.

The Planet has a New King.....course not without opposition. Which they call themselves Democrats. Course Obama threw him a shout out.
 

Fisher

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Wonder if Prince Charles downloaded a copy of this story and gave it to his mother with the phrase *Hint Hint* scribbled across the top.
 

Red_Dave

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. It wants the new king not to have any role in coalition negotiations to form a new government, not be head of the armed forces and not sign any laws[/B].

And they may have a point given that coalition negotiations tend to be most of what the government does over there.
 

MMC

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Wonder if Prince Charles downloaded a copy of this story and gave it to his mother with the phrase *Hint Hint* scribbled across the top.

Did Prince Albert ever get let out of the can? :lol:
 

Rainman05

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Constitutional Monarchy aren't they?

Well, that's the only kind of monarchy that exists in European nations that have monarchy (UK, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Sweden) with the emphasis being on constitutional rather than monarchy. Kings have less power than most heads of state in other republics.

But the monarch still maintains, usually, ceremonial powers, like divine right to rule. It's also very common to find that government in these countries have it legislated in their constitution that the right to govern of parliament and the government come from the Crown, rather than the people. So theoretically, the crown (monarch) could abolish the government. Ofc, that's just theoretically... practically that can never happen even if you have the most wicked king in power. The monarch is limited to a ceremonial role of approving everything the government wants to do.

Spain may be an odd chicken in the world of constitutional monarchies. After all, the monarchy was brought peacefully back into the fold after Franco bit the dust.

There is just 1 absolute monarchy alive and well today in the world, and that's in Saudi Arabia. A relic of the past in a country that is equally as backwards.
 
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Red_Dave

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Constitutional Monarchy aren't they?

Indeed but the king presides over the negotiations deciding which parties will form the coalition that rules the country, and has been known to say 'no' to would be coalitions in the past. Surely the person who does that should be least appointed on a meritocratic basis if not a democratic one?
 

Malden Capell

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Indeed but the king presides over the negotiations deciding which parties will form the coalition that rules the country, and has been known to say 'no' to would be coalitions in the past.

Interesting, I haven't heard of him saying 'no', except perhaps on the grounds that their proposed government wouldn't survive long in Parliament. Could you find an article? I understand it might be tricky if it's only in French/Flemish!

Surely the person who does that should be least appointed on a meritocratic basis if not a democratic one?

I think the idea is that the monarch has to seek a government regardless of his personal views, while a president may be tempted to seek advantage for his party sympathies. That, and I think the monarchy of Belgium is practically the only thing holding Belgium together these days.
 

Peter King

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Belgium is a mess, there are three official languages, 2 sets of governments and a federal government. The Flemish government has large issues with parties who want are fed up with the French Belgians.
 

Carjosse

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Belgium is a mess, there are three official languages, 2 sets of governments and a federal government. The Flemish government has large issues with parties who want are fed up with the French Belgians.

The two provinces keep to their own policies for the most part. They hate each other and they have quite possibly the most inefficient federal government legislative wise I have ever seen. I've been to their parliament I'm going to say it's not exactly big and they wouldn't let me take pictures.
 

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The two provinces keep to their own policies for the most part. They hate each other and they have quite possibly the most inefficient federal government legislative wise I have ever seen. I've been to their parliament I'm going to say it's not exactly big and they wouldn't let me take pictures.

It really is a lot more complicated than that.
 

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Heya AV. :2wave: Perhaps you can shed some light upon this then. ;)

Belgium is a very complex federal structure with 3 (not 2) Communities, 3 Regions and 3 language areas. These overlap partially, but not completely. It is also a country without Belgian political parties, media, education systems, etc. as everything is split along linguistic and regional lines.
 

Carjosse

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Belgium is a very complex federal structure with 3 (not 2) Communities, 3 Regions and 3 language areas. These overlap partially, but not completely. It is also a country without Belgian political parties, media, education systems, etc. as everything is split along linguistic and regional lines.

What did you think was meant by different policy, also it's not three regional factions since the German one is autonomous but Wallonia and Flanders battling with each other.
 

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What did you think was meant by different policy, also it's not three regional factions since the German one is autonomous but Wallonia and Flanders battling with each other.

The German Community is as autonomous (slightly less actually) as the Flemish and french-speaking Community. As for the regions, there's three of those too (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels). it really is much more complicated. That's why it's a dysfunctional country.
 

Carjosse

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The German Community is as autonomous (slightly less actually) as the Flemish and french-speaking Community. As for the regions, there's three of those too (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels). it really is much more complicated. That's why it's a dysfunctional country.

They have their own parliament and their own courts they are practically a separate country While the Flanders and Wallonia are united directly under the federal government other wise they like to decide for themselves. I've lived in Belgium I know how it works.
 

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They have their own parliament and their own courts they are practically a separate country While the Flanders and Wallonia are united directly under the federal government other wise they like to decide for themselves. I've lived in Belgium I know how it works.

You are mistaken. It is true that the German speaking Community has its own Parliament and Government, but so do the Flemish Community/region; the French-speaking Community, the Walloon Region and the Brussels Capital region. None of them has its own courts. Actually the German-speaking Community has formally less constitutional autonomy than the Flemish and French-speaking Community, but this will change soon.
 

Carjosse

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You are mistaken. It is true that the German speaking Community has its own Parliament and Government, but so do the Flemish Community/region; the French-speaking Community, the Walloon Region and the Brussels Capital region. None of them has its own courts. Actually the German-speaking Community has formally less constitutional autonomy than the Flemish and French-speaking Community, but this will change soon.

They have provincial parliaments but not has powerful as the autonomous German-speaking one. The German-speaking region has it's own systems whereas Flanders and Wallonia do not. I've been to that region and lived in Belgium albeit for a short time.
 

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They have provincial parliaments but not has powerful as the autonomous German-speaking one. The German-speaking region has it's own systems whereas Flanders and Wallonia do not. I've been to that region and lived in Belgium albeit for a short time.

I'm sorry, but you are complete wrong on this. I actually live here and know the Belgian constitutional system inside out.
 

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I'm sorry, but you are complete wrong on this. I actually live here and know the Belgian constitutional system inside out.

What do you think of the animosities between the Flemish and French speakers, and what solution would you propose?
 

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What do you think of the animosities between the Flemish and French speakers, and what solution would you propose?

Flemings actually speak Dutch, not Flemish.

The only solution is simple: dissolve this unhappy marriage and dysfunctional state.
 
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