Uh, sorry.

Today the place is known as Belgium, but there is trouble there.  The Czech news site iDNES reports that the perennial friction between the French-speaking Wallonie region and Flemish-speaking Flanders region has been exacerbated by the Chinese gift of two pandas.  This, in spite of the fact that Chinese gifts of pandas are intended as symbols of peace (in 2008, they even gave a pair to Taiwan).

At issue is the ultimate destination of the two hairy ambassadors of peace, which are due to arrive in Belgium next year.  The Flemish are upset that the pandas will be housed in a private zoo near the Walloon city of Mons instead of the national zoo in Flemish Antwerp.  They accuse the current Prime Minister, Elio di Rupo, of bias because he used to be mayor of Mons.  The Waloons, on the other hand, are upset over the accusation of partiality.

This seems a hopelessly beastly conundrum, but perhaps there is a solution.  Since NATO supreme headquarters (SHAPE) is in Mons, the pandas could be delivered to NATO, and maintained by NATO for the benefit of all Belgians, indeed all Europeans.

I am not sure this is a feasible solution, but it’s worth a shot.  If it fails, there is always my son David’s and daughter-in-law Meagan’s backyard in Virginia Beach, which is overrun with bamboo that is in constant need of drastic harvesting.

Anyone know Elio di Rupo’s e-mail address?


About Michael J. Kubat

I'm a grumpy Czech-born clinical social worker who is vitally interested in the survival in the United States as a viable democracy and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.
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  1. Ken Murphy says:

    Sounds like an excellent solution to me – short of splitting the country! What would that be? The countries of Bel and Gium?

    • I don’t know, I don’t know. They’re always talking about “greater France” and “greater Holland,” but I’m sure that the “real” Frenchmen would always find something disturbing about the “new” Frenchmen,” and the Dutch and the Flemish would always find something to bicker about. So maybe Bel and Gium is the answer after all.

      • marcusampe says:

        Te Dutch and the Flemish are too different and this caused already a big problem before the kingdom of Belgium was founded. The Dutch rulers were put out of the region and I would not think they would be welcome again. Flemish people are too Burgundian.
        The French do have already enough problems with their poor North of France so they would not be interested to receive an other poor region as Wallonie on top of that.
        The German part of Belgium would not at all be a problem because it just belongs to Germany and the people have the German attitude, though many Flemish people came to live in that region as well.
        The Brussels region is at the moment already a blog to stumble. This would cause the most problems for splitting Belgium.
        Four little states in the European Union would that not be too ridiculous? Would they not be better off working at getting federal states or confederate states in on unified country as part of the bigger unit Europe?

  2. marcusampe says:

    I would not think the Zoo in Antwerp would be a good place to have the Panda’s and would think they also would not like to keep it there, perhaps you are mistaken by the zoo in Planckendael, which is also a part of the Antwerp Zoo, but miles away from the city Antwerp.

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