Ebay has removed an advert offering the kingdom of Belgium for sale even though it received bids of up to 10 million euros.
Journalist Gerrit Six wanted to highlight Belgium’s political stalemate and asked just a euro for the “country in three parts – king included”. The advertisement said one buyer could take all but it wasn’t advisable.
“Belgium is valuable. It is a masterpiece and we have to keep it and promote it,” said Six. “It is my country and I am taking care of it and with me are millions of Belgians. We have to speak out because what politicians are making out of it is nothing.”
Belgium is very much in three parts politically. 100 days of effort to form a federal government have failed, lost in acrimony over the status of the Flemish-speaking north, the French-speaking south and bilingual Brussels.
But her people are not giving up.
“We have to stay together,” said one woman in the street. “There must be good will. It’s like in a marriage. Both have to compromise.”
Belgium has been to the brink of separation before. 20 years ago it took 147 days to agree a government.