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Belgians march to support unity

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Belgians march to support unity


The crowds in Brussels have been growing throughout the day as people from both the Flemish and French-speaking communities have demonstrated their fondness for a united Belgium.

Organisers say 35,000 people turned out to protest against some of their leaders recent political manoeuvering that some say could split the country.

“Flanders does not want a division, they just want more autonomy, and we can talk about that, but I don’t believe they want a division of Belgium”, said one woman.

“I think it’s also in the interest of all Flemish people to be here. I myself have no connection to any political party, but I am here to support this lady from civilian society” said a French-speaker.

That lady is civil servant Marie-Claire Houard, who is so fed up with Belgium’s squabbling politicians that she organised this march.

“I’m a French-speaker married to a woman from west Flanders and very proud of it, and very happy as well. So, together, everyone together” was another man’s opinion.

Houard has also collected 140,000 signatures in three months calling for national unity.

Marchers carried banners and distributed leaflets in Belgium’s three languages, French, Dutch, and German.

Flemish pressure to reduce French-speakers rights and redraw electoral boundaries around Brussels recently led to a collapse in talks on putting together a new government, which has yet to be formed 161 days since the last elections.

Some say the country has a dog’s chance of getting a new government until the rift between the two communities is closed.

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