The Belgian Organisation B-Plus has come up with a novel idea to bring harmony between Flemish and French speakers: political speed dating. Belgium is frozen by a record 191-day stalemate in forming a new coalition to govern the bilingual nation.
Participants seemed to think the event was a good idea: “We have started to ignore each other on both sides and we must start speaking to each other again,” said a Francophone from Liege who sat opposite a Dutch speaker from Brussels.
Belgium’s French and the Flemish speaking communities have traditionally been divided, making it difficult to form a government. But the current 191-day hiatus – since June 10th elections – in forming a new government has meant that urgent economic and social issues have been neglected.
Demonstrations urging unity and a resolution to the crisis occur regularly attracting thousands of Belgians.