Belgium’s prime minister-in-waiting Yves Leterme has made a very public mistake even before he has taken up the reins of power. Having already said that the country’s French speakers were too stupid or too unwilling to learn Belgium’s other main language, Flemish, he was then asked by a journalist if he knew the national anthem.
He replied that he did and then promptly started singing France’s Marseillaise. Belgium’s press are assuming he was not joking and have had a field day, splashing his error across the media. As every good Belgian knows, their national anthem is La Brabanconne. Leterme has been appointed by Belgium’s king to form the country’s next government but is having a difficult time exercising his brief of being a unifying force. Making a gaffe like this is not going to help.