Monday, January 31, 2011

The current political crisis in Belgium

The Belgian Agony
Belgium is no longer a failed State. It has entered a  new stage ,a coma which can last for years. Meanwhile what is left of the state   can hardly pay   attention to macro- priorities worldwide.  No overhaul has worked .  Politicians are exhausted while the verdict of the public opinion   ranges from   indifference , to disgust or rage.  Soon a diplomatic and financial “reality – check” might  lead to the conclusion that a modern state , which ranked amongst the most  developed  ,is near its end (in its current form ).
For years Belgium has ignored the structural consequences of globalization , while  becoming  self- obsessed  with its own small-town problems. Turning its back to statesmenship  it embraced  instead the claims of local necessity. Larger unavoidable challenges were   handed over to individuals for whom the next street was the “abroad”. Simultaneously   the country  was  slaughtered by an overdose of infrastructure which had more in common with “porc” than  economic  necessity. The governance became a Babel of competing lilliputian centers of power. The country sank under the weight of the monstruous metastasis which became the” Belgian way”: the solution to every problem resided in the multiplication of its guardians.
Today we  see  how the corpse is  no longer able to absorb and sustain this misguided therapy . The new global necessities, the large intellectual debates which are clouding the future like a gigantic sandstorm  bypass a country which lives barricaded in permanent denial and retro-introspection, oblivious  of the new millennium.
Is there an outcome ? Talking about it under the present circumstances, highlights the problem rather than creating conditions for a sound solution. In the absence of any efficiency  consideration  , the future looks  messy. Belgium is no Tchecoslovakia which opted for a clean divorce. Neither is it Yougoslavia  which  mobilized the attention of the political medics worldwide. Belgium stands, or better,  lies alone , without visitors or doctors. Its antiquated illness does not respond to a contemporary therapy. Soon  it might even disappear from the pages of the Economist.
 One should no longer exclude that Nato or the European Union will sooner or later prefer an alternative to being obliged to function in a self- imposed quarantine ,trying to stay afloat  in this sinking ship. The EU should be spared the contagion of this dysfunctional environment.
The main problem is that there are no takers. The two major partners have no suitors and the capital has sold its soul  to  real estate, rather than bother about quality of life, environmental priorities or immigration. Brussels is too often a perfect example of  “non savoir-faire” and of perverse gerrymandering at all levels. In the absence of takers and therapy, Europe’s “invalid” seems to be doomed to fall victim to its self inflicted necrosis.
 One  can no longer ignore a scenario wherein  Belgium dissolves itself in the EU . The consequential absurdity might be that three ” rotten successor “states  (if one counts Brussels) might end up having to do what they  stubbornly refused , bail each other out.
Paradoxically  Belgium  will look some day like a Paradise lost.

No comments:

Post a Comment