From riches to rust

The Belgium that Sergei Soloviev admired in the 1840s was mostly Francophone or aspiring to fluency in French. At that time, Wallonia was the dynamic, industrialized, fast-growing part of the country while Flanders was less advanced and more agricultural.

More than 170 years later, Wallonia’s recalcitrance towards a free trade treaty is raising eyebrows: see “Walloons good, English bad” at White Sun of the Desert, both the post and the thread.

Blocking the deal is the Socialist PM of Wallonia, who is getting pressured by the Marxist party on the left. The Globe and Mail describes Wallonia as if it were the north of England or Ohio: “an economically depressed rust-belt region.”

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