Belgium: BHV — a problem solved amidst indifference
13 July 2012
Le Soir, De Standaard, De Morgen
“BHV: it’s over “, headlines Le Soir on the vote over the carve-up of the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde (BHV) district, a subject that has been the major cause of the political crisis between the Flemish and Walloons since 2007. The Flemish demand to divide in two the predominantly French-speaking territory located in Flemish territory seemed even to threaten the unity of the kingdom. The French-language daily is the only paper, along with La Libre Belgique, to devote its front page to the story.
This July 13 the Chamber of Deputies must vote on the fate of the district. The Senate already voted in favour of the split, on July 12.
“BHV” is the only bilingual electoral district in the country, encompassing 19 municipalities of the bilingual Brussels-Capital region and 35 Flemish municipalities around the cities of Halle and Vilvoorde. The newspaper applauds the redrawing of the boundary lines in its editorial –
It seems right to us to greet those in North and South who have shouldered difficult responsibilities, sealing a compromise that has provided the country with a government while a part of Europe is sinking under. This does not give us a long-term solution, but let's be honest on this Friday the 13th of the “historic” vote by recalling that it wasn’t so long ago that we were asking for less.
After having paralysed Belgian politics for years, no one is losing any sleep at night over this symbolic community issue. The fact that BHV pushed us to the brink has already been forgotten.
The strength of the BHV agreement remains to be proven. With municipal elections coming up [in October], it won’t be long before its first test. Hot flushes in the Community are guaranteed.