Belgium (Modern World Nations) by George Wingfield

By George Wingfield

Mendacity at the coast of the North Sea in northwestern Europe, with Germany to its east, the Netherlands to its north and France to its south and west, Belgium is found on the middle of 1 of Europe's so much hugely industrialized areas. including its acquaintances the Netherlands and Luxembourg, this team of 3 international locations is stated jointly as Benelux. Belgium has a inhabitants of approximately 10 million humans in a space of 11,700 sq. miles (30,000 sq. kilometers) and contains French, Dutch, and German as its legit languages.Belgium used to be one of many founding individuals of the ecu Union (EU), and Brussels is successfully the unofficial capital of Europe - domestic to the eu Parliament of the eu Union and the headquarters of NATO (of which Belgium and the USA are either individuals) in addition to quite a few different foreign firms. A full-color examine of the historical past, humans, tradition, geography, atmosphere, and financial system of this pivotal nation and function it performs in modern day worldwide politics are highlighted in "Belgium".

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Certainly French, rather than Flemish, is the lan-­ guage that the majority of immigrants tend to speak when they first come to ­Belgium. 8 percent of the total population. This figure does not include foreigners who reside illegally in Belgium or Belgians of foreign origin who gained Belgian nationality through vari-­ ous means. About 63 percent of these foreigners come from EU countries, and the other 37 percent are from countries outside the EU. These figures from the National Institute for Statistics (2000) also show an uneven distribution of foreigners by region.

King Baudouin personally attended the festivities and gave a speech that was widely considered insensitive to the atrocities that had been committed in the Congo during the reign of his royal ancestor, Leopold II. This speech received a blistering response by Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, and political unrest, insurrection, and attempts to secede by various prov-­ inces followed. A coup against Lumumba and secession of the ­mineral-­rich Congo province of Katanga occurred soon after independence was achieved.

Leo­ pold’s unpopularity was mainly due to his decision to surrender to Nazi Germany in 1940, when Belgium was invaded. Many Belgians questioned his loyalties, even though a ­commission of 39 40 Belgium inquiry after the war found him not guilty of treason. A refer-­ endum on his continued rule was held. Although he narrowly won this vote, strikes and unrest over the issue nonetheless led to his decision to abdicate the ­throne. BELGIUM AS AN AFRICAN COLONIAL ­POWER Besides the problems of the monarchy, Belgium’s postwar renaissance led to many other political changes.

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