Ethnic Tensions in Belgium
Belgium has given the world Audrey Hepburn Rene Magritte (surrealist artist), the saxophone(萨克斯管)and deep-fried potato chips that are somehow called French.
But the story behind this flat, twice-Beijing-size country is of a bad marriage between two nationalities living together that cannot stand each other. With no new government, more than a hundred days after a general election, rumors run wild that the country is about to disappear.
"We are two different nations, an artificial state. With nothing in common except a king, chocolate and beer." Said Filp Dewinter, the leader of the Flemish Bloc, the extreme-right Flemish party.
Radical Flemish separatists like Mr Dewinter want to divide the country horizontally along ethnic and economic lines: to the north. Flanders—where Dutch (known locally as Flemish) is spoken and money is increasingly made; to the south. French-speaking Wallonla, where today old factories dominate the landscape.
The area of present-day Belgium passed to the French in the 18th century. Following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. Belgium was given to the kingdom of the Netherlands, from which it gained independence as a separate kingdom of the Netherlands, from which it gained independence as a separate kingdom in 1830.
Since then, it has struggled for cohesion(结合).Anyone who has spoken French in a Flemish city quickly gets a sense of the mutual hostility that is part of daily life there.
But there are reasons Belgium is likely to stay together, at least in the short term.
The economies of the two regions are tightly linked, and separation would be a financial nightmare。
But there is also deep resentment in Flanders that its much healthier economy must subsidize(补贴)the south, where unemployment is double that of the north. French speakers in the south, meanwhile, favor the states quo(现状).
Belgium has made it through previous threats of division. Although some political analysts believe this one is different, there is no panic just now.
"We must not worry too much。" said Baudouln Bruggeman, a 55-year-old school-teacher。" Belgium has survived on compromise since 1930。 You have to remember that this is Magritte's country, the country of surrealism。 Anything can happen。"
36【题干】Who was Magritte?
A.A French novelist
D。A surrealist artist
37.【题干】when did Belgium become an independent kingdom?
38【题干】Which statement about Belgium is NOT true?
A.it is twice as big as Beijing.
B.it has two major ethnic groups.
C。it has gone through quite a few threats of division。
D。it has no government。
39【题干】what does the passage main talk about?
C。Cultural clashes in Belgium。
D。Music in Belgium。
40【题干】The word "stand" in Paragraph 2 means_____.