Le Soir, 3 September, 2009

Flemish nationalists riled by pop song

Published on 3 September 2009 at 13:52
Le Soir, 3 September, 2009


"Vive la Belgique" in French (Long Live Belgium), "Leve België" in Flemish. So runs the title of the new single by Flemish pop group Clouseau that since its release has sparked yet another national controversy in troubled Belgium. "Leve België", shortly to be sung at the King Baudoin Stadium in Brussels for an athletics event, calls in two languages for unity amongst the countries' squabbling French and Flemish speaking communities. "It's a piece of propaganda which makes me think of Communist countries," has stormed Geert Bourgeois, the French surnamed Flemish minister of the Interior (N-VA, Separatist). On the front page of Flemish language daily De Morgen, columnist Hugo Camps lambasts the minister, dubbing him "Minister of Jealousy" : "Who the hell does he think he is telling Clouseau what they should and shouldn't sing?" calling on the band not to let itself be walked all over by a politician "who doesn't even known how to sing properly". "Belgian mega stars (2 million albums sold in Belgium) defy the nationalists," optimistically chimes the headline in French language daily Le Soir.


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