"Do we still want to live together?" That question, uttered by the Belgian Finance Minisiter Didier Reynders, represents the high stakes in today's mandatory election in Belgium, in which 7.7 million people head to the polls to elect a new government. Belgium is composed fairly evenly of Dutch and French speakers, and the two camps have been warring for decades. Now, a mainstream Flemish party, led by Bart de Wever, is calling for the Belgium government to shift the final remaining areas of central authority—justice, health, and social security—into separate institutions for Dutch speakers and Francophones. His party is expected to perform well, gaining up to a quarter of the vote in Flanders. The New Flemish Alliance, as de Wever's party is called, supports joining the European Union as a separate Dutch-speaking state. Francophones in Belgium have no such desires, and they'd be in trouble if that happened—Wallonia depends greatly on Flemish funds.
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