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    Belgium: The Endless Language Dispute | European Journal

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    DW (English)

    von DW (English)

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    Another Belgian government has just collapsed because of a dispute over language. The coalition headed by Prime Minister Yves Leterme lasted just five months. The break-up comes only a few weeks before Belgium is due to take over the rotating EU presidency.The long-simmering spat centers around Francophone Belgians living in the Dutch-speaking suburbs around the capital. Some French speakers there continue to refuse to learn Dutch. But Flemish politicians insist that Dutch is the only official language in those areas. Francophone mayors who sent out election notices in French have not been confirmed in office. And soon anyone wishing to buy a house in the suburbs around Brussels may have to prove that they can speak Dutch fluently. The gulf between French-speaking Walloons and the Dutch-speaking Flemish continues to grow.