Belgium. Finally, the Belgians got something to look forward to – the fairytale wedding between Crown Prince Philippe and Belgian noblewoman Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz. After the pedophile and dioxin scandals, which gave the country a disgraceful reputation, the Belgians froze in this romantic event, which took place on a cold and frozen December Saturday. It is the first time since the nation was formed in 1830 that Belgium received a native crown princess. No wonder that during the autumn, pure Mathilde fever prevailed throughout the country, which would otherwise appear as a divided nation because of its different cultures and languages.
Just a few months before the royal house announced the engagement between Mathilde and Philippe, the population was subjected to a food scandal in the class of mad cow disease in the UK a few years ago. Chickens and cattle had been fed with feed poisoned by dioxin. The shelves in the shops were emptied of anything that could contain contaminated meat, eggs or dairy products. Chicken, steak and veal, salami, milk and cheese were removed, as well as everything containing eggs, e.g. pasta and cookies. Finally, the shelves of the grocery stores gaped empty. For several weeks people were delusional and did not know what to eat. When they thought the danger was over, a new alarm about dioxin in pigs came. The dioxin scandal had such serious consequences for the Belgian business community that the government was forced to revise its growth forecast for 1999 from 2.0 to 1.7%.
Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Belgium. The scandal involving dioxin-poisoned foods became the culprit for the Belgian population. When it was discovered in early June that Belgian chickens, cattle and pigs had been fed dioxin-poisoned feed, it emerged at the same time that the government had known about the dioxin danger for a couple of weeks without warning the public. The dioxin scandal was revealed two weeks before the parliamentary election, which became a major defeat for both Flemish and Walloon Christian Democrats. Winning the election became the Liberal parties, the Flemish Flemish Liberal a Democrat, VLD, and the Walloon Party Reformer Libéral, PRL. With VLD’s Guy Verhofstadt as Prime Minister, the Liberal parties now lead a coalition government together with the two Socialist parties Socialist Party, SP, and Parti Socialiste, PS.
Brussels goes back to a settlement on the Senne river during the 500s. The development during the Middle Ages was favored by the fact that the city was on the trade route between Bruges and the Rhine, while there was extensive textile handling. During the Burgundian dukes in the 15th century, Brussels was the administrative center for the whole of the Netherlands. During the revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs, Brussels remained under Spanish control. In 1695, the city was bombarded by the French, and large parts were destroyed. After the peace in Utrecht in 1713, Brussels became the capital of the Austrian Netherlands.
After 1815, Brussels became the center of the opposition within the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was in Brussels that the Belgian Revolution broke out in 1830, and Brussels became the capital of independent Belgium. The city’s position as an administrative center and communication hub came together with extensive industrialization to bring about rapid population growth during the 19th century, especially in the suburban areas that together with Brussels form today’s Greater Brussels.
Brussels was occupied by Germany during both World War I and World War II, but without suffering material damage. During the post-war period, Brussels gained a prominent place in European development as the seat of the EC and EU administration. Since 1967, NATO’s headquarters have been located in Brussels. In domestic politics, Brussels has been drawn into the Belgian language struggle, since Greater Brussels has a predominantly French-speaking population despite being in the Dutch language area. Constitutional changes in 1989 have meant that Greater Brussels, with over a million residents, now constitutes an autonomous region of federalized Belgium.
In March 2016, Brussels suffered two terrorist attacks with several dead and injured. The first attack took place at Zaventem Airport and the second near the Maelbeek metro station, which is adjacent to the EU institutions. Similar acts of terrorism have previously occurred against other European capitals such as Paris (2015), London (2005) and Madrid (2004).