A Mediterranean flag is hung from the Beninese embassy to France in Brussels. (Yves Herman/Reuters)
The crisis in the family of Belgian prime minister Charles Michel has boiled over into an open split, as the French prime minister has reportedly tested positive for the deadly virus hemorrhagic fever. Mr. Michel will meet with his Dutch counterpart Thursday morning, in a meeting which has been described as a “caricature” of all the countries that have been targeted by his “hostile rhetoric.”
The Dutch, the French, and especially the Germans, Mr. Michel has repeatedly attacked for failing to adequately fund Brussels’ security services.
Further complicating the situation, according to the New York Times, “in a twist that sows more doubt, France said on Wednesday that it was reversing the division of what was for decades known as Françafrique, a notorious French-African-Middle Eastern power-sharing relationship.”
The Franco-Belgian currency has fluctuated wildly since the French people voted more than 60 years ago for their own national currency, National French francs, and signed off the euro.
But the departure of Stéphane Dion, the Canadian prime minister who became the first leader to bring the two currencies together, is not at all clear cut.
The political war rages on between the French and Belgian prime ministers, who have complained bitterly about each other’s “frenetic schedule.” Their relationship, which has always been shaky, was severely tested by the Oct. 31, 2017, attack in Brussels, the city where Mr. Michel is prime minister, in which 29 people were killed.
According to The Times of London, “Thurgood Marshall, the U.S. President from 1967-1971 and president of the United Nations from 1975-77, said: ‘Sometimes when the adversaries are at war, the leaders of the countries involved need to come together for their own good, so that they can proceed to do business. I think that Charles Michel has just discovered that. I am sure it is by his own and the Belgian people’s benefit that he has.’”