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Qatar grabs Belgian chocolate, land movements

In search of unifying national symbols, Belgians want to bring their chocolate production to the fore, part of which is in the hands of foreign investors.

At the annual chocolate fair, Brussels, 1 March.


Often complexed by the size of their country – what is now more a "means" than a "small" within the European Union (EU) – their image, their accent (s)) or the lack of major projects that would be their trademark , the Belgians "Live with"as they say. They have the distance to things, the humor and the pleasant satisfaction of being arrogant, smug or cold-blooded.

In short, they are happy to be moderate in all things, able to make all compromises, the acceptance of trains that arrive too late, administrations that are dysfunctional, taxes that kill or the risk of "black-out".

After others, the management of energy policy has become the main theme here, even though there is a real risk of long power outages in winter. Locals now search for information on a specially designed website and determine whether they can connect their oven, heating or iron between 5 PM and 8 PM. The happiest people live near a hospital, a port or a prison: these would not be affected by what the authorities call cautious "to download ".

Chauvinism on cocoa

If they are looking for a common identity that is slightly thicker, Flamands, Walloons and Brussels find it in areas where they clearly see themselves as champions: beer, holy fries or more recently this team of Red Devils, that even – defeated – in their eyes – by France, a great achievement at the World Cup closed and on his return was celebrated as a queen (British, not Belgian, because here the queen must also be discreet).

For this list it is of course necessary to add chocolate. Because if there is an area where Belgian chauvinism manifests itself, that is …

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