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Area Codes in Belgium

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Little Belgium plays a major role internationally with both the EU and NATO headquarters located in Brussels. But the nation is plagued by contradictions between the Flemish and French-speaking parts of the country. The threat of a division of land makes the federal state difficult to control.
  • Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Belgium, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.

Geography and climate

Belgium is located in Western Europe and has a coast of almost seven miles to the North Sea. On the surface, it is about the same size as Småland. The country consists of three distinct geographical areas, from the coast via a small hilly plain landscape in the middle parts to the wooded mountain area of ​​the Ardennes in the southeast.

Along the coast, which faces south-east England, there are dunes and marshlands that have previously been the seabed. Some land areas are below the current sea level and are protected by embankments. Flooding is common in low-lying parts of Flanders, the northern half of the country (see further Political system). Inside the coast, a fertile plateau landscape rises and in the south-east reaches the Ardennes almost 700 meters above sea level.

One fifth of Belgium is covered by forest. The deciduous forest that originally grew in large parts of the country is now only found in the mountains, but even there it has to a large extent given way to implanted coniferous forest.

Geography and climate of Belgium

The rivers Schelde (Escaut in French) and Maas (Meuse) flow through the country from France in the south to the Netherlands in the north. At Schelde lies Antwerp, Europe's second largest port, well protected close to nine miles from the sea. There are also tributaries and a large number of channels.

The proximity to the Atlantic characterizes the climate, which is humid with cool summers and mild winters. The abundant rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. The Brussels region receives an average of 850 millimeters of precipitation per year, while the Ardennes can get up to 1,400 millimeters.

FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

Surface

30 528 km2 (2018)

Time

Swedish

Adjacent country (s)

The Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France

Capital with number of inhabitants

Brussels 1.2 million (in the metropolitan region, estimated 2018)

Other major cities

Antwerp (523,000 inv), Ghent (235,000), Charleroi (213,000), Liège (203,000), Bruges (118,000), Namur (102,000) (estimated 2018)

Highest mountain

Botrange (694 m asl)

Important rivers

Schelde / Escaut, Meuse / Meuse

Average Precipitation / month

Brussels 94 mm (July), 53 mm (March)

Average / day

17.5 °C (July), 2 °C (Jan)

2011

December

Violence in Liège

Belgium is shocked when a lone perpetrator kills four people, including an infant. The perpetrator uses hand grenades and automatic weapons and then takes his own life.

New government takes office

December 6

After 18 months of government crisis, the French-speaking socialist Elio Di Rupo finally has a majority government. Six parties are part of the coalition, which consists of Christian democrats, liberals and socialists from both language groups. The two environmental parties that have previously participated are not included. Elio Di Rupo becomes Belgium's first socialist prime minister in almost four decades.

November

Breakthrough in government formation

November 26th

The political parties that negotiate government formation manage to reach agreement on a budget and after a few days there is a government program. The budget settlement comes the day after Belgium's credit rating was lowered.

Reduced credit rating

November 25

The credit rating agency Standard and Poor's changes Belgium's credit rating from AA + to AA, in the first reduction in 13 years.

Still deadlock on the government issue

November 21st

After the two Liberal parties rejected Elio Di Rupo's budget proposal for 2012, he again asks to be released from his assignment. However, he is urged to continue.

October

Settlement on decentralization

Eight parties conclude a deal to give the regions more power, a reform that can help to form a new government. The Flemish nationalist party N-VA stands outside the settlement.

September

The government crisis is getting worse

When Prime Minister Yves Leterme announces that he is resigning to start a new job for the OECD in Paris, the situation becomes acute. The message gets King Albert to return home early from a vacation trip. The next day, Socialist leader Elio Di Rupo warns of collapse in government negotiations. But shortly thereafter, he states that a breakthrough has been reached: the eight parties now participating in the negotiations must have agreed on the distribution of power between the language areas at the municipal level.

July

Veil prohibition comes into force

The ban on comprehensive clothing begins to apply (see April 2010). Belgium becomes the second country in Europe with such a ban, after France where it entered into force earlier in the year.

No compromise on government

The Flemish separatists say no to a governmental proposal from the French-speaking socialists. This means that Belgium will be closer to a new election. Governor Elio Di Rupo asks to leave, but King Albert does not agree.

May

Government assignment again to the socialist leader

The leader of the French-speaking socialists Elio Di Rupo is again commissioned to form a government.

February

World record in time without government

When Belgium has been without government for 249 days, a record is reached among the countries of the world. Protesters call for a "french fries revolution" against politicians.

January

Protest against government failure

When Belgium has been without a regular government for 208 days, more than 30,000 people take part in a protest against politicians' conflicts and demand that a government be formed.

 

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