British people have been known to play a rather childishly condescending game called “name five famous Belgians”. Part of the problem is some people thought to be French turn out to be Belgians in fact (such as TinTin creator Hergé). Audrey Hepburn was actually born in Belgium and the very helpful site famousbelgians.net gives plenty of other examples.
Being slightly obscure isn’t a bad thing in a financial crisis, but the reality is that Belgium has a debt to GDP ratio of 100%. Not Greece but not very comfortable either. According to a short but very informative video from Stratfor, Belgium’s share of the cost of bailing out the failing-again Franco-Belgian bank Dexia could easily lead to this rising to 110%. And Dexia is normally a source of funding to the Belgian government. You may not have heard of Dexia, but its problems are another worrying sign of the rottenness of the European banking system. Let’s hope all these rumours about recapitalising the European banks (reportedly by the French) are true – and quickly.