"Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2006, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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"Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

Gosh, what a lame joke I can't believe Walloon TV acutally did this



Independence hoax leads to investigation of public broadcaster

The Associated Press
Published: 2006-12-14 04:20:12

BRUSSELS, Belgium: Political leaders reacted with outrage Thursday to a hoax newscast by state television in Belgium's French-speaking region announcing that the Dutch-speaking part of the country had declared independence.
Frantic viewers flooded the call center of the RTBF broadcaster during Wednesday evening's program and embassies called Belgian authorities to find out what was going on.

"Embassies and ambassadors who were worried asked what they had to tell their capitals," said Senate Chair Anne-Marie Lizin. "This fiction was seen as a reality and it created a catastrophic image of the country."

The broadcaster RTBF said the program showed the importance of debate on the future of Belgium. There has been 20 years of relative linguistic calm in Belgium since far-reaching autonomy was granted in the 1980s to the Flemish Dutch-speakers and the francophones from Wallonia and Brussels.

"A bad joke that shows bad taste," said Didier Seeuws, spokesman for Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, after the prime-time broadcast.

He said it was "task of public broadcasters to inform the public correctly, not to create confusion."

The RTBF's phony newscast reported that the "Flemish parliament has unilaterally declared the independence of Flanders" and that King Albert and Queen Paola had fled the country on an air force plane.
It showed fuzzy pictures of people walking to a plane in the dark of night on a military airfield near Brussels and a small crowd of pro-monarchy demonstrators outside the royal palace waving the Belgian flag.

Yves Thiran, the station's information and ethics director, defended the newscast saying it showed the "importance of a topical political debate, the debate about the future of Belgium."

The francophone regional government, Belgium's French-speaking southern half, demanded an investigation into the extraordinary half-hour newscast, which interrupted regular programming at 2022 (1922GMT). Fadila Lanaan, the francophone media minister, said she will call RTBF officials on the carpet about what she called the "scandalous" newscast.

"I also question the ethics of journalists who worked on this program," she said.

Elio di Rupo, leader of the French-speaking socialist party, said the coup d'etat report questioned the future of the Belgian monarchy, which is seen as the glue that holds a country of 6 million Dutch-speakers and 4.5 million francophones together as a state.

Independence for Flanders is not a burning political issue. It is embraced only by the far-right Flemish Interest party which opposes multiculturalism and considers Wallonia a freeloader.

"Flanders has a gross domestic product nearly 25 percent higher than Wallonia. Flanders wants to combat welfare abuses, but Walloon politicians refuse to do so," says Frank Vanhecke, the leader of the Flemish Interest Party, on the pro-secessionist Flemish Republic web site.

"For many decades the free-market oriented Flemings have been subsidizing Socialist-dominated Wallonia. The Belgian Constitution gives the Francophones 50 percent of political power and a veto over major issues, which makes the French-speakers act as if they are the majority. The Flemings have had enough," says Vanhecke, whose party polls about 25 percent of the vote in Flanders.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2006, 11:10 AM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

what a great evening yesterday, it was fun

although I was very afraid

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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

if only it were true lol

can't believe so many people bought this

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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2006, 11:42 AM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

Just read about this on the BBC website. What a hoot!

Still, its apparently what a lot of Flemings want, isn't it? Or were they voting just for the anti immigration part of VB's ticket?

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

lol I can't believe so many people took it so hard! Can't we have a good laugh from time to time? I sure did! I can understand why some people might have freaked out a little though... Maybe the 1st of April would have been a better day to broadcast this And I also think they should have informed everyone who co-operated to the newscast about the precise context in which their interviews/comments/other contributions would be used. Apart from that, I really thought there wasn't much harm in this. There are more important things in the world than a fake newscast IMO!
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of pu

Fantastic joke and I missed it What a shame I adore those things, still remember the joke of BG TV when they pretended the Kozlodouy nuclear power plant had exploded

to RTBF
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

It reminds me of Orson Welles infamous radio broadcast where he said that Martians had come to invade Earth. This was the day before TV was around and many people believed in these things and were freaked out!
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

This should happen more

Bram, I thought the reactions of the politicians were lame (of the VB as well as of the traditional parties). Gawd, lighten up already.

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2006, 06:53 PM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

I didn't like the "joke". I didn't buy because I knew it was false but I didn't like it. We don't play like this with people's emotions

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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2006, 08:49 PM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

Belgians why am i not surprised
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 2006, 08:26 AM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

Quote:
Originally Posted by fifiricci View Post
Still, its apparently what a lot of Flemings want, isn't it?
No, it isn't. Get your facts straight. There have been surveys about this, and there is always a strong majority in favour of keeping the Belgian state (figures of more than 80%). So here goes yet another attempt of you to describe Flemings as a racist and fascist lot.

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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 2006, 08:29 AM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

BTW, I think it was an unethical thing to do. Journalists should inform, not create "reality TV".
And it creates a completely false image of the Flemings, and their political agenda (which is often an sensible one).
For the record, I am very much against a further federalization of Belgium but I think that some francophones in Belgium still have not understood that Flemings are not second-class citizens.

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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hagar View Post
No, it isn't. Get your facts straight. There have been surveys about this, and there is always a strong majority in favour of keeping the Belgian state (figures of more than 80%). So here goes yet another attempt of you to describe Flemings as a racist and fascist lot.
how is wanting an independent flanders racist and fascist?

Men när natten är ljus - I ditt sjuttiotalshus
Och du är ånga, spår av ett moln
I en dröm om att fly till någonting nytt

Och du håller så hårt och när längtan blir svår
Så är jag din, din, din att ta med
Att ta ut, att ta in i någonting nytt

Last edited by Maajken; Dec 15th, 2006 at 09:39 AM.
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 2006, 09:59 AM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maajken View Post
how is wanting an independent flanders racist and fascist?
Am I saying this? I don't think so.
All I am saying is that Fi likes to describe Flemings as racist and fascist. But not because some of them want independence. I don't know why she's saying it but it must be a very subjective reason.

My opinion about this claim for independence is that it is ridiculous but I wouldn't call it racist and/or fascist. I just think it is not necessary. I'm sure that if Belgium would be organized more efficiently, a lot of the Flemish demands could be complied with.

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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 2006, 12:23 PM
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Re: "Flanders declares independence" - Independence hoax leads to investigation of public

Wow Spanish TV discovered this last evening and some among public people have taken it really seriously... I don't want to think what would happen if done here possibly our #6723896 civil war
Not the best way to create a debate if that was the real intention... I guess sense of humour is very different from country to country

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