Political controversy over the memory of the inter-War period and Europe’s fascist era has erupted in Belgium in the wake of King Albert II’s Christmas Speech. Albert referred to the dangers of populist responses to economic and political crises in the 1930s and made an implicit comparison with the crisis in Europe and national divisions in Belgium today.
This resulted in a rebuttal from Bart de Weever, head of the separatist N-VA (New Flemish Alliance) who said that the king had overstepped his constitutional boundaries and no longer had any legitimacy as an impartial arbiter in Belgian politics.
This speech and the response it garnered has once again put memory of the conflicts of the twentieth century into the forefront of Belgian politics.
A link to the BBC article covering this story can be found here.