Racing: Revelry the main contender as Flanders field renews rivalry: Richard Edmondson at Waregem tastes the carnival spirit before the Belgian Grand National

IT STARTED on cobbled streets and today the Grand Steeple Chase of Flanders (Belgian Grand National) will ensure spectators return to work with cobbled minds.

King of a divided country: Belgium must find another path to the unity Baudouin offered, says Jonathan Eyal

WITH KING BAUDOUIN, the Belgians at the weekend buried an entire generation of leaders, people who instinctively believed that reason, moderation and vision must triumph. Albert II, his successor due to be sworn today, inherits a transformed state, a country that epitomises everything both good and bad on the European continent.

Belgians yearn for one nation: Politicians accused of following 'uncertain path' of separatism

THOUSANDS of Belgians marched on Brussels yesterday in one of the largest demonstrations ever seen in the city. It was a protest against the division of their country and in celebration of a nation that some fear is in danger of disappearing.

Out of Belgium: Small-screen airing of national drama

BRUSSELS - Viewers in the suburb of Wemmel-Drogenbos were told that, from today, they would not be able to watch their favourite French-language television programmes. The Flemish government, which has a constitutional duty to safeguard Flemish culture, was going to block the signal to prevent 'cultural contamination' of the airways.

Belgian coalition survives budget rift

THE constitutional crisis over elements of the Maastricht treaty that almost sank the Belgian government was resolved yesterday when the warring coalition agreed a budget. Debate over how to cut the budget deficit in line with the criteria for economic and monetary union had created a political stalemate. Gambling his reputation as the consummate deal-maker, the Prime Minister, Jean-Luc Dehaene, last week tendered his government's resignation to King Baudouin.

Baudouin strives to avert chaos: Regional splits and budget row bring Belgium to breaking point

KING BAUDOUIN spent yesterday trying to avert the chaos that has been building for four months and threatens to destroy Belgium's economic security and international reputation as a model European state.

Further apart

BRUSSELS (Reuter) - Belgium's parliament yesterday approved by just two votes a sweeping state reform which will lead the country into a new federal era, further separating Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia. The coalition government mustered 144 votes - only two more than the two-thirds majority of 142 required - to amend the first article of the Belgian constitution. The new deal grants more autonomy to Flanders in the north and Wallonia in the south.

Belgium moves to federal state

BRUSSELS - Belgium yesterday took the first step towards constitutional change in an effort to stop the country tearing itself apart, but hardline Flemish nationalists hope the reform will be but a stage on the road to independence, writes Sarah Lambert.

Europe 1993: City with a mission to save: Antwerp - commerce and culture

NEXT YEAR, Antwerp becomes the latest European city of culture, following Glasgow, Dublin and Madrid. But the celebrations come at a time when many think the city should be asking difficult questions of itself.
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?