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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Yay or Nay for the Scots

Today, the Scots will have the chance to vote for independence - or remain with England. It will be very thrilling, as the number of 'no' voters is only slightly higher than the 'yes' voters. Moreover, a good lot of people are still undecided.

Last year when visiting Scotland, most people I met were for independence. Scots have fought long and hard to be a free country (think of Braveheart) and they still haven't forgotten they were forbidden to wear kilts and play the pipes.

We will only know the result by tomorrow morning.

Not only in Scotland and England the question is the topic of the day, but also in other parts of Europe this vote is eagerly awaited.

If the Scots get their independence, the Catalonians will also want it. And the Bretons, the Basques, the East-Tiroleans (who want to part with Italy and return to Austria), the Flemish...

If you are living outside Europe, you probably won't undertstand this need to be independent. But you have to understand that once Europe was a collection of feudal states: counties, principalities, dukedoms... Each of these had an identity of their own.

A country like Belgium did not exist then. We had Flanders (which covered what are now the provinces of East and West Flanders, Antwerp, part of Holland and the north of France), the dukedom of Brabant (with Brussels), the principality of Lieges, ...

At a given time, governments felt it necessary to form new countries. A couple of examples: Chechoslovakia, Jugoslavia. Now you have Chechia and Slovenia, and the former Jugoslavia is now turned into numerous states.

It's also a reason why a United Europe will never be. The Europeans don't want to be united! They want to cherish their individuality and their characteristics.

Well, I'm really eager to find out how today's vote will go! What do you think?

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