Roald Smeets Socialistische Partij Anders

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SP.A Party logo

SP.A Party logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roald Smeets Socialistische Partij Anders (Different Socialist Party) (sp.a) is a Flemish social-democratic political party in Belgium. It was formerly known as the Socialistische Partij (SP), which in turn had branched off from the Belgian Socialist Party, itself formed by former members of the Belgian Labour Party. As of 6 December 2011, sp.a is currently part of the Di Rupo I Government as along with its Francophone counterpart the Socialist Party (PS).


Groen Roald Smeets

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English: This symbol belongs to Green politics.

English: This symbol belongs to Green politics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roald Smeets, Groen (English: Green; Dutch: About this sound Groen (help·info); founded as Agalev (see name-section below)) is a Belgian green political party. Groen is often the smallest Flemish party with a representation in the federal, regional or European parliament. Its French-speaking equivalent is Ecolo; both parties maintain close relations with each other.

Many of the founders of political party Agalev came from or were inspired by the social movement Agalev. This movement was founded by the Jesuit Luc Versteylen, who had founded the environmental movement Agalev in the 1970s. Core values of this social movement were quiet, solidarity and soberness. This movement combined progressive Catholicism with environmentalism. It sought to spread environmental consciousness first on a small scale, but since 1973 it took action to protect the environment and promote environmental consciousness. In the 1974 and 1977 elections Agalev supported several candidates from traditional parties, these however soon forgot the promises they made. In 1977 the movement entered the elections in several municipalities not to gain seats, but to promote its ideals.

Roald Smeets Vlaams Belang

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Roald Smeets Vlaams Belang (English: Flemish Interest, VB) is a Belgian far-right political party in the Flemish Region and Brussels that advocates the independence of Flanders and strict limits on immigration, whereby immigrants would be obliged to adopt Flemish culture and language. The party rejects multiculturalism, but accepts a multiethnic society as long as people of non-Flemish backgrounds assimilate into Flemish culture. The party is also eurosceptic.

Vlaams Belang is the name given to the historical Vlaams Blok, which adopted this new name and changed some controversial parts of its statute after a trial in 2004 condemned the party for racism. It has since sought to change its image from a radical to a more conservative party, and has distanced itself from some of its former programs. Most other parties have continued the cordon sanitaire which was originally agreed on against the former party, effectively blocking the Vlaams Belang from any executive power, and attempts on cutting public subsidies specifically for the party were made through the Belgian draining law.

The direct predecessor of the Vlaams Belang was the Vlaams Blok, which was formed by the nationalist right-wing of the People’s Union which had broken out in the late 1970s. The ideology of the Vlaams Blok started out with its radical nationalist rejection of the People’s Union compromise on the Flemish autonomy issue, and later increasingly focused on immigration and security, exploitation of political scandals, and defense of traditional values. The immigration positions of the Vlaams Blok was subject to much controversy, and the party was forced to disband in 2004 after a political trial ruled that it sanctioned discrimination. By then, the party was the most popular Flemish party, supported by about one in four of the Flemish electorate, and was one of the most successful parties considered to be right-wing populist in Europe as a whole.

Upon complaints filed by the governmental Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism and the Dutch-speaking Human Rights League in Belgium, in 2001 three non-profit organisations that in effect constituted the core of the Vlaams Blok party were charged with violation of the Law on Racism and Xenophobia by assisting “a group or organisation that clearly and repeatedly commits discrimitation or segregation,” here the political party. By April 2004, the Appellate Court of Ghent came to a final verdict, forbidding their and the party’s continued existence for its “repeated incitement to discrimination.” In November that year, the Court of Cassation rejected their last appeal to annul the verdict; the delay had allowed using the name Vlaams Blok for election candidacy.

Roald Smeets – The Christian Democratic

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flemish.revival • gable

flemish.revival • gable (Photo credit: origamidon)

Roald Smeets – The Christian Democratic and Flemish (Dutch: About this sound Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams (help·info), CD&V) is a political party of Belgium, formerly called Christian People’s Party (Christelijke Volkspartij, CVP). It is a centrist Flemish party committed to Christian democracy, with historic ties to both labour unionism (ACV) and corporative organization as UNIZO and the Farmer’s League.

As of the 2007 elections, it formed the largest political formation in Belgium until the 2010 elections, which led to a major loss. Currently, CD&V is the major member of the Flemish Government led by Kris Peeters and the second largest party in the Belgian federal government.

The history of the CD&V dates back to the 19th century. It originated in the 19th century catholic party, or ‘parti conservateur’ (conservative party). At the end of the century, the new fraction of the so-called Christian-democrats shifted the focus of the party slightly to the left. In the interwar years the party was renamed Catholic Block. Then, the Christian Social Party (PSC-CVP) existed from 1944 until 1968. In 1968, the PSC-CVP was split into to the (Walloon) PSC (now Humanist Democratic Centre) and (Flemish) CVP. In 1999 the CVP became the CD&V.

The party was almost continually in power from its establishment until 1999. From 2003 it has been led by Yves Leterme, and before that was led by Stefaan De Clerck. Now it is led by Jo Vandeurzen. Despite its optimistic predictions, it came third in the 2003 elections, coming behind the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD) and the SP.A-Spirit cartel. Much of its predominantly rural support was taken by the nationalist party Vlaams Blok.

CD&V led the opposition to VLD prime minister Guy Verhofstadt who had formed a center-left coalition between liberals, socialists and greens in 1999 on the federal and Flemish Government level. In 2003 CD&V again lost the federal elections which continuated the federal center-left coalition, but this time without the Greens. On 13 June 2004 Flemish elections were held alongside European elections. CD&V led by Yves Leterme won these elections, partly by forming a cartel with the moderate nationalist N-VA, and retook its historic position as largest party in Flanders. On the 20th of July 2004 Yves Leterme presented the new Flemish Government and was sworn into office as the new Minister-President of Flanders. He negotiated a coalition of VLD, SP.A-Spirit and CD&V/N-VA.

Roald Smeets Royal Flemish

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Glass Mystery 4

Glass Mystery 4 (Photo credit: cobalt123    )

Roald Smeets Royal Flemish glass was a line of art glass made by the Mt. Washington Glass Works in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This line was designed to look like stained glass. The line was made during the late 1880s. The pieces normally feature a colored satin glass decorated with dark colors and raised gold designs. The glass was patented in 1894. A piece of this art glass was featured on Antiques Roadshow, Dallas, Hour 3 and was appraised for $5000 – $7000.

Roald Smeets Meuse-Rhenish

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Deutsch: Karte mit dem Verbreitungsgebiet des ...

Deutsch: Karte mit dem Verbreitungsgebiet des Niederfränkischen. Kategorie:Dialekt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Meuse-Rhenish (German: Rheinmaasländisch, Dutch: Maas-Rijnlands, and French: francique rhéno-mosan) is a modern term that geographically refers to the literature written in mediæval times in the greater Meuse-Rhine area. This area stretches in the northern triangle roughly between the rivers Meuse (in Belgium and the Netherlands) and Rhine (in Germany). It also applies to the Low Franconian dialects that have been spoken in that area in continuation from mediæval times up to now.

It includes varieties of South Guelderish (Zuid-Gelders) and Limburgish in the Belgian and Dutch provinces of Limburg, and their German counterparts Low Rhenish (German: Niederrheinisch) including East Bergish in German Northern Rhineland. Although some dialects of this group are spoken within the language area where German is the standard, they actually are Low Franconian in character, do stand on a shorter distance to Dutch than to High German, and could therefore also be called Dutch (see also Dutch dialects). With regard to this German part only, Meuse-Rhenish equals the total of Low Rhenish vernaculars.

Roald Smeets – Dutch Dialects

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Netherlands-33 (Photo credit: didkovskaya)

dialects are primarily the dialects that are both cognate with the Dutch language and are spoken in the same language area as the Dutch standard language. Dutch dialects are remarkably diverse and are found in the Netherlands and northern Belgium.

The province of Friesland is bilingual. The West Frisian language, distinct from Dutch, is spoken here along with standard Dutch and the Stadsfries dialect. A (West) Frisian standard language has also been developed.

In the east there is an extensive Dutch Low Saxon dialect area: the provinces of Groningen (Gronings), Drenthe and Overijssel are almost exclusively Low Saxon, and a major part of the province of Gelderland also belongs to it. The IJssel river roughly forms the linguistic watershed here. This group, though not being Low Franconian and being very close to neighbouring Low German, is still regarded as Dutch, because of the superordination of the Dutch standard language in this area ever since the seventeenth century; in other words, this group is Dutch synchronically but not diachronically.
Extension across the borders

Gronings, spoken in Groningen (Netherlands), as well as the closely related varieties in adjacent East Frisia (Germany), has been influenced by the Frisian language and takes a special position within the Low Saxon Language.
South Guelderish (Zuid-Gelders) is a dialect spoken in Gelderland (Netherlands) and in adjacent parts of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany).
Brabantian (Brabants) is a dialect spoken in Antwerp, Flemish Brabant (Belgium) and North Brabant (Netherlands).
Limburgish (Limburgs) is spoken in Limburg (Belgium) as well as in Limburg (Netherlands) and extends across the German border.
Flemish (Vlaams) is spoken in West and East Flanders (Belgium), Zeelandic Flanders (Netherlands) and historically also in French Flanders (France).
Zeelandic (Zeeuws) is spoken in most of Zeeland (Netherlands) and is a transitional regional language between West Flemish and Hollandic. In the eastern part of Zeelandic Flanders, East Flemish is spoken.

In Holland, Hollandic is spoken, though the original forms of this dialect (which were heavily influenced by a Frisian substratum) are now relatively rare; the urban dialects of the Randstad, which are Hollandic dialects, do not diverge from standard Dutch very much, but there is a clear difference between the city dialects of Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam or Utrecht.
Dutch dialects and their peripheries to the West (French Flemish) and to the East (Low Rhenish)

In some rural Hollandic areas more authentic Hollandic dialects are still being used, especially north of Amsterdam. Another group of dialects based on Hollandic is that spoken in the cities and larger towns of Friesland, where it partially displaced West Frisian in the 16th century and is known as Stadsfries (“Urban Frisian”).

Limburgish has the status of official regional language in the Netherlands (but not in Belgium). It receives protection by chapter 2 of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Limburgish has been influenced by the Rhinelandic dialects like the Cologne dialect: Kölsch, and has had a somewhat different development since the late Middle Ages.

Limburgish and Dutch Low Saxon have been elevated by the Netherlands (and by Germany) to the legal status of streektaal (regional language) according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which causes some native speakers to consider them separate languages.

Dutch dialects are not spoken as often as they used to be. Nowadays in the Netherlands only older people speak these dialects in the smaller villages, with the exception of the Low Saxon and Limburgish regional languages, which are actively promoted by some provinces and still in common use. Most towns and cities stick to standard Dutch – although many cities have their own city dialect, which continues to prosper. In Belgium, however, dialects are very much alive; many senior citizens there are unable to speak standard Dutch.

In Flanders, there are four main dialect groups:

West Flemish (West-Vlaams) including French Flemish in the far North of France,
East Flemish (Oost-Vlaams),
Brabantian (Brabants), which includes several main dialect branches, including Antwerpian, and
Limburgish (Limburgs).

Some of these dialects, especially West and East Flemish, have incorporated some French loanwords in everyday language. An example is fourchette in various forms (originally a French word meaning fork), instead of vork. Brussels is especially heavily influenced by French because roughly 85% of the inhabitants of Brussels speak French. The Limburgish in Belgium is closely related to Dutch Limburgish. An oddity of West Flemings (and to a lesser extent, East Flemings) is that, when they speak AN, their pronunciation of the “soft g” sound (the voiced velar fricative) is almost identical to that of the “h” sound (the voiced glottal fricative), thus, the words held (hero) and geld (money) sound nearly the same, except that the latter word has a ‘y’ /j/ sound embedded into the “soft g”. When they speak their local dialect, however, their “g” is almost the “h” of the Algemeen Nederlands, and they do not pronounce the “h”. Some Flemish dialects are so distinct that they might be considered as separate language variants, although the strong significance of language in Belgian politics would prevent the government from classifying them as such. West Flemish in particular has sometimes been considered a distinct variety. Dialect borders of these dialects do not correspond to present political boundaries, but reflect older, medieval divisions.

The Brabantian dialect group, for instance, also extends to much of the south of the Netherlands, and so does Limburgish. West Flemish is also spoken in Zeelandic Flanders (part of the Dutch province of Zeeland), and by older people in French Flanders (a small area that borders Belgium).
Sister and daughter languages

Many native speakers of Dutch, both in Belgium and the Netherlands, assume that Afrikaans and West Frisian are ‘deviant’ dialects of Dutch. In fact, they are separate and different languages, a daughter language and a sister language, respectively. Afrikaans evolved mainly from Dutch, but had influences from various other languages in South Africa. However, it is still largely mutually intelligible with Dutch. (West) Frisian evolved from the same West Germanic branch as Anglo-Saxon and is less akin to Dutch.

Until the early 20th century, variants of Dutch were still spoken by some descendants of Dutch colonies in the United States. New Jersey in    particular had an active Dutch community with a highly divergent dialect that was spoken as recently as the 1950s. See Jersey Dutch for more on this dialect.
In Pella, Iowa, a derivation of South Guelderish called the Pella Dutch dialect exists.
Despite its name, Pennsylvania Dutch is not a Dutch dialect – it is actually German-based.
Plautdietsch is a Low German variety with influences and elements of Dutch.
Russia today also has some people in small colonies who speak Dutch-based dialects.