War of the pandas in Belgium 比利時的貓熊大戰

Wed, Nov 20, 2013 - Page 10

Rival Dutch- and French-speaking communities in Belgium are at each other’s throats again — this time over the loan of two giant pandas by China to the linguistically divided nation.

“Pandas, a question of national interest,” said La Libre Belgique as the country worried over the long-negotiated and now contentious deal.

The problem is that the rare bears, a reliable draw for visitors, are to be housed in a zoo in French-speaking southern Wallonia, not far from the city of Mons, whose last mayor is none other than Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.

Belgium’s oldest and most well-known zoo, the Antwerp Zoo, set up in 1843, located in the heart of the port city of Antwerp in northern Flanders, is indignant to have lost out to the Pairi Daiza animal park set up a couple of decades ago.