War of the pandas in Belgium
BRUSSELS (AFP) - Rival Dutch- and French-speaking communities in Belgium are at each others' throats again - this time over the loan of two giant pandas by China to the linguistically divided nation.
"The pandas of discord," screamed the daily Le Soir on Wednesday. "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.
And Belgium's oldest and most well-known zoo, 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.