. . . because of the elections! Like in many EU countries tomorrow, June 7th, is Election Day. In Belgium voting is a right and a duty. Which means that if you don’t show up between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. (hours depending on the village or town you live in) to vote, you get fined afterwards. The minimum fine is 250 euro, which definitely is a waste of good money!
You can mandate someone to vote in your place, when you’re abroad, bed ridden or too old to go the voting bureau, etc. But it requires a lot of red tape, signatures of all parties involved and approved by the mayor of your village. Moreover, you have to present sufficient proof of your ‘inability’ to vote yourself.
So when we learned in the beginning of the year that the date for the European and Regional* elections was set for June 7th, we immediately decided to postpone our annual trip to the Loire Valley for a week. So instead of leaving tomorrow, we will be packing our bags next Saturday!
As it turns out, this is not too bad. Looking at the weather forecast for central France, a lot of rain and low temperatures are predicted. Sunday 14th, however, (and let’s hope the following days as well) is said to be sunny and warm. Keep your fingers crossed!
(*) Belgium being a federal country, we have 5 governments! A federal one, for which the election will be in two years time and 4 regional ones: Flanders, Walloon, Brussels and the ‘Oostkantons’ (German speaking community). Each Region or Community has his own government. This makes for a hallucinating number of Ministers for a small country with just over 10 million inhabitants!