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belgium

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belgium


  3  definitions  found 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  Belgium 
  n  :  a  monarchy  in  northwestern  Europe;  headquarters  for  the 
  European  Common  Market  and  for  the  North  Atlantic  Treaty 
  Organization  [syn:  {Belgium},  {Belgique}] 
 
  From  U.S.  Gazetteer  (1990)  [gazetteer]: 
 
  Belgium,  IL  (village,  FIPS  4689) 
  Location:  40.06150  N,  87.63068  W 
  Population  (1990):  511  (206  housing  units) 
  Area:  1.1  sq  km  (land),  0.0  sq  km  (water) 
  Belgium,  WI  (village,  FIPS  6150) 
  Location:  43.50058  N,  87.85029  W 
  Population  (1990):  928  (349  housing  units) 
  Area:  2.6  sq  km  (land),  0.0  sq  km  (water) 
  Zip  code(s):  53004 
 
  From  The  CIA  World  Factbook  (1995)  [world95]: 
 
  Belgium 
 
  Belgium:Geography 
 
  Location:  Western  Europe,  bordering  the  North  Sea,  between  France  and 
  the  Netherlands 
 
  Map  references:  Europe 
 
  Area: 
  total  area:  30,510  sq  km 
  land  area:  30,230  sq  km 
  comparative  area:  slightly  larger  than  Maryland 
 
  Land  boundaries:  total  1,385  km  France  620  km  Germany  167  km 
  Luxembourg  148  km  Netherlands  450  km 
 
  Coastline:  64  km 
 
  Maritime  claims: 
  continental  shelf:  median  line  with  neighbors 
  exclusive  fishing  zone:  median  line  with  neighbors  (extends  about  68 
  km  from  coast) 
  territorial  sea:  12  nm 
 
  International  disputes:  none 
 
  Climate:  temperate;  mild  winters,  cool  summers;  rainy,  humid,  cloudy 
 
  Terrain:  flat  coastal  plains  in  northwest,  central  rolling  hills, 
  rugged  mountains  of  Ardennes  Forest  in  southeast 
 
  Natural  resources:  coal,  natural  gas 
 
  Land  use: 
  arable  land:  24% 
  permanent  crops:  1% 
  meadows  and  pastures:  20% 
  forest  and  woodland:  21% 
  other:  34% 
 
  Irrigated  land:  10  sq  km  (1989  est.) 
 
  Environment: 
  current  issues:  Meuse  River,  a  major  source  of  drinking  water, 
  polluted  from  steel  production  wastes;  other  rivers  polluted  by  animal 
  wastes  and  fertilizers;  industrial  air  pollution  contributes  to  acid 
  rain  in  neighboring  countries 
  natural  hazards:  flooding  is  a  threat  in  areas  of  reclaimed  coastal 
  land,  protected  from  the  sea  by  concrete  dikes 
  international  agreements:  party  to  -  Air  Pollution,  Air 
  Pollution-Sulphur  85,  Antarctic  Treaty,  Endangered  Species, 
  Environmental  Modification,  Hazardous  Wastes,  Marine  Dumping,  Marine 
  Life  Conservation,  Nuclear  Test  Ban,  Ozone  Layer  Protection,  Ship 
  Pollution,  Tropical  Timber  83,  Wetlands;  signed,  but  not  ratified  - 
  Air  Pollution-Nitrogen  Oxides,  Air  Pollution-Sulphur  94,  Air 
  Pollution-Volatile  Organic  Compounds,  Antarctic-Environmental 
  Protocol,  Biodiversity,  Climate  Change,  Law  of  the  Sea 
 
  Note:  crossroads  of  Western  Europe;  majority  of  West  European  capitals 
  within  1,000  km  of  Brussels  which  is  the  seat  of  the  EU 
 
  Belgium:People 
 
  Population:  10,081,880  (July  1995  est.) 
 
  Age  structure: 
  0-14  years:  18%  (female  875,079;  male  919,939) 
  15-64  years:  66%  (female  3,303,219;  male  3,363,250) 
  65  years  and  over:  16%  (female  969,966;  male  650,427)  (July  1995  est.) 
 
  Population  growth  rate:  0.17%  (1995  est.) 
 
  Birth  rate:  11.46  births/1,000  population  (1995  est.) 
 
  Death  rate:  10.22  deaths/1,000  population  (1995  est.) 
 
  Net  migration  rate:  0.5  migrant(s)/1,000  population  (1995  est.) 
 
  Infant  mortality  rate:  7  deaths/1,000  live  births  (1995  est.) 
 
  Life  expectancy  at  birth: 
  total  population:  77.21  years 
  male:  73.94  years 
  female:  80.67  years  (1995  est.) 
 
  Total  fertility  rate:  1.62  children  born/woman  (1995  est.) 
 
  Nationality: 
  noun:  Belgian(s) 
  adjective:  Belgian 
 
  Ethnic  divisions:  Fleming  55%,  Walloon  33%,  mixed  or  other  12% 
 
  Religions:  Roman  Catholic  75%,  Protestant  or  other  25% 
 
  Languages:  Dutch  56%,  French  32%,  German  1%,  legally  bilingual  11% 
  divided  along  ethnic  lines 
 
  Literacy:  age  15  and  over  can  read  and  write  (1980  est.) 
  total  population:  99% 
 
  Labor  force:  4.126  million 
  by  occupation:  services  63.6%,  industry  28%,  construction  6.1%, 
  agriculture  2.3%  (1988) 
 
  Belgium:Government 
 
  Names: 
  conventional  long  form:  Kingdom  of  Belgium 
  conventional  short  form:  Belgium 
  local  long  form:  Royaume  de  Belgique 
  local  short  form:  Belgique 
 
  Digraph:  BE 
 
  Type:  constitutional  monarchy 
 
  Capital:  Brussels 
 
  Administrative  divisions:  9  provinces  (French:  provinces,  singular  - 
  province;  Flemish:  provincien  singular  -  provincie);  Antwerpen, 
  Brabant  Hainaut  Liege,  Limburg  Luxembourg,  Namur  Oost-Vlaanderen, 
  West-Vlaanderen 
 
  Independence:  4  October  1830  (from  the  Netherlands) 
 
  National  holiday:  National  Day  21  July  (ascension  of  King  Leopold  to 
  the  throne  in  1831) 
 
  Constitution:  7  February  1831,  last  revised  14  July  1993;  parliament 
  approved  a  constitutional  package  creating  a  federal  state 
 
  Legal  system:  civil  law  system  influenced  by  English  constitutional 
  theory;  judicial  review  of  legislative  acts  accepts  compulsory  ICJ 
  jurisdiction,  with  reservations 
 
  Suffrage:  18  years  of  age,  universal  and  compulsory 
 
  Executive  branch: 
  chief  of  state:  King  ALBERT  II  (since  9  August  1993) 
  head  of  government:  Prime  Minister  Jean-Luc  DEHAENE  (since  6  March 
  1992) 
  cabinet:  Cabinet;  the  king  appoints  the  ministers  who  are  approved  by 
  the  legislature 
 
  Legislative  branch:  bicameral  Parliament 
  Senate:  (Flemish  -  Senaat  French  -  Senat);  elections  last  held  24 
  November  1991  (next  to  be  held  by  the  end  of  1995);  results  -  percent 
  of  vote  by  party  NA  seats  -  (184  total;  of  which  106  are  directly 
  elected;  in  the  1995  elections,  seats  will  decrease  to  71)  CVP  20,  SP 
  14,  VLD  13,  VU  5,  AGALEV  5,  VB  5,  ROSSEN  1,  PS  18,  PRL  9,  PSC  9,  ECOLO 
  6,  FDF  1 
  Chamber  of  Deputies:  (Flemish  -  Kamer  van  Volksvertegenwoordigers, 
  French  -  Chambre  des  Representants);  elections  last  held  24  November 
  1991  (next  to  be  held  by  21  May  1995);  results  -  CVP  16.7%,  PS  13.6%, 
  SP  12.0%,  VLD  11.9%,  PRL  8.2%,  PSC  7.8%,  VB  6.6%,  VU  5.9%,  ECOLO  5.1%, 
  AGALEV  4.9%,  FDF  2.6%,  ROSSEM  3.2%,  FN  1.5%;  seats  -  (212  total;  in 
  1995  elections,  seats  will  decrease  to  150)  CVP  39,  PS  35,  SP  28,  VLD 
  26,  PRL  20,  PSC  18,  VB  12,  VU  10,  ECOLO  10,  AGALEV  7,  FDF  3,  ROSSEM  3, 
  FN  1 
 
  Judicial  branch:  Supreme  Court  of  Justice  (Flemish  -  Hof  van  Cassatie 
  French  -  Cour  de  Cassation) 
 
  Political  parties  and  leaders:  Flemish  Christian  Democrats  (CVP  - 
  Christian  People's  Party),  Johan  van  HECKE,  president;  Francophone 
  Christian  Democrats  (PSC  -  Social  Christian  Party),  Gerard  DEPREZ 
  president;  Flemish  Socialist  Party  (SP),  Louis  TOBBACK  president; 
  Francophone  Socialist  Party  (PS),  Philippe  BUSQUIN  president;  Flemish 
  Liberal  Democrats  (VLD),  Guy  VERHOFSTADT  president;  Francophone 
  Liberal  Reform  Party  (PRL),  Jean  GOL,  president;  Francophone 
  Democratic  Front  (FDF),  Georges  CLERFAYT  president;  Volksunie  (VU), 
  Bert  ANCIAUX  president;  Vlaams  Blok  (VB),  Karel  DILLEN,  chairman; 
  ROSSEM  Jean  Pierre  VAN  ROSSEM  National  Front  (FN),  Daniel  FERET, 
  president;  AGALEV  (Flemish  Greens),  no  president;  ECOLO  (Francophone 
  Ecologists),  no  president;  other  minor  parties 
 
  Other  political  or  pressure  groups:  Christian  and  Socialist  Trade 
  Unions;  Federation  of  Belgian  Industries;  numerous  other  associations 
  representing  bankers,  manufacturers,  middle-class  artisans,  and  the 
  legal  and  medical  professions;  various  organizations  represent  the 
  cultural  interests  of  Flanders  and  Wallonia  various  peace  groups  such 
  as  the  Flemish  Action  Committee  Against  Nuclear  Weapons  and  Pax 
  Christi 
 
  Member  of:  ACCT,  AfDB  AG  (observer),  AsDB  Australia  Group  Benelux, 
  BIS,  CCC,  CE  CERN,  EBRD,  EC  ECE,  EIB,  ESA,  FAO,  G-  9,  G-10,  GATT, 
  IADB,  IAEA,  IBRD,  ICAO,  ICC,  ICFTU  ICRM,  IDA,  IEA,  IFAD,  IFC,  IFRCS 
  ILO,  IMF,  IMO,  INMARSAT  INTELSAT,  INTERPOL,  IOC,  IOM,  ISO,  ITU, 
  MINURSO  MTCR,  NACC,  NATO,  NEA,  NSG,  OAS  (observer),  OECD  OSCE,  PCA, 
  UN  UNCTAD  UNESCO,  UNHCR  UNIDO  UNITAR,  UNMOGIP  UNPROFOR  UNRWA 
  UNTSO  UPU,  WCL,  WEU,  WHO  WIPO,  WMO,  WTO,  ZC 
 
  Diplomatic  representation  in  US: 
  chief  of  mission:  Ambassador  Andre  ADAM  (appointed  3  October  1994) 
  chancery:  3330  Garfield  Street  NW  Washington,  DC  20008 
  telephone:  [1]  (202)  333-6900 
  FAX:  [1]  (202)  333-3079 
  consulate(s)  general:  Atlanta,  Chicago,  Los  Angeles,  and  New  York 
 
  US  diplomatic  representation: 
  chief  of  mission:  Ambassador  Alan  J.  BLINKEN 
  embassy:  27  Boulevard  du  Regent,  B-1000  Brussels 
  mailing  address:  APO  AE  09724;  PSC  82,  Box  002,  Brussels 
  telephone:  [32]  (2)  513  38  30 
  FAX:  [32]  (2)  511  27  25 
 
  Flag:  three  equal  vertical  bands  of  black  (hoist  side),  yellow,  and 
  red;  the  design  was  based  on  the  flag  of  France 
 
  Economy 
 
  Overview:  This  small  private  enterprise  economy  has  capitalized  on  its 
  central  geographic  location,  highly  developed  transport  network,  and 
  diversified  industrial  and  commercial  base.  Industry  is  concentrated 
  mainly  in  the  populous  Flemish  area  in  the  north,  although  the 
  government  is  encouraging  reinvestment  in  the  southern  region  of 
  Walloon.  With  few  natural  resources  Belgium  must  import  substantial 
  quantities  of  raw  materials  and  export  a  large  volume  of  manufactures, 
  making  its  economy  unusually  dependent  on  the  state  of  world  markets. 
  Three-fourths  of  its  trade  is  with  other  EU  countries.  The  economy 
  grew  at  a  strong  4%  pace  during  the  period  1988-90,  slowed  to  1%  in 
  1991-92,  dropped  by  1.5%  in  1993,  and  recovered  with  2.3%  growth  in 
  1994.  Belgium's  public  debt  has  risen  to  140%  of  GDP,  and  the 
  government  is  trying  to  control  its  expenditures  to  bring  the  figure 
  more  into  line  with  other  industrialized  countries. 
 
  National  product:  GDP  -  purchasing  power  parity  -  $181.5  billion  (1994 
  est.) 
 
  National  product  real  growth  rate:  2.3%  (1994  est.) 
 
  National  product  per  capita:  $18,040  (1994  est.) 
 
  Inflation  rate  (consumer  prices):  2.5%  (1994) 
 
  Unemployment  rate:  14.1%  (December  1994) 
 
  Budget: 
  revenues:  $97.8  billion 
  expenditures:  $109.3  billion,  including  capital  expenditures  of  $NA 
  (1989) 
 
  Exports:  $117  billion  (f.o.b.,  1992)  Belgium-Luxembourg  Economic  Union 
 
  commodities:  iron  and  steel,  transportation  equipment,  tractors, 
  diamonds,  petroleum  products 
  partners:  EC  75.5%,  US  3.7%,  former  Communist  countries  1.4%  (1991) 
 
  Imports:  $120  billion  (c.i.f.,  1992)  Belgium-Luxembourg  Economic  Union 
 
  commodities:  fuels,  grains,  chemicals,  foodstuffs 
  partners:  EC  73%,  US  4.8%,  oil-exporting  less  developed  countries  4%, 
  former  Communist  countries  1.8%  (1991) 
 
  External  debt:  $31.3  billion  (1992  est.) 
 
  Industrial  production:  growth  rate  -0.1%  (1993  est.);  accounts  for  25% 
  of  GDP 
 
  Electricity: 
  capacity:  14,040,000  kW 
  production:  66  billion  kWh 
  consumption  per  capita:  6,334  kWh  (1993) 
 
  Industries:  engineering  and  metal  products,  motor  vehicle  assembly, 
  processed  food  and  beverages,  chemicals,  basic  metals,  textiles, 
  glass,  petroleum,  coal 
 
  Agriculture:  accounts  for  2.0%  of  GDP;  emphasis  on  livestock 
  production  -  beef,  veal,  pork,  milk;  major  crops  are  sugar  beets, 
  fresh  vegetables,  fruits,  grain,  tobacco;  net  importer  of  farm 
  products 
 
  Illicit  drugs:  source  of  precursor  chemicals  for  South  American 
  cocaine  processors;  transshipment  point  for  cocaine  entering  the 
  European  market 
 
  Economic  aid: 
  donor:  ODA  and  OOF  commitments  (1970-89),  $5.8  billion 
 
  Currency:  1  Belgian  franc  BF  =  100  centimes 
 
  Exchange  rates:  Belgian  francs  BF  per  US$1  -  31.549  (January  1995), 
  33.456  (1994),  34.597  (1993),  32.150  (1992),  34.148  (1991),  33.418 
  (1990) 
 
  Fiscal  year:  calendar  year 
 
  Belgium:Transportation 
 
  Railroads: 
  total:  3,410  km  (2,362  km  electrified;  2,563  km  double  track) 
  standard  gauge:  3,410  km  1.435-m  gauge  (1994) 
 
  Highways: 
  total:  137,912  km 
  paved:  129,639  km  (including  1,667  km  of  limited  access  divided 
  highway) 
  unpaved:  8,273  km  (1992) 
 
  Inland  waterways:  2,043  km  (1,528  km  in  regular  commercial  use) 
 
  Pipelines:  crude  oil  161  km  petroleum  products  1,167  km  natural  gas 
  3,300  km 
 
  Ports:  Antwerp,  Brugge  Gent,  Hasselt  Liege,  Mons,  Namur  Oostende 
  Zeebrugge 
 
  Merchant  marine: 
  total:  23  ships  (1,000  GRT  or  over)  totaling  42,055  GRT/56,842  DWT 
  ships  by  type:  bulk  1,  cargo  9,  chemical  tanker  6,  liquefied  gas  2, 
  oil  tanker  5 
 
  Airports: 
  total:  43 
  with  paved  runways  over  3,047  m:  6 
  with  paved  runways  2,438  to  3,047  m:  9 
  with  paved  runways  1,524  to  2,437  m:  2 
  with  paved  runways  914  to  1,523  m:  1 
  with  paved  runways  under  914  m:  22 
  with  unpaved  runways  914  to  1,523  m:  3 
 
  Belgium:Communications 
 
  Telephone  system:  4,720,000  telephones;  highly  developed, 
  technologically  advanced,  and  completely  automated  domestic  and 
  international  telephone  and  telegraph  facilities 
  local:  NA 
  intercity:  extensive  cable  network;  limited  microwave  radio  relay 
  network;  nationwide  mobile  phone  system 
  international:  5  submarine  cables;  2  Atlantic  Ocean  INTELSAT  earth 
  stations  and  1  EUTELSAT  earth  station 
 
  Radio: 
  broadcast  stations:  AM  3,  FM  39,  shortwave  0 
  radios:  NA 
 
  Television: 
  broadcast  stations:  32 
  televisions:  NA 
 
  Belgium:Defense  Forces 
 
  Branches:  Army,  Navy,  Air  Force,  National  Gendarmerie 
 
  Manpower  availability:  males  age  15-49  2,559,077;  males  fit  for 
  military  service  2,126,875;  males  reach  military  age  (19)  annually 
  61,488  (1995  est.) 
 
  Defense  expenditures:  exchange  rate  conversion  -  $3.9  billion,  1.8%  of 
  GDP  (1994) 
 
 
 




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