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Belgium
Traveling Tales
It is no use waiting for your ship to come in unless you have sent one out.
- Belgian Proverb

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Country Overview

Belgium is in Western Europe, bordering the North Sea between France and the Netherlands. Total land area is around 30,000 sq km, with 66 km of coastline. Climate is temperate, with moderate winters and cool summers.

Government is a federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch with Brussels as its capital. King Albert II has been chief of state since 1993, while prime minister has served as head of government since 1999.

Population is 10.3 million with a 0.1 percent rate of natural increase.

Language is split between Dutch (58%) and French (32%), which are both official languages. Also, ten percent of the population speaks German.

Economy is modern based on private enterprise. Belgium's economy takes advantage of its strategic location as the crossroads of Western Europe and has a diversified industrial and commercial base. GDP per capita is among the highest in the world at US$25,300. Only four percent of the population lives below the poverty line, with an eight percent unemployment rate.

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