Press Club Brussels Europe #WeLoveBrussels - Page 15

Bagnano, a French bookseller and owner of the newspaper who had made a fortune as a follower of Napoleon Bonaparte but who had fled France after being found guilty of forgery. The curtains of his house were used by the shouting crowds as a flag and the colours happened to be black, yellow and red, the new flag of an independent Belgium! The newspaper “Le Courrier des Pays Bas” reported the story describing the euphoria of the Belgians. The headquarters of “Le National” was where the former offices of CGER were (rue Fossé-aux-Loups with their distinctive metalwork decoration by Paul Hankar). At that time a newspaper cost as much as a loaf of bread. Behind the opera house there was a Dominican convent, for a long time abandoned though now a hotel and a cafe. It was near here that the offices of the first catholic newspaper “Le Patriote” were housed. It was followed by a catholic newspaper which is still published today, “La Libre Belgique”, which upheld the cause of schools in Belgium, above all catholic teaching and criticised the colonial attitudes of the country towards the Congo. But at the time there were neither worker political parties nor catholic ones. They were created only in the 1880s and the newspapers were mainly expressing opinions, seldom facts. However the freedom of expression and association were already in the 19th century important features of Belgium in general and of the Belgian press in particular. And this attracted libertarians from all over Europe. During the 19th century many writers and philosophers from Victor Hugo to Karl Marx sought refuge in Belgium. This freedom of expression is still today a feature of the press in Belgium and in Belgium society where legislation is less restrictive towards those who want to express their opinion. The newspaper “Le Patriote” became the champion of this freedom in 1849 when the battle for confessional and state schools raged. Several initiatives were launched by humanists and liberals, each one defending their point of view and their freedom to teach according to their own principles. But even after schooling was secularised in 1879, a majority of pupils (66%) pr Y\Y]Xš[]HوHܙX]\وܙX]YBHX\[ˈ]][YH܈\\BܙX]Y[HYXH]Y[\HYYH\H[YX\ۈYKXX[[\[[܈\\HܙX]Y H\XX[HH[YH]HH[[ۈ8$\H\ܞH[Y[\\H]Y[Y][ۈ[[][ˈ]][܈\]\X\H[]\]H\[[ۋ\[H\ܛ\8'H][x'H۝[YY˜\X\]]\\[]Y[\[[H[BMB