As debt-burdened European governments struggle to overcome the disparities in their still-imperfect union, old demons of regional separatism have surged anew in recent months, raising another unwelcome challenge to the continent’s traditional nation-states. Separatist movements have dramatically reinforced their positions here in Belgium’s prosperous Flanders region, where the independence-minded New Flemish Alliance captured Antwerp’s City Hall on Oct. 14 and, under its populist leader Bart De Wever, is heading into national elections in 2014 with new wind in its sails.
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