Kingdom of Belgium

Koninkrijk België (Dutch)

Royaume de Belgique (French)

Königreich Belgien (German)

Political Status: Independence proclaimed October 4, 1830; monarchical constitution of 1831 most recently revised in 1970.

Area: 11,781 sq. mi. (30,513 sq. km.).

Population: 10,296,350 (2001C); 10,402,000 (2004E).

Major Urban Centers (2001E): BRUSSELS (urban area, 970,000), Antwerp (urban area, 450,000), Ghent (227,000), Charleroi (202,000), Liège (186,000), Bruges (117,000), Namur (106,000).

Official Languages: Dutch, French, German.

Monetary Unit: Euro (market rate July 1, 2005: 1 euro = $1.21US).

Sovereign: King ALBERT II; ascended the throne on August 9, 1993, following the death of his brother, King BAUDOUIN.

Heir to the Throne: Prince PHILIPPE, son of the King.

Prime Minister: Guy VERHOFSTADT (Flemish Liberals and Democrats), designated to form a new government by the king on June 23, 1999, following the election of June 13; ...

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