• The lack of a proper head of state to lead Belgium's presidency of the European Union was described as 'fitting' for a fake exercise in democracy, UKIP MEP Nigel Farage said today.
Speaking after hearing Belgium acting PM Yves Laterme address the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Farage said, "Belgium is an artificial construct as a nation, and a prototype for the equally artificial nation of the European Union. Of course, in the Brussels madhouse, failure of the prototype is no reason to not rush into the mass production of 'ever closer union'.
"We now have a President of the European Union who has no electoral mandate, and, worse, no country to lead as Belgium begins to disintegrate into its constituent parts. The President who is supposed to continue guiding Europe on its path to 'ever closer union' has proved unable to hold together a nation of 11 million people.
"What I find particularly sad is that amongst the assembled MEPs, only UKIP and our fellow travellers opposing the EU can see the irony."
Earlier this morning, addressing the Chamber a few minutes after Mr Laterme's speech, Mr Farage told Euro-Parliamentarians: "I was somewhat vilified a few months ago for pointing out that Belgium wasn't really a proper nation. But I think the electors of Belgium have rather proved the point. A separatist party is now the biggest party in Belgium.
"We have before us a caretaker prime minister, but we all turn a blind eye and pretend that it's business as usual," Mr Farage added.
"It simply isn't. You have no legitimacy here, Monsieur Leterme.
"And what an extraordinary irony that a country that's on the verge of breaking into two is telling 26 other member states for the next six months what they should be doing.
"But perhaps worse than that, of course, is your own shear hypocrisy in this matter. Standing up this morning; being the good Belgian!"
"Let's just remember that you yourself as Belgian prime minister didn't even know your own national anthem. You famously said, back in 2006, that it was only beer and football that held the country together.
"But nearly everybody in this chamber is in denial because Belgium is a huge embarrassment to you. It is a prototype. It is a model for the entire European Union and it is on the verge of breaking up. Yet none of you can admit it.
"What is going on today inside this chamber, frankly, is beyond satire."