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Historic world port and fashionista capital, Antwerp has always lived on the crest of the wave. Now, a separatist party heading into municipal elections Sunday wants to use the city as a base for breaking away from Belgium — putting it at the forefront of a European breakaway trend just as the EU celebrates winning the Nobel Peace Prize for fostering continental unity.

Moves toward separatism have been getting a bigger these past months as the economic crisis pushes people faster toward stark choices on nationhood and their future. It is no different in Spain's Catalonia, another wealthy region grousing that it has to pay for others in its crisis-hit country.

Scotland, too, is looking at the option of going its own way, making the United Kingdom a little less united.

The Dutch part of Belgium is getting tired of supporting the French part. Catalonia is gettting tired of propping up the poor parts of Spain and a lot of Basques want their own gig. Northern Italy would like to cut loose from the lagging south. Scotland would probably be OK if it can take the North Sea oilfields with it when it goes.

And one last thing -- the Peace Prize is awarded by a committee selected by the Norwegian parliament. If the EU is so danged good, why doesn't Norway want to join? Maybe it doesn't want to belong to a club that would have it as a member.

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