Language quotas for songs on the metro!

Dutch language songs are soon to reverberate through the Brussels underground as the metro's public announcement system will play Dutch language songs for the first time.

The Brussels local transport company, the MIVB, hopes that the move will put to bed a nasty controversy about the language of songs played in the metro, but as the quotas still have to be decided, this could be wishful thinking.

Until 2005 only instrumental music was played on the metro. Then commuters were also treated to English, Spanish and Italian songs, but in recent months the MIVB has expanded its music collection, which now also includes some French language evergreens.

This upset a number of Flemish travellers, who from time to time also wanted to hear a song in their native language. Because of the complaints the French language music was put back in the box and metro passengers once again had to get by with only English, Spanish and Italian ditties.

On Tuesday the issue was raised at the MIVB's board meeting. It shied away from imposing quotas, but did decide that passengers could soon also hear French and Flemish songs. The MIVB management now has the delicate task of deciding on a good mix.

What songs would you like to hear on the metro?

Send us an email and we will pass on your suggestions to the MIVB.