King Filip unleashes unprecedented attack on US and UK

King Filip has lashed out at the policies of US President Trump and at Britain's decision to quit the EU in his annual address to Belgian dignitaries on the occasion of the New Year. The king said there was no point building walls or reverting to nostalgic thoughts of Utopia.

Speaking to the country's highest officials at a gathering at the royal palace in Brussels the Belgian monarch rounded on Brexit and the new US administration: "2016 is a year that we will remember as the year in which two great friends decided to focus their policies chiefly upon themselves.... They seem to wish to turn the course of history - and this conflicts with their own traditions of openness and generosity, of joining our common dream and commitment."

The king also pointed to a crisis of confidence across the western world and the importance of new technologies. Still the king also issued a warning with regard to the digital revolution saying that a false feeling of impotence can be a source of frustration for many. The king said that the digital revolution was contributing to a growing gap between the individual and government.

King Filip concentrated on confidence and co-operation: "We can regain our confidence by a commitment to the EU and the world". He pointed to issues like climate chance, international trade and peace, which he said couldn't be sorted within an exclusively national framework.

"We will not restore confidence by turning the clock back out of a kind of utopian, nostalgic thought. Neither by building walls. We will succeed by daring to tell the truth clearly and by acting on the challenges to our country and the world."

As a constitutional monarch all King Filip's actions are covered by the Belgian government.  His speeches are approved beforehand.

AFP or licensors