A giant, inexplicable hole to be dug in central Brussels will cost the taxpayer up to €40 million, it emerged this week.
The exact location of the hole, which will measure approximately 30 metres wide and 20 metres deep, has not yet been revealed. However, a government official confirmed to the IN that it will be somewhere near the Bourse, and that in line with national Hole Policy, it will be as unsightly as possible, have no apparent purpose, and digging will be ongoing for several decades.
‘We hope that the hole will cause the maximum possible amount of disruption to pedestrians and traffic, as well as deafening, horrible noise, and widespread air pollution,’ the official explained. ‘We’re aiming for an extremely unsightly work site, which ideally will also cause numerous accidents, such as partially-sighted elderly people falling into it and fracturing limbs.’
Digging is likely to begin within a couple of months, and a spokesman for Bijge Fujkoef Holes, the controversially Flemish hole-construction company that will undertake the work, said the project was ‘exciting.’
‘Holes are a source of national pride in Belgium,’ he said, ‘and this is going to be a particularly special hole. It could be described as a sort of ‘black hole’; it will suck in endless money, possibly a couple of our workers and the odd pedestrian, and yet nothing will come out of it except a greater sense of futility, irritation and low-level depression.’
However, the anti-hole campaign group FILLITIN told the IN that the consequences of the hole, known in technical terms as a ‘Trou Sans But’(TSB) or purposeless hole, could be far worse than mild sadness and increased existential angst.
‘If work goes ahead, this will be the biggest ever TSB in Belgium, possibly in Europe,’ said a FILLITIN spokeswoman. ‘It could set a precedent that could lead to our picturesque Belgian landscape being gradually consumed by these ‘black holes’, destroying ecosystems and leading to a gradual breakdown of the social fabric. Which would be alright as long as it was only happening in Flanders.’
Members of the public the IN interviewed around the Bourse area this week expressed a range of views.
‘I think it could be a good thing for Brussels,’ said 22-year-old student Leonie Twijt. ‘It will probably attract more tourists – everybody loves a nice big hole. However, the cost does seem a bit excessive.’
Others saw the hole as an opportunity to clean up the city: ‘Things I would like to drop into the hole: Belgian weather, the pervasive fart smell on the metro, Hector’s Chicken, the general ‘can’t-do’ attitude prevalent in this country,’ said one British lawyer, who did not want to be named.
‘I would like to drop all whining ex-pats into the hole,’ said Brussels born-and-bred teacher Jean-Claude Legrandbelge. ‘If you don’t like it, you know where the door is. Or the hole.’