Belgium is a federal monarchy in Western Europe. Covering 11,787 square miles, it has a population of over 11 million people. Its official languages are Dutch, French and German and its current head of state is King Philippe. The country is highly industrialised and was the world's 15th largest trading nation in 2007.
In Coronation Street, Bessie Street School organised a trip to the country in 1963 for which Lucille Hewitt needed the £30 cost. The Hewitts however were unable to raise the money but Lucille took the disappointment with good grace. Elsie Tanner was another street resident who almost visited the country when her salesman boyfriend Geoff Siddall planned to take her there in November 1982 but on the eve of their departure, he fled the country with funds embezzled from his employer and £1,000 fraudulently obtained from Eddie Yeats and Marion Willis.
In April 1996, a consortium in the Rovers who owned shares in a racehorse, Betty's Hot Shot, decided their nag was useless and decided to sell it in Belgium for horsemeat but the women of the street put up strong opposition and scuppered their plans.
Steve McDonald made a trip to Belgium in June 1999 with £800 borrowed from his father Jim to buy cheap tobacco and smuggle it back home. He was successful in doing so, but had trouble selling his contraband around the pubs until he went into a deal with crook Lee Sankey.