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The car culture of Belgium

Question

Does anyone know why Brussels is so hospitable to cars and not to pedestrians, whereas the other cities in Belgium seem less car-friendly? Is there no political will to close off squares like St. Gerry from cars? Is there a history to this? Or is it an issue for parking and local residents want car access? The only car-free areas seem to be around the New Street and Grand Place.

Also does anyone suspect that the car culture here is supported by the paid cars that companies give out in lieu of a higher salary? I am not from the EU and I don't know if this is common elsewhere.