The current Belgian crisis today brke anotgher record as it the country has now gone for a longer time than ever before without a government, while haggling over the new executive goes into its 148th day. This week is likely to be make or break, thou, because as I have said previously, negotiators from the Flemish side of the table have given themselves until Wednesday to resolve the most tricky bits. If they fail, they will use the fact that they have enough of a majority to vote for a splitting of the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde constituency, effectively overruling the opposition from the French-speaking Walloon half of the country, a move that is likely to end the attempts to form a new government altogether, and which will leave the Belgians with few other options than to try to call a new election – the validity of which could be challenged on constitutional grounds – or even break up the country.
Meanwhile, support for Belgium as a unified country seems to be increasing, at least in the French-speaking parts, judging from what is visible. Every time you go to a residential area around (French-speaking) Brussels, you see an increasing nu,ber of Belgian flags flown from windows and balconies, a symbol of support for the country staying together. However, you still do not see that in the Flemish areas, a fact that may be a foreshadow of things.
There will also be a rally held in favour of the country’s unity – fittingly in the Jubelpark/Parc du Cinquantenaire, which was originally constructed to celebrate the countrys 50th anniversary of existence in 1880.
But not until the 18th of November. By then, the rally might have taken on the form of a wake instead.