Belgian Crisis: A Government Against All Odds

Against all odds, Belgium today gets its new government, under the leadership of Fleming Yves Lterme, nine months after the general election was held. It took one final 21-hour negotiation session to put things in place, as usual, but now there is a deal that will be presented in Parliament today.

Not only is it against all odds that Mr Leterme actually was able to put together a government: domestic and internaitonal press alike are seriously sceptical of its ability to survive. Five parties are enough to make any government shaky, already without adding the extra dimension in Belgium of ethno-lingual conflicts on top of the political-ideological ones. And Mr Leterme will try to keep the government together that he basicaly wasn’t able to forge on his own. Indeed, according to recent polls, not only 90 per cent of the Walloons but also more 55 per cent of the Flemings do not trust him as Premier.

Against all odds is also the fact that “Madame Non”, Joëlle Milquet who played a large part in derailing the attempts to form a government last year by stubbornly letting go of Walloon opposition to the constitutional reform the Flemings in general and Mr Leterme’s CD&V party in particular demand, will take place in the same government. She will be minister of Labour and Equal Opportunities; not exactly a top post in the government, but she’s still there. (Edit: She will have the status as vice Premier, together with all the other party leaders in the coalition as well as one more member from CD&V).
We shall see if the two are capable of cohabiting.

Apart from the Christian Democrat parties CD&V and Ms Milquet’s cdH, the new government also consists of Flemish and Francophone liberal parties Open VLD and MR, and the Francophone socialists PS.

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2 Responses to “Belgian Crisis: A Government Against All Odds”

  1. RG Says:

    It is not a matter that most Flemish don’t trust him. They don’t trust that government. It is a total shame that at last, the one who one elections (Leterme) needs to have a government with all who lost those elections. So, typically, he will be seen as a big failure in the end.

    After all, it is another try and success of french-speaking people in artificial Belgium to get the country like it was almost 200 years ago.

    Flanders Independent Now!

  2. jonathan Says:

    Well, independence or not independence is for you to decide, but I do agree that Mr Leterme will have to uotperform himself in quite an extraordinary way if he is going to have any chance to alter his legacy as the head of government who couldn’t form his own one.

    It is healthy to raise eyebrows at the fact that the outcome of the election is so poorly mirrored in the composition of the government, However, what alarms me even more is Mr Leterme’s divisiveness, at a time and in a government that most of all needs a unifying leader.

    I fear that we have far from seen the end of this sorry saga… which is especially sad since this country has so much potential.


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