Monday, December 10, 2007

Business as usual: Belgium still without government

It's been 6 months since Belgium last had a real government. It has a caretaker government now, and no real one in sight.

Last week Yves Leterme, the guy who was supposed to form the government and become the new Prime Minister, said "bugger it" and decided to resign. Again.

No shit. His last questions to the prospective coalition partners were "Are all topics admissible to be discussed in the special commission for state reform?", "Will the regions be given more leeway in regulating enterprise tax rates?" and "Can law proposals for state reform be adopted by any constitutional two-thirds majority, without extra conditions, as well?". The prospective coalition partners (Wallonia's Christian Democrats) answered "no" to all of the above.

The king appointed the current acting Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt, as informateur, a person who tries to find out the chances of setting up various kinds of coalitions.

Some people are calling for a new election, but if I understood them right they cannot have a new election until they decide something on partitioning the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde electoral district, and this attempt of partitioning it is one of the reasons they cannot form a government in the first place. Besides, there is no reason to this the new election would end any differently from the old election.

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