Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine separatist crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly clash

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

Europe

Mediator quits amid continuing stalemate in Beligian political crisis

©

Video by Luke BROWN

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-26

The mediator in Belgium's political crisis, Johan Vande Lanotte (pictured), quit Wednesday after failing to break the deadlock between the country's Dutch and French-speaking leaders. The country has been without a government since June.

AFP - King Albert II's mediator in the country's months-long political crisis threw in the towel Wednesday after failing to break a deadlock between Dutch and French-speaking leaders, a palace statement said.

"The royal conciliator asked the king to be discharged from his mission. The king accepted and will start consultations tomorrow," the palace said.
 
Johan Vande Lanotte tendered his resignation a first time three weeks ago in frustration at a lack of progress after three months of mediation efforts, but was asked by the king to carry on.
 
Though a figurehead sovereign, Albert II has named a succession of go-betweens since June elections failed to produce an outright winner -- but none have made headway in efforts to hammer out a coalition deal acceptable to leaders both from the Dutch-speaking north and French south.
 
Belgium has been rudderless since June 13, with the country now holding Europe's record as the nation longest without government.
 
Though a caretaker government is in charge of daily business, as the impasse continues fears are mounting of a break-up of the country of 11 million that plays host to key global institutions, NATO and the EU.
 
Ratings agencies have warned of a downgrade failing a stable government in the near future, raising the prospect of Belgium being dragged into the rumbling eurozone crisis.
 
Vande Lanotte had tried since late October to find a platform enabling leaders from the two sides of the language divide to come together to form a coalition government.
 
The king's refusal to accept the mediator's resignation on January 6 had raised hopes of a new incentive to bridge the gulf.
 
Last weekend, Belgium's feuding Flemish and French-speaking leaders came under mounting pressure from the street to form a government when more than 34,000 angry citizens marched across Brussels in a protest organised on Facebook.
 
"What do we want? We want a government," said the marchers, shouting "Shame!" at the politicians.
 
The squabble between the seven parties involved in the seven-month-long talks is over a deal to transfer federal powers to the different language communities.
 
Flemish separatists emerged the leading party in the June election, with the Dutch-speakers -- who represent 60 percent across Belgium -- demanding more autonomy for their region, notably in fiscal and social policy.
 
But the French-speaking south fears a loss of subsidies for their once wealthy region as well as the start of a break-up of the country.
 

 

Date created : 2011-01-26

  • EU

    Divided Belgium takes over rotating EU presidency

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)