Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ACCESS ASIA

India: The dangers of working in leather factories

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Former CIA agent: Women terrorists are 'probably the wave of the future'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The first debate featured an unprepared man repeatedly shouting over a highly prepared woman'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Who won the debate?'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Markets hand debate victory to Clinton

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Anticipating the debate

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Abubakar Shekau says he is still leading Boko Haram

Read more

THE DEBATE

Peace at last? Colombia, FARC rebels sign historic agreement (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Peace at last? Colombia, FARC rebels sign historic agreement (part 2)

Read more

Europe

Belgian parties say ready to form government

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-22

Eight Flemish and French-speaking Belgian parties said Friday they were willing to enter talks to form a government, in the first step toward bringing an end to the country’s political deadlock, which has left it without a government for over a year.

AFP - Eight Belgian parties are ready on talks to form a government to end a year-long political stalemate, a prominent politician charged by King Albert II to end the impasse indicated on Friday.

French-speaking Socialist Elio Di Rupo informed the monarch of the willingness of four Flemish and four French-speaking parties after holding talks with them, the palace said in a statement.
             
If successful, the talks will give the coalition a parliamentary quorum.
             
The palace statement however said the negotiations would not start immediately as Di Rupo had accepted the king's proposal for a break until the middle of next month.
             
And then the talks on "organising the points" that he had made to the parties, the statement said.
             
On the eve of the country's national day, the king had warned that the deadlock was threatening to slow the momentum of European integration.
             
The impasse has left Belgium with a dubious world record as it surpassed Iraq this year as the nation without a government for the longest time.
             
The Flemish Christian Democrats then announced late Wednesday they could join seven other parties for talks.
             
Party leader Wouter Beke said he was ready to start talks immediately on the future of Belgium's sole dual-Flemish and French administration, that of Bruxelles-Hal-Vilvorde, or "BHV".
             
His party and other Flemish parties demand the curtailment of certain electoral and judicial rights of Francophones in this area, which falls in the borders of Flanders.
             
Compensation for Francophones should be sorted out later and considered in more detail by working groups, said Beke.
             
Albert II had earlier pleaded with the feuding Flemish and French-speaking parties to resolve their differences and form a government, more than 400 days after legislative elections.
             
"Our current situation is a cause for concern among our partners and could damage our position in Europe, and even the momentum towards European integration which has already been undermined by populism and euroscepticism," the king said in a televised address.
             
A founding member of the European Union, Belgium has often been considered an example of integration in the European Union, with a Dutch-speaking community in the north and Francophones in the south.
             
But it now risks becoming a symbol of divisions in the 27-nation EU as politicians in Flanders and Wallonia struggle to strike a deal to transfer more federal powers to the regions.

 

Date created : 2011-07-22

  • BELGIUM

    Socialist leader makes last-ditch effort to save split nation

    Read more

  • BELGIUM

    Day of celebration and shame as Belgium’s deadlock breaks record

    Read more

  • BELGIUM

    Belgian king makes fresh efforts to end political limbo

    Read more

COMMENT(S)