Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

WEB NEWS

NSA targets 'Tor' network users

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users call for peace in Gaza

Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

  • Briton kidnapped in Yemen freed after five months

    Read more

Europe

Political crisis nears an end as new PM, cabinet named

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-05

Belgium's record 18-month-long political crisis seemed to be drawing to a close Monday as incoming Socialist prime minister Elio Di Rupo and five coalition partners agreed on a cabinet. King Albert II will swear in the new government on Tuesday.

AFP - Belgium's incoming Socialist prime minister, Elio Di Rupo, and his five coalition partners have agreed on the make-up of a cabinet to be sworn in by King Albert II on Tuesday, political sources said.

The swearing in by the monarch will bring an end to the country's longest political crisis in history, which after 18 months without a government left Belgium increasingly vulnerable to pressure from financial markets.

Di Rupo is to hand his list of 12 ministers to Albert II late Monday before the swearing-in ceremony the next day.

The 60-year-old politician, a career politician born into a family of Italiam farmers who migrated to work in the coalmines, will be the first French-speaking premier in more than three decades in language-divided Belgium, and the first Socialist at the helm since 1974.

He will also be Europe's second openly gay head of government after Iceland's premier.

After a June 2010 election failed to produce a decisive victor, the country's feuding politicians, who are split both politically and by Belgium's widening language divide, were unable to strike a coalition deal for months.

Di Rupo for weeks has been finessing a government platform for six parties across the political spectrum with enough combined parliament seats to govern.

With the debt crisis spreading across the eurozone like wildfire, bickering politicians put their quarrels aside last week after Belgium's borrowing costs soared last week and ratings giant Standard & Poor's cut its credit score.

The downgrade jolted politicians into agreeing an austerity budget that aims to balance the books by 2015.

Di Rupo's cabinet includes six portfolios for other French-speakers from southern Wallonia and six for Dutch-speakers from wealthier northern Flanders, which accounts for 60 percent of the 10.5 million population.

The prestige foreign affairs portfolio would go to current caretaker finance minister Didier Reynders, a French-speaking liberal.

He would trade places with current foreign minister Steven Vanackere, a Dutch-speaking liberal.

Absent from the talks and the coalition however is Belgium's biggest party, the separatist Flemish N-VA led by Bart De Wever.

De Wever has dismissed the coalition as "a minority government for Flanders, imposing cuts that a majority of Flemish will have to pay for."

Many in wealthier Dutch-speaking Flanders feel their taxes are financing the poorer French-speaking south.

Di Rupo will outline the coalition 180-page platform to parliament on Wednesday, with the new premier then free to join this week's crucial European Union summit.
 

Date created : 2011-12-05

  • BELGIUM

    Belgian parties agree to form new government

    Read more

  • BELGIUM

    Feuding Belgian parties agree to reform deal

    Read more

  • BELGIUM

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

    Read more

COMMENT(S)