Belgium

‘Coalition agreement Michel I’

Published on 8 October 2014 at 08:53

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Five months after Belgium held general elections, the main centre-right parties have agreed to form a coalition with French-speaking liberal Charles Michel as prime minister. “After 30 hours of non-stop negotiating yesterday, Michel was able to present a coalition agreement and a budget that includes tough measures and social reforms,” reports De Standaard. For instance, the retirement age will gradually raise to 67 years by the year 2030, the government will cut over 8 billion euros from its budget, and taxes will be lowered.

The coalition is nicknamed “Swedish” because of the member parties’ colours — blue (Flemish and French-speaking liberals), yellow (Flemish nationalists) and the cross (Flemish Christian democrats) — in accordance with Belgian political tradition.

The new government is unique on many accounts, writes French-speaking Le Soir

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A 38-years old prime minister. This alone would be historical and revolutionary enough. Yet, a closer look at the government and the measures it advocates shows that the captain’s age and the fact that he is the first francophone liberal for decades are the least spectacular part of it: Michel I includes a separatist party and a French-speaking one, alone and faced with three Flemish parties. Something that’s never been seen before.

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