King’s speech ends deadlock

Published on 22 July 2011 at 12:27


On 21 July, which is Belgium’s national holiday, and the day after a speech by King Albert II, which expressed his “concern and disappointment” over a political crisis that has endured for 404 days, a consensus has been reached on the final point of point of a plan proposed by “formateur” Elio Di Rupo, which was a bone of contention with the Flemish Christian Democrats (CD&V). “The ballast has been swept, but the keel may still wobble,” headlines De Standaard, which explains that CD&V leader Wouter Beke continued to fuss over the question of the bilingual electoral arrondissement of Bruxelles-Halles-Vilvorde (BHV), which is one of the main points of disagreement — an attitude that La Libre Belgique deplores as "wretched" and "disgraceful." The French language daily further insists that the CD&V should "stop indulging its whims and adopt a honest political line."

On the evening of 21 July, Di Rupo reported to Albert II that “the eight political parties concerned had agreed to a working method.” However, the palace has decided that the negotiators should first take holidays, and that talks should begin in mid-August — an error according to a De Standaard columnist who points out: “If we do not take advantage of the current momentum, we will have trouble getting the mill started again."

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