“There will be virtually nothing left of Belgium,” warns De Standaard in the wake of the October 30 presentation of a the new plan for a “Belgian confederation” devised by Bart De Wever, the leader of the Flemish nationalist N-VA.
Under the terms of the plan, Flanders and Wallonia would become federated states in control of “a majority of powers,” explains the daily, which notes that “there would no longer be any question of a Belgian government in its own right.”
The post of prime minister would be terminated. The executive, which would be composed of six ministers, one of whom would act as leader, would only be in charge of “defence, asylum policy and the attribution of Belgian nationality. [...] Its revenue would be solely sourced from VAT and excise duties.”
Brussels would benefit from a special region status and its residents would be obliged to choose between the Flemish and Wallonian welfare and tax systems. De Standaard remarks that —
… the strongest argument for the radical reform of Brussels is that today, [management of the capital] works very badly. Power is fragmented, unemployment is high, and poverty is structural. These facts are indisputable. But that does not mean that bi-community management would be a miracle solution.