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August 8, 2022

Belgium renews efforts to form a new government

BRUSSELS – After six months of failed negotiations to form a government, Belgian politicians ring in the next round with a fresh proposal introduced by mediator Johan Vande Lanotte on Monday, according to Deutsche Welle. Socialist Lanotte, who was appointed by King Albert II back in October to end the impasse between the seven political parties, has a long way to go as the Dutch-speaking north and the French-speaking south are deeply divided over a number of issues.

The recent proposal is not likely to speed things up, as it will still take several months before a new coalition will come into office, said Professor Kris Deschouwer, an expert on Belgian politics. “The politicians are afraid of losing their voters. They have made strong promises and now fear a face-losing compromise. So they try to postpone it as much as they can,” he told Deutsche Welle.

Flanders, the richer, Dutch-speaking part, demands greater autonomy and fiscal independence, whereas Wallonia, the French-speaking region, wants more solidarity and shuns autonomy out of fear it might lose benefits. “There is not enough pressure coming from the outside,” said Deschouwer. “If the financial markets started looking at Belgium, negotiations would suddenly go very fast.”

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