Charles Michel replaces De Wever as informateur
The formation of a new federal government continues with party consultations, while Flemish entrepreneurs prefer a long political crisis over a repeat of the previous coalition
Talks to start “with a blank sheet”
On Friday, Michel (pictured right) met unions and employers’ organisations. On Saturday, he spoke with acting prime minister Elio Di Rupo. Today he was due to meet De Wever (pictured left), his predecessor as informateur and leader of Flanders’ largest party, N-VA. Later, Di Rupo is expected again, this time representing the French-speaking socialists PS, along with party president Paul Magnette. A report from Michel is expected by Friday.
Meanwhile, Flemish entrepreneurs fear a repeat of the parting “tripartite” coalition – with Christian-democrats, socialists and liberals, but without N-VA. According to a poll by Unizo, which represents Flanders’ self-employed, 72% would rather not see a tripartite, even if that means a long crisis. More than half would boycott such a coalition by postponing investments, not creating extra jobs or even sending production abroad.
In related news, Marianne Thyssen (CD&V) has the support of SP.A, N-VA and possibly also Open VLD as Belgium’s new European commissioner. Thyssen, an MEP since 1991, has not declared herself as a candidate yet. Belgium’s representative in the European Commission is traditionally decided as part of the federal government talks.
population of Belgium in millions of people, with 6.2 million living in Flanders.
number of state reforms that have resulted in the federal system as it is today.
number of years for which the federal House of Representatives and the Senate are elected.