Federal government negotiations have entered the “home stretch”
Formateurs are close to an agreement on the country’s new coalition government, and analysts are betting that Charles Michel will be the next prime minister
Formation could happen today
Meetings were held yesterday between the four parties involved in the coalition government – the Flemish nationalists N-VA, Flemish Christian democrats CD&V, Flemish liberals Open VLD and the French-speaking MR – to discuss the final details of agreements that have been ongoing since the 25 May elections. Political commentators are expecting an announcement very soon – possibly in the course of today or tomorrow.
One of the main policy issues on which the four parties are agreed is to increase the retirement age. “We are going to have to work longer if we are going to afford paying pensions, but we aren’t planning to reduce the pension,” explained Wouter Beke, president of CD&V.
MR member Didier Reynders added that Belgians would in future have to work until at least 65. Unions are already reacting negatively to the announcements. In terms of who the next prime minister will be, media and analysts are betting on Michel.
Photo by Julien Warnand/CORBIS
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.