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Belgium's political crisis receives royal treatment

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Belgium's political crisis receives royal treatment


The King of Belgium has stepped in to try to settle the constitutional crisis that has left the country without a government since June’s elections. King Albert II has been holding one-to-one meetings with leaders of the main French-speaking and Flemish parties after marathon talks to form a coalition appeared on the verge of collapse.

Although he holds no real political powers, the monarch has increasingly been seen as the one figure who could help to forge a compromise. The Flemish Christian Democrats, the largest party following the elections, wants more autonomy for the regions and aid cut to French-speaking Walloons in the poorer south, a move requiring constitutional reform that could lead to the country’s break-up.

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