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Leterme's premiership faces Flemish threat

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Leterme's premiership faces Flemish threat


The position of the Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme is in question, again, tonight because of a nationalist Flemish party. The members of the NVA have opted to withdraw support from the ruling coalition, even though Leterme’s Christian Democrats are part of the same Flemish political block.

The head of the NVA, Bart De Wever, said: “It’s time to say that’s enough. We don’t have any confidence in the Francophone parties to achieve political reform, and because of that we don’t have any place in the federal majority.”

The Dutch-speaking north and French-speaking south of Belgium remain more divided than ever when it comes to an agreement on political and economic power.

Leterme is now faced with a stark choice: support the position of his political allies or put the interests of the national government first. So far he has made no comment.

But, just last month when pressed on the possibility of a split like this, Leterme said: “I am the father of a Flemish block and a father never turns his back on his children.”

Political watchers feel that if Leterme decides that his interests lie with his political group it would be very difficult for his party,and therefore him, to remain in the federal government.

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