Heavy traffic all day, going in and out of the royal palace in Brussels, where King Albert II has been trying to find a candidate willing to become Belgium’s prime minister and try and form a new government.
It now looks increasingly likely the king will accept Yves Leterme’s resignation, as the Fortis affair has spiralled out of his and his five-party coalition’s control, and a transitional government will take over. Who could lead it? The three likeliest candidates appear to be former prime minister Jean Luc Dehane from the Flemish community despite being born in southern France, the Christian Democrat president of the lower house of parliament Herman Van Rompuy, reportedly in favour in the royal household, and the voter’s favourite in opinion polls, former prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, from the Liberal party. Whoever wins favour will, says one analyst, take on a terrible job, as they will grapple with the Fortis scandal, an economic crisis, and continuing tensions over state reforms.