Now Reading:

Van Rompuy begins work on new Belgian coalition

world news

Van Rompuy begins work on new Belgian coalition


The speaker of Belgium’s Parliament will begin work today on forming a new government, after stepping in to save the country from its third political crisis in a year. 61-year-old Herman Van Rompuy faces the twin challenges of bridging the country’s linguistic divide and tackling the fallout from the global financial meltdown. The Flemish Christian-Democrat is expected to maintain the existing five party coalition of outgoing Prime Minister, Yves Leterme.

But he is a rather reluctant political saviour – having repeatedly insisted, even on television, that he did not want the job. Van Rompuy was elected speaker in July 2007. A former Budget Minister, he is credited with reducing public debt in the 1990s. His appointment follows a six-day mediation mission by former Prime Minister Wilfried Martens. Belgian media said the biggest challenge he faced was persuading Van Rompuy to take the job.

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

Next Article