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Belgian political crisis rumbles on

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Belgian political crisis rumbles on


Belgium’s political deadlock continues after King Albert refused to accept the resignation of the politician charged with forming a coalition government.

Elio di Rupo, the leader of Belgium’s French-speaking Socialists, said he had held negotiations with Flemish nationalists and Christian Democrats but without success so far.

“It is up to all parties to start new talks on new methods of financing between the federal state, the regions and the linguistic communities,” Di Rupo told reporters.

The last government collapsed in April over a disagreement on voting rules in an electoral district that surrounds Brussels.

Brussel-Halle-Vilvoorde (BHV) is officially in Flanders, Belgium’s Dutch-speaking north.

But a large number of French speakers live there and they are allowed to vote for Francophone politicians in elections.

The Flemish fear a creeping “Frenchification” of their counties.

Flanders also wants more regional powers to reflect its prosperity and strong economy.

It has half the unemployment of French-speaking Wallonia in the south.

The Flemish have long complained they are subsidising their Francophone neighbours.

The Walloons have called for more national solidarity and stronger central government.

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