Belgium is once again in a political stalemate after the man who had been trying to revive stalled coalition talks tendered his resignation for the second time this month.
This time King Albert had to accept it.
Johan Vande Lanotte said there was no prospect of progress in negotiations.
“Any agreement requires that the parties concerned take difficult decisions,” he said. “To do that you cannot only defend your own proposals; you have to be ready to examine other proposals with an open mind even if those proposals go beyond the current institutional framework.”
The news will disappoint the thousands of Belgians who took to the streets on Sunday to urge their politicians to reach a deal.
The debt-laden country now holds a European record for the amount of time without a cabinet, having had no government since inconclusive elections last June.