Belgium’s 13 month search for a government goes on after the country’s Flemish separatist party rejected a plan to restart coalition talks.
N-VA leader Bart De Wever told a news conference:
‘‘Unfortunately, after a thorough study of the proposal the NVA clearly thinks that this is not good enough to start negotiations.’‘
The plan presented by French-speaking socialist Elio Di Rupo, the man appointed by Belgium’s King to break the political stalemate, proposed controversial electoral boundary changes around Brussels.
Veronique Caprasse, de facto Mayor of Kraainem said: “This decision would divide all the French speakers on the periphery. There are more than 150 000. It really reduces them to nothing at an electoral level. The boundary division sells out French speakers who live just outside Brussels.’‘
Along with boundary changes around Brussels Di Rupo’s proposal would have seen regional cantons gain greater fiscal autonomy. A key demand from Flemish parties.
Despite the N-VA’s stance, the Liberal Flemish mayor of the town of Dilbeek, Steffaan Platteau, said the changes were a positive attempt to break the impasse.
‘‘When I read the text, I saw that there was still a need to improve certain points, like expenses, taxes and fees, but overall I was pleasantly surprised.’‘
“This decision is to divide all francophones in the periphery. We are more than 150 000. C is really nothing to reduce the Francophones in elections. a split is selling the French from the periphery. “
It is unclear now what will happen. One option being mooted is fresh elections. What is clear, is Belgium appears increasingly used to the deadlock.