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Belgium set to approve new government

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Belgium set to approve new government


Belgium is set to have its first French-speaking prime minister in three decades after all parties finally agreed a blue print for a ruling coalition.

After 535 days without a government, Socialist Elio Di Rupo’s cabinet is preparing to be made official at the weekend.

Details of the 185-page agreement are expected to be approved today.

Belgium’s world-record political deadlock had raised fears the country was headed for a split, separating wealthier, Dutch-speaking Flanders from the French speaking Wallonia in the south.

The June 2010 elections were won by Bart de Wever’s Flemish Nationalists but after blocking so many initiatives to form a coalition he was eventually excluded from the negotiating table.

His pro-independence N-VA will not now be part of the new government.

With Belgium facing its own debt crisis including a credit downgrade, politicians agreed a hasty austerity budget last weekend, removing the last obstacle for a government deal.

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