This content is not available in your region

Belgian King demands fresh political intervention

Belgian King demands fresh political intervention
Text size Aa Aa

The King of Belgium has called on the heads of the two chambers of parliament to step into the country’s political minefield. After a meeting with Yves Leterme, the head of the Flemish Christian Democrats, Albert II said there needed to be a dialogue between the French-speaking president of the upper chamber, and the Flemish-speaking president of the lower house.

But all know they face a huge challenge. Wednesday’s parliamentary vote set the Flemish against the French. To the casual observer it may not seem so serious: a “yes” to splitting up the greater Brussels’ electoral district, home to Flemish and French speakers.

But Didier Reynders, the leader of the French-speaking Liberal Reform Movement, was adamant it was a very serious move because it was a vote against the Belgian pact, violating respect between the communities. It will leave more than 100,000 French voters in a Flemish-only voting district.

For one mayor, in Dinant, in French-speaking Wallonia, it’s being seen as the death knell for the Belgian state, when French and Flemish speakers can no longer live together.