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Belgium's divided parties unite against split

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Belgium's divided parties unite against split
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A move by Belgium’s far-right Vlaams Belang to split the country in two has been blocked by lawmakers from the Flemish north and French-speaking south teaming up to vote it down. The parliamentary ballot amounted to a rare display of unity between the two sides. The political deadlock between them has left the country without a government since elections almost six months ago. And the crisis is not over yet.

Francophone liberal, Didier Reynders, commented: “A step in the wrong direction’s been avoided but there’s nothing extraordinary in that. It’s normal MPs didn’t vote to debate a law to end Belgium.”

While the politicians argue, ordinary Belgians have been organising marches calling for national unity. The presidents of both houses of Parliament are to report to King Albert today on the latest efforts to find a compromise over state reforms and form a coalition.