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King appoints mediators to decide Belgium's future

 King appoints mediators to decide Belgium's future
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The King of Belgium has appointed three senior politicans to seek a way out of the country’s political deadlock, after refusing to accept the Prime Minister’s resignation.

The mediators are French speakers Raymond Langerdries and Francois de Donnea and the head of the German-speaking community, Karl Heinz Lambertz.

The Prime Minister went to the King, after his Flemish Christian Democrats failed to convince French speaking parties, over a deal devolving more power to the regions.

The head of the Prime Minister’s party Marianne Thyssen said: “We’re happy that the King named people from the French-speaking communities. This means they are now taking responsibility, and that is what we have wanted and requested, for a very long time. We are also happy there is more of a delay.”

The mediators now have until the end of the month to submit a report. In the meantime, the fractious coalition government remains in place.

The Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders said: “This will give us a break, so calm heads can prevail and relaunch dialogue between the different communities. By the end of July, we will have a proposal organising the talks, so we can go back to work after the holidays.”

And Reynders said the search will now continue for solutions to restart the government’s fledgeling socio-economic programme.

The government had been in power just four months before this latest crisis.