Belgium’s King Albert is continuing in his efforts to find a new prime minister, and the news from the royal palace is that talks will resume this evening with a decision possible later tonight, or tomorrow.
The talks have been ongoing since Friday, when Prime Minister Yves Leterme tendered his resignation in the wake of a scandal about his government’s proposed rescue plan of the ailing Fortis bank. Now a transition government appears the most likely outcome. “I think that the chance that we will have federal and Flemish elections together in June of next year is really big in these circumstances,” says Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht. The opposition parties have been calling for fresh elections, but the biggest parties are not keen to test voters in the current climate of recession, scandal, ongoing tensions between the Dutch and French-speaking communities, and proposed state reforms.