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Belgian political wedge driven deeper

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Belgian political wedge driven deeper
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Belgian political divisions have deepened still further. The French speaking parties have rejected the Flemish separatist N-VA’s coalition proposal.

The leader of the Dutch-speaking and strongest party in June’s parliamentary elections, Bart De Wever, said that means the show is over, only he said it in Latin: “Fabula acta est.”

The N-VA had asked for more autonomy for the northern region of Flanders. French-speaking Wallonia fears that could lead to the break-up of the country itself.

French Socialist Party leader Elio di Rupo said: “We are disappointed. It’s a frontal attack against the federal state and the French-speakers.”

This came after De Wever’s presentation on Sunday of a compromise to form a seven-party coalition government. King Albert had set Monday as a deadline. Belgian media have been speculating over fresh elections.

The Christian Democratic and Flemish party leader Eric Van Rompuy said: “I think it’s a symptom of total lack of trust, a total divide between the communities. One reads in a totally different way. One doesn’t trust one another. As I’ve said before, Belgium is in a coma.”

The last election was more than four months ago. The country is being run by a caretaker administration. De Wever had proposed tax-gathering powers for the three regions of Belgium – Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels – to boost the autonomous status of each. But the most populous region, Flanders, would profit the most.

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