Political leaders in Belgium are confident they can – at long last – form a new government. The politicians from eight parties have presented their compromise deal for institutional reforms, 16 months after an inconclusive parliamentary election.
The reforms are understood to include splitting a contested electoral district and changing the way the country’s federal regions are funded.
“We have an agreement. We have a global agreement on institutional reforms. An agreement for our country to evolve and stabilise. An agreement reflecting the aspirations for deep change in Flanders. An agreement reflecting the desire for stability expressed strongly in Wallonia and Brussels,” explained Elio di Rupo, who was leading the negotiations.
Institutional reforms have divided the country for years; many in the richer, Dutch-speaking Flanders, which has 60 percent of the population, feel their taxes are financing the poorer, French-speaking south.
It is claimed this is the biggest constitutional reform to be carried out in the country since the Second World War.