Belgium's new government line-up

21st March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Belgium today has a new Federal Government as King Albert swears in the new five party administration.

Belgium today has a new Federal Government. King Albert has sworn in the new five party administration. This afternoon Prime Minister Yves Leterme will deliver his government’s policy statement in Parliament.

Mr Leterme is a  Flemish Christian democrat.

He takes over from Flemish liberal Guy Verhofstadt (photo), who led an interim administration of the same composition after talks failed to produce a new government six months after the 10 June poll.

The new Federal Government consists of Flemish and Francophone liberals and Christian democrats as well as the Francophone socialists.

This morning the leaders of the five parties that form the new coalition government reached agreement on the composition of the new administration.

In all there are 15 ministers and 7 secretaries of state.

Flemish Christian democrats make few changes

Jo Vandeurzen stays on as Justice Minister and will prepare institutional reforms.

Inge Vervotte is the Minister for the Civil Service and Publicly Owned Businesses.

Pieter De Crem remains Defence Minister.

Four cabinet seats for Flemish liberals

Former Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has left the government, but his Flemish liberal party remains in the cabinet.

The Flemish liberals have four ministers.

Patrick Dewael remains the Interior Minister.

Karel De Gucht stays on as Foreign Minister.

In 2009 Mr De Gucht will succeed Louis Michel as the Belgian on the European Commission.

The Flemish liberal Annemie Turtelboom is the new Asylum and Migration Minister.

Vincent Van Quickenborne enters the cabinet and becomes Economy Minister.

He will also be responsible for Innovation, Telecommunications and cutting red tape.

Ministerial post for "Madame Non"

The leader of the Francophone Christian democrats Joëlle Milquet is the new Employment Minister.

The Secretary of State for the Budget and the Family is another Francophone Christian democrat, Melchior Wathelet Jr.

Reynders remains Finance Minister

The francophone liberal Didier Reynders stays on as Finance Minister and will share responsibility for institutional reforms with Mr Vandeurzen.

Charles Michel is the International Development Minister.

Sabine Laruelle has responsibility for the Self-employed and Science.

The new Europe Secretary is another Francophone liberal, Olivier Chastel.

First asymmetrical administration

The Flemish socialists decided not to join the coalition, but the Francophone socialists are represented by Laurette Onkelinx (Social Affairs)and Paul Magnette (Climate and Energy).

The only surprise here is the new Pensions Minister.

Marie Arena – until now the Prime Minister of the Francophone Community Government - joins the Federal Cabinet.

Rudy Demotte will combine the Premierships of both Wallonia and the Francophone Community. 

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