D-day for prospective coalition
6 November 2007, BRUSSELS - Today is the last chance for the Christian democrat and liberal negotiators to come to a deal on the constituency of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde.
6 November 2007
BRUSSELS - Today is the last chance for the Christian democrat and liberal negotiators to come to a deal on the constituency of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde.
It is “formateur” Yves Leterme’s (Flemish Christian democrat) ardent wish to finalise the negotiations on the tricky business of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde today.
This morning, Mr Leterme discreetly met with some of his negotiators, others received a telephone call. The plan for this afternoon is for him to hold separate talks with the French speaking first and the Flemish negotiators afterwards.
Yesterday, Mr Leterme and his team of negotiators equalled the long-standing record of the longest formation talks in Belgian history. Today, the counter is at 149.
Today’s deadline is of vital importance. If there is no agreement on Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde tonight, the Chamber Commission on Interior Affairs which is to meet tomorrow afternoon, will vote on the division of the constituency.
In that case the Flemish are bound to vote in favour of the division, which in its turn will result in the French speakers, FDF leader Olivier Maingain in the lead, leaving the formation talks and indeed the end of the orange-blue coalition altogether.
Stakes are high
It should therefore not be a surprise that the stakes are high. The negotiators have been in meeting since 2.30 pm this afternoon, hoping to find some sort of start to a deal on Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde. Reportedly, Mr Leterme has some very concrete propositions; some say the talks needn’t even take very long.
Above all, the Flemish facility municipalities are at stake. The French speaking parties want to extend the possibility of voting for French speaking parties as well as more money for local French speaking cultural initiatives.
The Brussels region insists on receiving more money and the Flemish minority in the capital wants to make sure the division of the constituency will not leave it without representatives in the Brussels regional government.
[Copyright Flanders news 2007]
Subject: Belgian news