King's private words in public domain
"King Albert wants a new federal constituency. He is suspicious of Prime Minister-in-waiting Yves Leterme... "
"King Albert wants a new federal constituency. He is suspicious of Prime Minister-in-waiting Yves Leterme and believes his Flemish nationalist ally N-VA poses a danger to the Belgian state". All these claims have been made in the daily De Standaard recently.
The only conclusion can be that leading politicians have been telling reporters what the king said to them.
Such pronouncements are a flagrant violation of the rule that states that conversations with the king are entirely confidential and his words should not be divulged.
"Expressing the king's views is unheard of" says constitutional expert Mark Van den Wijngaert "especially at a time when negotiations are still underway and the monarch is still being consulted".
The king's views should remain secret because he is deemed to be above the political game. This is essential for the functioning of the monarchy.
The king has now been placed in a very difficult position. There's a danger that anything he says will now enter the public domain and this undermines his authority.
The Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (Flemish liberal) has expressed his dissatisfaction with the broadcasting of the king's views as this could threaten the functioning of our institutions.