Leterme gives it another go
28 November 2007, BRUSSELS - Representatives of the Flemish and Francophone Christian democrat and liberal parties will today meet to discuss the state reform programme of the government they are hoping to form.
28 November 2007
BRUSSELS - Representatives of the Flemish and Francophone Christian democrat and liberal parties will today meet to discuss the state reform programme of the government they are hoping to form.
Last night tensions rose between the Flemish Christian democrats of Prime Minister-in-waiting Yves Leterme and his Flemish nationalist alliance partner.
Will the alliance survive the government formation process?
The Flemish nationalists, the key ally of the Flemish Christian democrat party, have rejected the document on state reforms that Mr Leterme had drawn up.
The Flemish nationalist leadership says that on the basis of this document they could never get a mandate from their rank and file to take part in the government.
The nationalists are concerned that Mr Leterme's proposals do not offer sufficient guarantees that Flanders will gain control of social economic levers needed to peruse its own policies.
These include the possibility of lowering taxes on businesses, increasing child allowance and launching a Flemish social security system.
Against all odds?
Mr Leterme meanwhile decided to continue his efforts to form a new government and, for the time being at least, the Flemish nationalists have agreed to take part.
The leaders of the liberal/Christian democrat delegations met on Tuesday night and agreed to allow Mr Leterme the time to break the deadlock.
They have asked Mr Leterme to tackle community-related issues first and are awaiting new proposals.
Last night the Flemish Christian democrats attempted to avoid a break down in the talks by suggesting the negotiators concentrate on social economic and budgetary issues, but nobody was prepared to accept this.
[Copyright Flanders news 2007]
Subject: Belgian news