Make or break for Leterme

7th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

7 November 2007, BRUSSELS – It is a crucial day for Prime Minister-in-waiting Yves Leterme (Flemish Christian democrat). Mr Leterme has been trying to cobble together a new Belgian Government for several weeks, but now negotiators are addressing the contentious issue of the splitting of the electoral constituency of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde, BHV for short.

7 November 2007

BRUSSELS – It is a crucial day for Prime Minister-in-waiting Yves Leterme (Flemish Christian democrat). Mr Leterme has been trying to cobble together a new Belgian Government for several weeks, but now negotiators are addressing the contentious issue of the splitting of the electoral constituency of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde, BHV for short.

On Tuesday night Flemish parties (liberals, Christian democrats and nationalists) accepted Mr Leterme's proposals.

The former Flemish Prime Minister is now embroiled in talks with Francophone parties (liberals and Christian democrats). Timing is important because if the Francophone parties do not strike a deal, the Flemish parties will today vote to split the symbolic constituency in the Home Affairs Select Committee in Parliament, where they have a majority.

Francophones have already said that they will walk out of the government formation talks, if the issue is put to a vote.

Flemish parties feel that the proposals that they have accepted include significant concessions for French-speakers in Flanders.

Francophones in six Flemish municipalities where they enjoy special rights would still be able to vote for Francophone politicians.

The deal also releases more cash for Brussels and Francophone authorities will be able to inject cash into libraries and cultural initiatives in six Flemish municipalities around Brussels.

[Copyright Flanders news 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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