PM resolute on date of policy statement

4th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

4 September 2006, BRUSSELS — Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt remains committed to delivering the federal government's policy statement on 10 October, despite the fact it will come just two days after the local elections.

4 September 2006

BRUSSELS — Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt remains committed to delivering the federal government's policy statement on 10 October, despite the fact it will come just two days after the local elections.

"I will appear in Parliament on the second of Tuesday of October at the latest with the policy statement. I will not tolerate a period of electoral uncertainty giving a negative impact on our work," Verhofstadt said.

The timing of Verhofstadt's 'State of the Union' address has been the subject of speculation in recent weeks, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported.

It was uncertain whether the second Tuesday of October would be retained because the delivering of the 2007 Budget would come at the same time as the local elections. Many ministers are also standing for election.

"I think that it's possible to discuss the budget check before 8 October and appear on Parliament on the second Tuesday of October with a complete federal policy statement that will create a budget surplus for 2007 and create the conditions for further support for employment," Verhofstadt said.

The Liberal VLD said he does not want the "good climate" — meaning economic growth of almost 3 percent — to be affected by the election.

He also wants to give the government every possibility of achieving its employments target of 200,000 new jobs before the end of his government's term of office.

The National Bank is still predicting 140,000 extra jobs, but Verhosftadt said the National Institute of Statistics and Eurostat think that 200,000 jobs are still attainable.

Verhosfstadt also wants to maintain the budget balance and even achieve a 0.3 percent surplus. He said early elections will not be held, which means the nation will head to the polls in May or June next year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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