Timeline of Belgium political crisis
Here is a timeline of the political crisis in Belgium, which began four years ago and has left the country without a government for more than a year:
- June 10: Flemish Christian Democrat leader Yves Leterme presses for a vast reform of the federal state after Flemish demands for more autonomy gain ground in legislative elections.
- August 23: Leterme quits after failing to form a government coalition.
- December 21: The political impasse leaves outgoing prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, a Flemish liberal, in charge of a transitional government.
- March 20: Leterme forms a government.
- September 21: Flemish separatist party N-VA breaks its alliance with Leterme's party.
- December 19: Leterme government collapses over its handling of efforts to save Fortis bank from bankruptcy.
- December 30: A new government is formed, led by another Flemish Christian Democrat, Herman Van Rompuy.
- November 25: Leterme returns as prime minister after Van Rompuy leaves to take the presidency of the European Union.
April 22: The Leterme government resigns after talks between Flemish and French-speaking parties collapse. Snap elections are called.
June 13: The N-VA, led by Bart De Wever, wins most votes, with 28 percent, in Belgium's biggest region, Dutch-speaking Flanders. Socialists led by Elio Di Rupo win in smaller French-speaking Wallonia and bilingual Brussels with 36 percent.
July 9: King Albert II gives Di Rupo the task of forming a coalition government.
September 3: Di Rupo's coalition talks fail, negotiations go back to zero.
October 4: De Wever rejects new negotiations.
October 17: The king hands the mission to De Wever, who proposes wider autonomy for the regions, a plan rejected by francophone parties.
October 21: A new political mediator, Flemish socialist Johan Vande Lanotte, is named by Albert II in a fresh effort to renew talks.
January 5: The N-VA and Flemish Christian Democrats reject a compromise proposed by Vande Lanotte.
February 2: The king names caretaker finance minister Didier Reynders, a francophone liberal, to try to revive negotiations. His efforts go nowhere.
February 17: Belgium grabs the dubious record of the world's longest political crisis, formerly held by Iraq.
April 22: Belgium marks one year without a government.
July 7: The N-VA rejects Di Rupo's last-ditch proposal to avoid snap elections.
© 2011 AFP