Expatica news

Leterme optimistic about coalition

28 August 2007

BRUSSELS – The memo photographed on Jean-Luc Dehaene’s lap on Monday was indeed a document containing proposals from the Flemish Christian Democracts CD&V. Appointed formateur Yves Leterme confirmed this during an interview at the West Flemish regional broadcasters Focus/WTV. Leterme remains optimistic about the formation of a new government. He believes this can be achieved in a few weeks’ time.

Leterme talked about his period as formateur during the interview. “Five weeks of negotiating, often 16 hours a day, was exhausting. And still there were only two nights that I was unable to sleep,” Leterme says. 

“Twice I went without sleep, and those were the last days before I handed my task back to the king. It was the moment when Milquet persisted in sticking to her ‘non’ and I saw then that it would fail. That’s when I lay tossing and turning, got up in the middle of the night to phone Jean-Luc Dehaene, looking for a solution to get out of this impasse.”

The politician does not see himself as a failure as formateur. “The work has not gone to waste. We can start up again right away. Of course I made mistakes, I still do, every day, just like anyone else. But the demands of the Flemish parties were not insurmountable and were correct and necessary for good government.”

And so there is nothing standing in the way of him functioning as prime minister in future, he says. “The distrust can quickly be worked away, I’m convinced of that…A government should be possible in a few weeks’ time.”

Handing back his task to the king gives the process extra time. “We need that in order to work on the coalition accord behind the scenes. Far away from all the grand declarations, because that is what went wrong in these negotiations. Now we have put together a memo and Jean-Luc Dehaene has gone to present it to the king.” This is the memo that was photographed on Monday.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news