Thursday, 17 February 2011


 The Flemish nationalist leader Bart De Wever met with informateur Didier Reynders on Thursday afternoon, after the former had accused the latter of making proposals throught the media but without consulting him. No comments were made afterwards. Reynders mission has been prolonged with another fortnight by King Albert on Wednesday. Progress is not really in sight, and elections are becoming likely for late in spring. On Thursday Belgium seemed to have broken some kind of world record, as the BBC reported:

'Belgians are staging a series of tongue-in-cheek events to mark what many there see as a new record - the world's longest wait for a government.
Belgium has been without a government for 249 days - longer than Iraq - as parties from the Dutch-speaking north and French-speaking south remain split.
To mark the event, 249 people plan to strip naked in Ghent, and there will be free beer and chips in other cities.
Organisers hope the events will boost efforts to break the political impasse.
"We've had enough of political games," Kliment Kostadinov, one of the organisers, told the AFP.
"We must get a government fast and a reform of our institutions that is good for all Belgians."
Johan Vande Lanotte, who resigned recently from the post of king's mediator with the task of ending the crisis, urged Belgium's political leaders not to give up on finding a solution.
 He told Belgian radio that he had achieved agreement on up to 70% of his text but the final step had proved difficult.
"If the gap is so great, the parties should take great steps. That is not easy. Often they don't realise how hard that is. You don't make major reform of the state without enormous pain in your own ranks," Mr Lanotte said.
In a speech later in Ghent, he set out proposals for a Belgian union made up of four separate parts - Dutch-speaking Flanders, French-speaking Wallonia, the capital Brussels and German-speaking areas.
A caretaker government has been running Belgium since last June's elections which failed to produce an outright winner.
Although it took 249 days before Iraq achieved an outline agreement on a government, approval was not forthcoming for another 40 days, and some have questioned whether Belgium has yet broken the dubious record.
But that did not stop dozens of student organisations marking the event under an umbrella group entitled "Not in our name".
Although many of the events, such as stripping and eating chips, appeared light-hearted, organisers insisted they had a serious political message of conserving social security and strengthening solidarity'

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