Monday, December 10, 2007

Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a Belgian Politician. But I repeat myself”

Belgium's Wallonian Media Minister Fadila Laanen has described an attack against the French-speaking broadcaster RTBF as "horrendous and unacceptable".On Saturday, the head of Belgium's Flemish Christian Democrats, Yves Leterme, blamed his failure to form a cabinet on the Wallonian broadcaster RTBF and the French-speaking political parties.

He compared the French-speaking broadcaster to the Rwandan radio station RTLM, which broadcast vitriolic attacks against Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. Mr Leterme was angry about a report by the Wallonian broadcaster over his failure to form a cabinet after 175 days. Six months after the Belgian parliamentary elections, Mr Leterme was forced to hand over his position as cabinet mediator to his political rival, outgoing Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.
Today marks six months without a new government and the prospects of a solution appear dim despite the return of the outgoing prime minister to the political scene and the population's growing impatience.

Meanwhile, public anger is growing over the political establishment's seemingly interminable quarrels. Belgium's three main unions are due to step up the pressure next Saturday when they are scheduled to hold a demonstration to call on a new government to tackle problems such as eroding purchasing power.

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