FLASH: Finally, a Breakthrough!

Word is coming out now via Flemish radio that Belgium’s long (indeed, record-breaking) wait for a proper government may finally be coming to an end. Not only have all relevant political parties now reached an agreement on how to proceed further, but what has been achieved indeed seems to take the form of no less than a major revision of the basic constitution under which Belgium is governed.

“The Belgium of tomorrow will look entirely different” announced today Elio Di Rupo, the formateur who had labored for months at the assignment of King Albert II to try to form a new government. But the political differences were so deep between the Dutch- and French-speaking parts of the country, on a number of issues, that nothing less than this sort of thorough-going transformation of the functions of Belgian government at all levels – in finance, in division-of-powers, etc. – was necessary to break the impasse. For example, apparently the Belgian federal Senate will be transformed a body designed more to represent as three blocs the three “states” – Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels – that make up the country.

If you’re as excited about this as I am, and can read Dutch, then the full text of the new agreement is available for you on-line. Otherwise, I’ll see if there is anything further to report on this development – i.e. that isn’t boring and/or overly provincial; there may be nothing else – and bring it up here.

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