Who Needs a Government? Not Belgium

Country has no PM 149 days after elections; foreign policy on hold
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2007 2:00 PM CST
Belgium's Minister President of the Flemish government Yves Leterme gestures as he talks during a media conference at his office in Brussels, Monday May 14, 2007.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Belgium marks a record 149 days without government today, and the binational kingdom is still mired in protracted coalition talks. It's the most serious political crisis in the nation's history, and yet Belgians are growing used to the situation, the Telegraph reports. "If they are not careful they will realize that we don't need them," said one.

Yves Leterme's Christian Democratic and Flemish Party won the most seats in June's elections, but he has been unable to form a coalition in parliament. Successive mediators appointed by the king have gotten nowhere. The caretaker government handles day-to-day business but is hamstrung with foreign policy: It's unknown, for example, if Belgium can sign an EU reform treaty next month.