It's All Greek to Miss Belgium

Beauty queen is no Dutch treat; caretaker PM tries to mend government
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2007 2:28 PM CST
King Albert II of Belgium, left, shakes hands and shares a few words with some World War II veterans at the monument of the Unknown Soldier in Brussels, Sunday Nov. 11, 2007, on Armistice Day, commemorating...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The new Miss Belgium sparked fury in Flanders this weekend with her admission that she doesn't speak Dutch, AFP reports. In a country already torn over the Flemish-French conflict that's derailed the government for months, 20-year-old Alizee Poulicek's attempt to speak the language of the country's majority was met with boos and mockery—but she still emerged victorious.

Six months after June's inconclusive elections, the caretaker PM agreed today to try mending the crisis with a stopgap government, the BBC reports. "In light of the gravity of the situation that the country is in I have accepted the mission,'' Guy Verhofstadt said. The crisis has left Belgium without a 2008 budget and may require a 2.3% tightening of the country's gross domestic product, Bloomberg reports.