8 Stories

Belgian Gov't Collapses After Just 4 Months

PM's resignation sparks new fears that country may split

(Newser) - Belgium's fragile five-party coalition government collapsed last night after only four months in power. Yves Leterme, the prime minister, submitted his resignation to the king after failing to resolve several longstanding disputes between the French- and Dutch-speaking regions of Belgium. The fall of the Leterme government plunges the country into... More »

Belgium Breaks Impasse, Forms New Govt.

Deal reached after 9-month crisis that almost split the nation

(Newser) - It took 9 months of negotiations and threatened to break the country in two, but Belgium's fractious Dutch- and French-speaking political parties struck a deal today to form a new coalition government and work toward shared priorities. Yves Leterme, the leader of the Flemish center-right party that won the June... More »

A Belgian Government, at Last

Late-night deal puts defeated PM in charge of interim coalition

(Newser) - Six months after inconclusive elections, Belgium will finally get a new government, thanks to a deal struck overnight. The emergency administration, to be led by "outgoing" prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, will include five parties from both French- and Dutch-speaking Belgium and will only govern until March 23, when the... More »

It's All Greek to Miss Belgium

Beauty queen is no Dutch treat; caretaker PM tries to mend government

(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... More »

PM-Elect Quits As Belgian Crisis Deepens

Kingdom edges nearer to split as Leterme walks out

(Newser) - Belgians awoke today to a fresh political crisis: last night Yves Leterme, the putative PM-elect of last summer's inconclusive elections, abandoned his attempts to form a coalition. Leterme submitted his resignation to the king after an ultimatum issued to other party leaders fell on deaf ears, the Observer reports, and... More »

Flemish Recycling Runs to Chicken Feed

Flanders pioneers pay-as-you-dispose policy, reuse centers

(Newser) - The Belgian region of Flanders is attracting international attention with novel recycling schemes that include reuse centers, pay-per-bag garbage collection, and omnivorous chickens. The Russians, the Chinese and the British have come calling to see how Flanders has managed to hold its total waste generation steady even as its population... More »

Franco-Flemish Split Widens in Belgium

66% of Belgians believe the nation will break apart sooner or later

(Newser) - Tensions in Belgium over whether the country should be split in half have reached a crescendo, with 3-month-old elections still unsettled and Flemish separatist politicians calling for a divorce, the New York Times reports. "We are two different nations with nothing in common except a king, chocolate, and beer,... More »

With No New Government, Belgium Edges Towards Split

Still no compromise 3 months after election

(Newser) - It's been 3 months since Belgians went to the polls, and their binational kingdom still has no government. Yves Leterme, the winner of June's elections, has been unable to form a coalition in parliament. Now the king has been forced to step in, and the perennial question of whether Belgium... More »

8 Stories