"It's a postal order catalogue"

Flemish opposition parties have been quick to slam the new government accord. The centrist liberals of Open VLD - who now find themselves on the opposition benches - say that a government without liberals is a government of tax increases. The greens attack "a lack of social vision". The right wing liberals of LDD say the accord is too left-wing, while the far right speaks of an empty box.
Catapulted out of the government by the election result the centrist liberals of Open VLD have pledged to play a constructive role in opposition.

Liberal MP Sven Gatz says reining in the budget is realistic, feasible and necessary, but the liberals attack the slashing of the bonus for people in work.

Pointing to the new Flemish child allowance and hospitalisation insurance Mr Gatz also claims that the government is making promises that it cannot keep.

"Ghost of election promises"

The far right Vlaams Belang claims that the government accord is a mere ghost of the promises made in the election campaign.

An illusion of Flemish autonomy is being created, but items like the Flemish energy company and the Flemish child allowance are empty boxes, initiatives that only start in 2 or 3 years time.

"Left dominant"

The leader of the right wing liberals of LDD, Jean-Marie Dedecker speaks of a "red-socialist agreement".

"It's above all the socialists that have won the day". Mr Dedecker does not believe that the Flemish nationalists of N-VA have accomplished much.

The new Flemish child allowance is a pittance as is the hospitalisation insurance.

"Who will foot the bill?"

Ecologist leader Mieke Vogels (photo top) says that the government accord is like a postal order catalogue that lacks a clear vision on society.

Fundamental choices are not being made. "There is a lot of talk about sustainability, but it's not clear what the new government means by this."

Ms Vogels is also eager to learn where savings will be accomplished in 2010 and 2011.