“We will all need to adapt”

The Federal Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy (Flemish Christian democrat) has told the Francophone daily ‘Le Soir’ that Belgium faces difficult times during the coming decade. Mr Van Rompuy warns that the budgetary situation will get even tighter from 2011. However, the Prime Minister adds that Belgium has faced and tackled difficult financial situations in the past.
"A large part of the debt incurred due to the economic cycle will become structural debt. Amongst other things, this will come about as a result of the aging population."

"What we believed to be a temporary phenomenon is in fact permanent”, Mr Van Rompuy told the paper.

"As a result, the coming years will be marked by the great efforts that will have to be made as regards the budget.”

"Efforts to reduce spending were not seen as popular within the governments that have been in office over the past fifteen years."

"We’ll just have to adapt to the situation, as will the population at large.”

Nevertheless, Mr Van Rompuy doesn’t despair, as compared to the recession in the 1980’s; the current economic recession is small beer.

“I am completely convinced that were can also get over this hurdle. In any case we don’t have a choice. It will however take a long time”.