Political stalemate continues

The so-called high level group has presented its report on the transfer of federal tax revenues. However, not much progress has been made. The hot issue will move back into the hands of the main players in the ongoing preformation talks: Bart De Wever and Elio Di Rupo.

It's still waiting for a breakthrough in the ongoing preformation talks aimed at forming a new federal coalition government.

The present obstacle is the transfer of federal tax revenues to the regional level. This would give the different regions more financial means to make their own policy choices.

The personal income tax is now a federal matter. Flemish negotiators, headed by the Flemish nationalists of N-VA, demand that a "substantial part" of these tax revenues should be transferred to the regional level. However, this is a proposal which is very hard to digest for the Francophone negotiators, headed by Elio Di Rupo of the Francophone socialists. 

To break the deadlock, a so-called high level group was installed headed by Jan Jambon of the N-VA and Jean-Claude Marcourt of the PS. It was hoped that this group of negotiators representing the different parties involved would be able to work out a deal, but this was apparently not the case.

"There is fundamental difference of opinion", Mr Jambon told the pres. The hot potato will now be transferred to Mr Di Rupo and Mr De Wever, who earlier agreed to disagree on the matter and have it treated by the high level group. Still, some say an accord is still possible.