PM: "A government is not N-VA's first priority"

Outgoing Prime Minister Yves Leterme has attacked the Flemish nationalist N-VA, Belgium's and Flanders' largest party that holds the key to the government formation process. Mr Leterme was speaking on Francophone Radio just over a year after his government collapsed.

The Prime Minister told Walloon radio listeners that government formation was not the N-VA's first objective: "The party is procrastinating before taking up responsibility for its election victory.

Mr Leterme added that the question whether or not the Royal Mediator (and his party colleague), Wouter Beke, would succeed depended on the attitude of the leaders of the Francophone socialists and the Flemish nationalists: "Fleeing is no solution."

Mr Leterme believes that it is important for his Flemish Christian democrat party that an agreement on state reforms is negotiated.

The Prime Minister also underlined that his caretaker government too was taking its responsibilities seriously, but added that the present situation could not last for ever: "The present political situation is very negative."

He is supported in this view by another party colleague, European President Herman Van Rompuy, who told the daily De Standaard that the economic base of the country was sound and that the federal authorities were doing what they had to, but he added: "The political state of our land is a sad one."