The spending review that is now in prospect looks to be a very arduous one. The monitoring committee will publish its official figures in the course of the day after it meets for a final time. According to media reports the shortfall is over 3 billion euros.
The government needs to make good at least part of this shortfall if it is to meet its European Union obligations. The 3.1 billion does not include an extra 650 million euros required to deal with the asylum crisis. The Belgian government hopes that the EU will see this as a one-off expenditure, at least for budgetary purposes.
Last week it emerged that there was already a 1.4 billion euro shortfall due to tax revenue that was lower than expected.