Danny Gys/Reporters

Mr Michel steers us through terra incognita

"An unstable adventure", "an unknown experiment" and "terra incognita", these are only some of the terms used to denote PM Michel's new minority government in the press.

Editorialists are agreed: the new cabinet ushers in a period of uncertainty.  The challenges are great and there is no guarantee of good governance. An extremely hard campaign is in prospect ahead of the 26 May general election.  There are no winners or losers, but what is described as the "circus" can continue.

The left-leaning De Morgen notes the minority government is set for an unstable adventure.  It will not receive any gifts from the left or the right. The paper has noticed how political opponents had no warm words for the Flemish nationalist asylum secretary, Theo Francken, leaving the government.  The return of the liberal Maggie De Block at this key office is seen as a relief.

The liberal Het Laatste Nieuws is surprised at the self-evident way in which the portfolios of the outgoing ministers have been dished out as it returns to the order of the day.  "Nobody questions the legitimacy of this government.  If a government only has the backing of a third of voters elections are needed."

The centrist Het Belang van Limburg writes that the inevitable has happened.  The government didn't survive the weekend.  The government took effective measures on security, migration, tax, labour and pensions, but the paper wonders how much more could have been done, if time had not been lost on bickering.

Gazet van Antwerpen notes that much is uncertain.  A majority needs to be found for everything.  PM Michel hopes to charm the socialists and greens with proposals on spending power, security and the climate.  For other issues the N-VA will be asked to help out.  This can lead to further crises.  It's highly unlikely that Mr Michel can govern in this fashion.  Little will change about migration policy that after all was the subject of the crisis.

The centrist De Standaard writes that the minority government is an unprecedented experiment: it requires great maturity from government and opposition alike.  They should be wary of package deals in which everything is linked to each other: the result will be that nothing is possible.

Stablemate Het Nieuwsblad notes that the Flemish nationalists have turned Marrakech, the city where a conference is being held on the Migration Compact that brought down the cabinet, into an adjective that should preferably be used as much as possible in combination with former coalition partners.

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