"A move designed not to lose the election"

The New York Times, The Guardian and the BBC are only three of the international news outlets to devote attention to the collapse of the Belgian government.

The New York Times draws parallels with the situation in a raft of European countries.  Mr Michel has had to resign as a result of a populist reaction to migration.  It believes that Mr Michel's troubles are an echo of the problems of several European leaders including France's M Macron.  The daily also notes the Hi-Viz protests against fuel taxes and in favour of more spending power here and in France.

In the same article Martin Conway, professor of European history at Oxford, adds that Mr Michel's demise isn't simply a token of Belgium's instability.  Clever, sensitive and technical governance is under threat.  For the New York Times the collapse of the Belgian government is an incident in the wave of populist and nationalist anger on the continent. Because Belgium is a country divided by politics and language there's a warning from political analysts not to draw too many conclusions from what is a uniquely Belgian moment.

The paper also cites a former prime ministerial speechwriter who insists that this crisis isn't chiefly about government failure, but against the backdrop of the European anti-migration wave it is more accurately a move designed not to lose the elections.

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