"We are losing 6 to 7 months' time and may pay this cash"

Speaking in the VRT's current affairs programme "De afspraak op vrijdag", the former Belgian PM Yves Leterme warned possible coalition partners to move on with forming a new government. 

If we don't have new governments soon, we will not have a decent budget plan and a climate action plan by the end of the year, which may cost us dear, Yves Leterme warned. He was speaking in Friday's political affairs progamme "De afspraak op vrijdag". 

The Flemish, Walloon, Brussels and federal elections took place on 26 May. Coalition talks could take a very long time on the federal level especially, where no headway has been made so far. Yves Leterme misses a sense of urgency among the political partners to form new governments. He says we are losing 6 to 7 months' time "and I think this may coast us dear, literally."

Two big dossiers (the budget and the climate) should be handled as soon as possible

Mr Leterme is afraid Belgium will miss two important deadlines this year: one for a "strong budget" and another one for a climate plan. The EU urged Belgium to come up with a better climate action plan by the end of the year, after rejecting the previous one. "These are two big dossiers which should be solved by September or October."

Leterme says Belgium is risking fines if we don't have our housework ready: "People are underestimating the consequences of lacking an accurate climate plan." This could cost us an arm and a leg, he adds.

Leterme thinks politicians should have the courage to be honest towards the people, and tell them the budget problem and the climate effort will cost us money, while at the same time austerity measures will be needed anyway (due to the budget deficit). He added that both dossiers are pretty complex due to the complicated political structures in Belgium. 

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