Meanwhile, how about the future of Belgium? "Walloons should develop a vision instead of saying "no""

The Francophone parties in Belgium should come up with a vision of their own on the future of Belgium, and do more than just say "no", political pundit Alain Gerlache told the VRT's current affairs programme "Terzake". 

The federal elections are almost 3 months behind us, but the formation of a federal government hasn't even got underway. Things are not looking bright: the stalemate is complete since the biggest players at both sides of the language border, the Francophone socialists (PS) in Wallonia and the Flemish nationalists (N-VA) in Flanders, have completely different ideas about the pathway to choose.

Last week, N-VA supremo Bart De Wever finally had news about the Flemish government, but when he was questioned about the federal puzzle, he answered almost ironically: "See you at Christmas, but I didn't say which year", suggesting the federal talks (or should we say pre-talks) may take a very long time still. While the N-VA wants more Flemish autonomy, this is exactly what the PS doesn't want. Moreover, the PS is supporting leftist ideas (e.g. about health care and immigration) contrary to the N-VA's right-wing ideas. 

The Francophone socialists will have to make a choice between the lesser of two evils

If Flanders can't become independent, the N-VA wants at least a kind of confederalism like in Switzerland, with a lot of autonomy for the regions, and with the central state taking up not much more than Foreign Policy and Defence.  

However, while the N-VA have made it clear how they see the future of Belgium, the Francophone parties haven't done much more than reject these ideas. "It's about time the Francophone parties develop a clear vision about Belgium, instead of just saying "no"", Alain Gerlache told the VRT. Gerlache is a political pundit of the Francophone public broadcaster RTBF. 

Gerlache says the PS has to choose between the lesser of two evils: talking with the N-VA, which is very difficult for them, or just do nothing, but that is equally difficult. Maybe the fear for new elections can be an incentive - most Walloon parties would lose, except for the leftist PTB, which could take votes from the PS. 

Alain Gerlache (central) was a guest in Terzake.

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