New informateur unveils “new approach”

Parti socialiste leader and Belgium’s brand new informateur, Paul Magnette, has told a news conference of the new approach he will take with a view to forming a new federal government.  Mr Magnette told newsmen that he would take the challenges that the country faces as the point of departure for discussions and not look at which parties can work together. 

Mr Magnette told newsmen what they already knew: the election result had made a speedy formation impossible, but he insisted he was an optimist: “Our country has witnessed several crises and always we have found a solution.  I see no reason why this would not be the case now.”

Mr Magnette will first see the two former informateurs, Johan Vande Lanotte en Didier Reynders, and then move on to party leaders including the Flemish nationalists of N-VA, the liberals, socialists and greens. He also intends to invite Francophone minority parties like Défi (Challenge) and the Christian democrats to the talks. In all ten parties will be involved!

Next week the informateur hopes to establish on which points parties agree.  He intends to identify five priorities that could include turning Belgium into a confederal state, an N-VA demand, but other parties would have to agree.  Mr Magnette will report to King Filip on 18 November.

As to his chances of success he rated these at 2 or 3 out of 10.