Magnette meets liberals, greens and socialists to discuss the budget gap

The 'informateur' charged with examining the opportunities to form a new federal government, Paul Magnette, has invited the Flemish and Francophone liberals, socialists and greens at the table to discuss the budget. There is a federal budget gap of about 11 billion at present. 

Paul Magnette (Francophone socialist) already had a 'secret meeting' with the same parties some days ago, which sparked the anger of the Flemish nationalist N-VA who was left out. 

This time, Magnette wanted to look more closely at the impact of different measures on the budget. The present budget gap is 11 billion, with critics saying that Magnette's measures would cost another 8 billion. However, this depends on the source: each party is citing different figures.

Apparently, Mr Magnette (PS) put five scenarios on the table, each one with a different financial impact. "But in all scenarios , the climate efforts would not be counted", says the VRT's political pundit Johny Vansevenant. In other words, investments to help the climate and the environment forward, would not be calculated as part of the budget. 

On Monday, Magnette is reporting to King Filip again. The king then has the option to choose N-VA supremo Bart De Wever as new 'formateur', to give him the first chance to form a new federal coalition government. Bart De Wever's N-VA is the country's biggest political block, but have quite different ideas from the PS.