The N-VA wants to be part of a federal coalition government

Speeching at his party's New Year's reception, Flemish Nationalist leader Bart De Wever (N-VA) lashed out against Open VLD supremo Gwendolyn Rutten, while also  making an effort to close the gap with the socialists. Yes, we want to be part of a federal coalition government, he underlined, "but we prefer to continue the centre-right policies." 

The federal government formation is still in dire straits. Political pundits were looking forward to Bart De Wever's speech yesterday, to see if anything new could break the deadlock. 

Bart De Wever first confirmed that the N-VA is still interested to be part of a new federal government. "We are not afraid to take our responsibility", he said. But he added that he only wants to do this if the policies of the previous centre-right government can be continued, with the focus on a socio-economic recovery and a stringent migration policy. 

We are prepared to raise the lowest pensions

It remains unclear how the ideas of biggest party in Flanders (the N-VA) and the biggest player in Wallonia (the PS) can be brought together. The two are like chalk and cheese.

Mr De Wever made an effort to reach out towards the PS, when he said that the N-VA is prepared to raise the lowest pensions. However, he did not say that this meant a minimum pension of 1,500 euros, as the leftist parties demand. De Wever said that first the money has to be found, before cash can be spent.

Political pundit Dave Sinardet of the Brussels university VUB thinks that the N-VA wants to prove that they are taking a positive attitude, and that if it will be without them, it will be because they have been ousted by the others. 

Gwendolyn Rutten targeted

Last but not least, Bart De Wever criticised the Flemish liberal leader Gwendolyn Rutten, his partner in the Flemish coalition government. He accused her of being two-faced: on the one hand the Open VLD joined the centre-right Flemish government, while on the other they are showing their appreciation for the federal plans of the PS and ex-formateur Paul Magnette, who heads the plans for a purple-green coaltion (with socialists, liberals and greens).

De Wever was wondering why this could be, suggesting that Gwendolyn Rutten wants to become the new PM. "We would never make a government choice just because we want to have the Prime Minister." 

We would never make a government choice just because we want to have the PM