King gives informateurs another 2 weeks
232 days since Belgians elected a representatives to serve in the Federal Parliament there is still no new Federal Government. On Monday afternoon the two men given the task of trying to pave the way for talks to start on the formation of a new federal coalition, Joachim Coens (Flemish Christian democrat) and Georges-Louis Bouchez (Francophone liberal), have brought the monarch up to speed on their work so far.
After the meeting that last around one and a half hours, it was announced that the informateurs mission will be extended for another 2 weeks. They will report to the King again on 28 January.
After having listened to the Informateurs’ progress report King Filip decided to prolong their mission until Tuesday. 28. It is still not absolutely clear whether a coalition that includes both the Flemish nationalists and the Francophone socialists is a possibility. The extra two weeks is being given “in order to bring clarity regarding the various points of view”.
By prolonging the informateurs’ mission the King is giving them the chance to further explore this avenue. In his speech at the Flemish Nationalist Party’s (N-VA) New Year reception, the party’s leader Bart De Wever said he would be prepared to consider a number of social measures such as increasing the level of the minimum pension in exchange for a commitment to a strict migration policy.
However, the Francophone socialists don’t see this as an olive branch. Nevertheless, some other parties believe that the Francophone socialists and the Flemish nationalists should be brought together for bi-lateral talks. By giving the informateurs some extra time the King has facilitated this.