Connor Rousseau and the Flemish liberal leader Egbert Lachaert are heading the talks with the green, socialist and liberal families and with the Flemish Christian democrats of CD&V.
Rousseau knows there is not much time to be wasted. One of the issues to be resolved - apart from the policy choices - is about who will become the new federal PM. Nor he, nor Lachaert has ambitions, but the hot potato shouldn't be around for too long anymore.
This is why Rousseau ups the pressure, saying "it should be clear by Friday 11 September who will become the new formateur", in other words, who will be charged with forming a new government, the last step of the talks. This person will automatically become the new PM.
Next Friday, Rousseau and Lachaert have to report to King Filip. Rousseau says his party has no preference: "It's about the project, and not about positions. It should be somebody who can make this project become a success."
Meanwhile, 17 September remains the deadline to get things done. If they don't have any good prospects or made enough headway by that time, new elections will be the only way out, says Rousseau.