“People didn’t stand on the side-lines, but gave their all”

Flemish liberal Alexander De Croo will take the oath of office to become the new Belgian prime minister at 10AM on Thursday.  Flanked by Paul Magnette, the Francophone socialist who joined him to put the new seven-party government on the rails, Mr De Croo spoke of the need for a fully-fledged government to tackle the corona crisis and noted that his new team was one that had decided to put differences behind them and to focus on what they have in common.


The future prime minister cited the American sportsman Michael Jordan, who said talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.

The formation of the new government was no foregone conclusion.  It does not include the country’s largest party, the Flemish nationalist N-VA and it does not possess a majority among Flemish MPs.  The Flemish Christian democrats and liberals needed to be convinced that it could succeed.

“In recent days we have accomplished what long seemed impossible in our country, to form a federal government” the new Belgian leader said.

Mr De Croo also looked back at the recent months emphasizing how difficult they had been due to the corona crisis.

“Schools had to close, workers had to sign on temporarily and families were forced to take leave of friends and relatives. These are all events that have marked us. The corona crisis led to a lot of uncertainty, but also brought many good things to light: people did more than was expected of them.  In the care sector, and in schools and among postal workers, people didn’t stand on the side-lines, but gave their all to make this country work once again.”

After thanking coformateur Magnette, Mr De Coo expressed understanding for voters who remain sceptical but added that it was now up to his team to show it could work hard.

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