Belgium crisis continues as Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie quits coalition government

The Flemish nationalists consider the first agreement reached on the competences of the Belgian communities to be “too vague”.

The crisis faced by the federal state of Belgium does not seem to be over yet. Yesterday the so-called Committee of Wise Men, responsible for finding an agreement between Flemish and Walloon parties, revealed the first phase of the agreement, which would marginally increase the competences of the regions in some unproblematic areas, such as legislation on commerce, property letting and the highway code.

However, a few hours later the Flemish nationalist party Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) announced that it would not be part of the government led by Yves Leterme from 23 March because the agreement reached yesterday "does not contain enough guarantees for a major state reform", according to FlandersNews.


Against the clock
The deadline for discussions is 23 March, when Yves Leterme, who won the general elections held on 10 June 2007, will replace the current interim Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt.


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