Thursday, July 17, 2008

Belgium Held Hostage Part II? Non!

Doing my part to fill the void of Belgium-centered news in the American media, I thought I'd update loyal readers on my series Belgium Held Hostage. Last we checked in, it seemed that a government had been cobbled together that could attempt to govern the country, some 200 days after the election.

Well, about 130 days into the government's tenure, the prime minister of Belgium, Yves Leterme, submitted his resignation to the king. Citing the inability to resolve these conflicts between the linguistic communities of Belgium before a self-imposed deadline, Leterme offered his resignation.

It's currently unclear what happens next, though Le Soir reports that Leterme may continue on as prime minister, and a team of "mediators" will be appointed to attempt to resolve this crisis.

Although I think that odds are that Belgium will remain a unified nation, those odds seem to shorten every time I look.

Update: That is indeed what will happen. The king refused the resignation, and instead appointed the President of the Germanophone Community of Belgium, a Bruxellois member of Parliament, and a Francophone member of the European Parliametn to serve as eminences grises in the effort to create a new linguistic consensus.

Update II: I got a link from CNN for talking about this, for about five minutes.

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