Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"He lurched from crisis to crisis"

Sounds exactly like the type of guy you want to give a second chance to run your country:

Former Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme has been nominated to take office for a second time...His Flemish Christian Democrats, though decisive winners in the election, struggled to form a coalition for the first nine months...The government which finally took office in March 2008 lurched from crisis to crisis. It became bogged down in arguments over how to devolve more powers to Belgium's regions.

I'll call it even money that he's gone by Easter, and Belgium starts over. The place is really getting reminiscent of post-war Italy -- new governments on a yearly basis, the newest one headed by someone previously judged as unfit for office.

(Background on this)

Speaking of odd selections for high-profile jobs, Muammar Gaddafi has been tipped as a regional mediator in the wake of spectacular rioting over soccer...

Algeria qualified for the World Cup by beating Egypt 1-0 in the play-off held in Sudan on 18 November...but Egyptians were incensed by reports that 21 of their fans had been attacked as they left the stadium in Khartoum. At an earlier game between the two sides in Cairo, Algerian players were hurt by stone-throwing Egyptian fans and 32 supporters from both sides were injured in clashes when the match finished.


James Patrick Conway said...

I think the Economist had it right that Belgium should cease being a state. The post-Napoleon rationale for a buffer state between France and Germany has been obsolete for quite sometime. I say give the Flems back to France and the Waloons back to the Dutch, or allow each group to make its own republic (N. Belgium or S. Belgium perhaps). It is clear keeping the country together is far more trouble than its worth

Quriltai said...

Make it the DC of the EU. I don't think the Dutch want the Flemings back, and most French with whom I've spoken certainly aren't willing to lower their nation to opening it to the Walloons.