Belgian parties reach agreement on forming gov’t

DM Monitoring

BRUSSELS: The seven political parties involved in the formation of the new Belgian federal government reached an agreement on Wednesday, ending the long absence of a fully-fledged federal government in Belgium.
Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) and Paul Magnette (PS), who were appointed by King Philippe of Belgium last week to set up the federal government, were received by the king at 10:00 a.m. at the Royal Palace of Brussels, where they made their report on the agreement, according to a press release from the Royal Palace.
According to the agreement, Alexander De Croo will be the new prime minister.
After their meeting with the king, De Croo and Magnette made a statement to the press. De Croo thanked Magnette for his tireless work, saying it was the key to the successful implementation of the agreement.
“We are going to need everyone to make our society work again,” said De Croo.
Magnette expressed his relief after 16 months of crisis, which, according to him, “has damaged the confidence of our citizens in politics.”
Belgium has not had a fully-fledged government since December 2018, and negotiations to form a new coalition had been at an impasse since the parliamentary elections of May 26, 2019.
The swearing-in of the prime minister and the members of the government will take place on Thursday, according to the same press release from the Royal Palace.
Belgium is made up of the Flemish Region, Walloon Region, and Brussels-Capital Region. The formation of a federal government is generally a long process of negotiations.
From 2010 to 2011, Belgium had set a record of 541 days without a federal government.