Thursday, September 15, 2011

No Holiday for King Albert

King Albert II cannot get a break! It is true, every time the King tries to go on break and take a holiday his feuding politicians force him to come back home to try to get all the children to behave themselves and play nice with each other. In August of 2007 the King had to leave sunny southern France from vacationing because Prime Minister Yves Leterme (Flemish Christian Democrat) had enough and wanted to quit his position. In July 2010 the King could not even leave on his hoped for vacation because of the politicians fighting, in an argument still unresolved. This year the King tries again but the crisis do not stop. First he had to stop his vacation and return home because of the Pukkelpop music festival tragedy and just after deciding to try again to have a little break the King is now having to fly home from Nice because of the breakdown in government formation talks led by Francophone socialist leader Elio Di Rupo. The King was already being frustrated with them for taking so long to accomplish anything and urged them to at least quickly reach an agreement on state reforms.

What has been happening there? Mr. Di Rupo has been giving the appearance of being ready to quit himself because of the political deadlock but did just finally reach one agreement on the division of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde which has been the subject of contention for a long time, almost since the start of the great Belgian experiment in federalism. Di Rupo turned up the drama meter and basically told everyone the world would come to an end today if they did not make some agreement about the BHV and the burgomasters of the three Flemish municipalities around Brussels with language facilities, which they have. So, some progress is made on the BHV which has been argued about for 48 years since it was created in 1963. But we know that this does not solve the problem of Belgium having no government. This push to solve the BHV problem was started by the King who has been frustrated watching the conditions for the people growing worse in the face of the economic crisis but with the political deadlock preventing taking new action to deal with the problems. The King hoped getting the BHV problem out of the way would make the negotiators able to deal with the budget and social economic issues that are greatly needed.

1 comment:

  1. Poor man, there's probably not another monarch in the world who has to endure so much grief from his own government -or lack thereof.