This is truly refreshing a bi-national, Old European country providing a shining example of just what is achievable through simple diplomacy.
Based on the four language areas defined in 1962-63, consecutive revisions of the country's constitution in 1970, 1980, 1988 and 1993 established a unique federal state with segregated political power into three levels:
1. The federal government, based in Brussels.
2. The three language communities:
the Flemish Community (Dutch-speaking);
the French (i.e., French-speaking) Community;
the German-speaking Community.
3. The three regions:
the Flemish Region, subdivided into five provinces;
the Walloon Region, subdivided into five provinces;
the Brussels-Capital Region.
Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme has offered his government's resignation amid a growing row over the break-up and sale of the stricken bank, Fortis.
King Albert II has deferred the decision on whether to accept it, and has begun talks on how best to proceed.
Earlier, Justice Minister Jo Vandeurzen quit after a judge said there were signs the government had tried to stop a court freezing the sale of Fortis.
The appeals court ruled shareholders had not been properly consulted.
Fortis has been among the European banks hardest-hit by the current financial turmoil, which left it desperately short of cash.
[...]Belgians go to the polls tomorrow after an election campaign dominated by heated debates over language rights. [...]
Bart de Wever, leader of the Flemish N-VA Party, is set to win the most votes tomorrow standing on a platform of major reform of the state including economic autonomy for Flanders. One in four Flemish voters plans to support him according to polls, his reward for tapping divisively into popular sentiment that taxpayers are being milked dry to prop up the French-speaking Walloons.
The Walloons, meanwhile, accuse the Flemish of lack of solidarity, reminding them sharply of all those years when the tables were turned and Flanders was but an agricultural backwater. "We've had to keep fighting, not with weapons but with words, just to have the right to speak our own language. And now it's time for change," Mr de Wever told the international press this week "We don't want a revolution, we are a very European party. But we do want an evolution for Flanders."
A party that wants to split Belgium won a parliamentary election tonight, a result that could complicate efforts to form a coalition that can deliver reforms of the state and tight budgetary control. Projections and early results showed the Flemish separatist N-VA (New Flemish Alliance), which advocates the gradual dissolution of Belgium, was to be the largest party in Dutch-speaking Flanders and the country.
Flemish public broadcaster VRT estimated it would win 30 of the 150 seats in the lower house of parliament, from just eight until now. Losses were forecast for the Christian Democrats and the liberals, former coalition partners. The French-speaking Socialists, whose leader, Elio Di Rupo, has been tipped to become prime minister, were expected to gain six seatsgiving them 26 overall.
[...][Acting PM]Leterme said the head of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Angel Gurria, would propose him as deputy secretary general of the organisation on Friday.
Should he get the job, his resignation date "will be determined by taking into account his current responsibilities as caretaker prime minister," he said, adding he was ready to see out the remaining months of 2011.
But hours after the shock news came a pre-dawn warning that the latest four-month drive to find a government for Belgium too looked to be heading for breakdown.
Elio Di Rupo, who heads the Socialist party that won a majority in French-speaking Wallonia in 2010, warned in a statement that headlined Belgian news that the talks had run into "a deep blockage".
He urged fellow-politicians to make "a last-ditch effort". ... ... ...
... suspect the EU governing apparatus helps them along in several areas of governance, but it is a very strange spectacle to see the acting PM leaving his post to take a better job in the EU. Evidently the EU administration isn't very concerned about this either.
I sincerely doubt that the EU-apparatus helps governing there.
Besides that, the acting PM doesn't takes a job within the EU-countries (France), but the OECD by no means as an EU-institution.