Belgium’s next Prime Minister should be Flemish, says De Block
Thursday, 24 September 2020
As Belgium is moving on to the final steps of its federal government formation, Federal Health Minister Maggie De Block said that a Flemish politician should become Prime Minister.
“It would be good to have a Prime Minister from Flanders,” De Block said on RTFB radio on Thursday. “The majority is on the Francophone side, and not with us,” she said, adding that a government needs to be balanced.
On Wednesday evening, the king appointed Paul Magnette, president of the francophone socialist party (PS), and Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and member of the Flemish liberals (Open VLD), as co-formators in a new step towards the formation.
De Block said that De Croo would “of course” be her choice to become Prime Minister. “He is from the same political group as I am, he is Flemish,” she said. “And I have been a fan of Alexander for a long time.”
The appointment of Magnette and De Croo as co-formators marks the first time since 27 May 2019, 486 days later, that politicians reach the formation stage, which is usually the last step before forming a full-fledged government.
“In the coming days, we will fully mobilise with the seven negotiating parties to finally provide our country with a stable and solid federal government. And also to give a way out of the crisis. A way forward,” they said.
It has been since Yves Leterme, who was Belgium’s Prime Minister from 2009 to 2011, that the country was led by a Flemish politician. Current PM Sophie Wilmès, as well as her predecessors Charles Michel and Elio Di Rupo, were all Francophone.