Belgium cannot go through another extended period without a federal government, as such a situation would be unsustainable for the country, two senior politicians charged with overseeing the creation of a new government said on Thursday.
Didier Reynders and Johan Vande Lanotte, appointed royal informants last week, made the announcement during a press conference after a meeting with Belgium’s King Philippe.
“We think that it is no longer possible that a scenario like the one in 2010-2011 reproduces itself again today,” Didier Reynders said, referring to the period in which entrenched negotiations left Belgium without a government for 589 days — one of the longest periods a developed country has ever been without a ruling cabinet.
“It is important that we hold discussions to form a government quickly,” Reynders, outgoing minister of foreign affairs, said, citing a “degrading economic situation” threatened by “international risks — like Brexit.”
Vande Lanotte and Reynders said they had met with all the leaders of political parties that are currently “capable of playing a role in the new federal government.”
The politicians have not so far met with representatives of the Vlaams Belang (VB), according to RTBF, even though the far-right party made huge gains in last month’s federal elections.
The royal informants, who have also met with representatives of the Belgian Bank, business leaders and several of the federal public agencies, will continue their mission until June 17, when they are expected to meet King Philippe again.
The Brussels Times