Any initiative that brings Belgium closer to the formation of a federal government must be welcomed, including last week’s consultations, led by the socialists, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said on Saturday.
“Any initiative that would have the effect of moving us forward on the formation of a government must be positively welcomed,” Wilmès told L’Echo, in response to a question on the consultations. “I will welcome any initiative that brings us closer to a solution,” she added.
The move by the Flemish (sp.a) and Walloon (PS) socialists to hold consultations independently of the MR (Walloon liberals) and the N-VA (Flemish rightwing party) had been described as “almost a coup d’etat,” by MR President Georges-Louis Bouchez. He accused the PS and the sp.a of circumventing the King by consulting “without the main parties of the two Regions.”
Wilmès stressed the need to prioritise the search for a solution to the political crisis.
“Given the stakes ahead of us, the solution needs to come quickly and with the broadest majority possible,” for example, starting with the ten parties that support the special powers, she suggested.
“We face challenges and potential difficulties for the Belgian population that require us to transcend certain antagonisms,” she stressed, “but it’s not ten or nothing, of course.”