Wilmès gifts new Belgian PM a record of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons
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Wilmès gifts new Belgian PM a record of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons

Sophie Wilmès and Alexander De Croo. Credit: Belga

Former Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès gave her successor Alexander De Croo a vinyl record of ‘The Four Seasons’ by Antonio Vivaldi upon handing over the badge to 16 Rue de la Loi, the Prime Minister’s office.

The gift is a nod to the fact that the new government has become known as the Vivaldi coalition, because its four components are thought to represent the composer’s Four Seasons: red for socialists PS and sp.a; blue for liberals MR and Open VLD; green for ecologists Ecolo and Groen; and orange for Christian democrats CD&V.

“I am very happy that we have a government that has a majority in Parliament,” said Wilmès, who led a special powers government – without a majority – to carry Belgium through the coronavirus crisis as the country powered through its second-longest government formation period ever.

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In addition to the record, she gave De Croo a coffee mug. “I love mugs, I have a whole collection,” said Wilmès.

De Croo’s mug has ’16’ on one side and ’53’ on the other. Although De Croo suspected that Wilmès had made a mistake in his age, it was a reference to the number of prime ministers, as De Croo is the 53rd in the country.

“I hope we can continue to work together in the same way”, said the new Prime Minister in turn to Wilmès, who will stay in the government as Foreign Minister.

“I would like to thank you for your work over the last few months and for your sense of humour at difficult times,” he said.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times