BRUSSELS – A never-ending story?

With 248 days of Belgium without a government since the federal elections and continued stalemate, the King has decided to give federal informants Georges-Louis Bouchez (MR) and Joachim Coens (CD&V) yet another chance to work a miracle until 4 February.

The extension of their assignment was a big surprise to both, as they arrived at the meeting empty-handed.

“There are solutions, but there is still a long way to go,” Bouchez said after leaving the King’s palace.

It is anticipated that the King might give an indication of a potential change of personalities or ways forward during his New Year’s speech on Thursday (30 January).

In recent weeks, however, both informers have tried, in vain, to bring the views of the N-VA and the PS together in a potential coalition line.

At the start of this month, the leak of some of the informers’ notes indicated the Flemish nationalists might concede ground to the socialists on pensions. However, according to PS leader Paul Magnette, this was an empty box in practice because the N-VA would not have been willing to compromise at the negotiating table. 

Ahead of the mission renewal on Monday (27 January), Magnette repeated that associating the two parties at the federal level was not possible.

(Alexandra Brzozowski |

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