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The king will try and reduce tension between Flemish and French-speaking parties
(picture Belga)
The king will try and reduce tension between Flemish and French-speaking parties
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Can King Albert solve the crisis?

Fri 17/08/07 - As the coalition talks to form a new federal government have reached an impasse, King Albert steps in. The king is to consult the different political parties during the forthcoming days. Meanwhile, the coalition talks have been suspended.

King Albert II of the Belgians, who symbolises a unified Belgium, steps in as the differences between Flemings and Francophones are starting to threaten the future of the federal state.
King Albert will try to bring the parties back together
(Belga)
King Albert will try to bring the parties back together

At noon, formateur Yves Leterme, who heads the coalition talks that should lead to a new federal government, visited the king to report on the present situation at the negotiating table.

After the meeting, it was announced that the coalition talks have been temporarily suspended. Meanwhile, King Albert will consult the different parties.

It is expected that he will try to reconcile Flemings and Francophones in order to give the coalition talks a new boost.

It is not the first time the king steps in during coalition talks, but is quite unusual. The last time was in 1978. The king has to make sure he plays a neutral role, as he can't take sides.

Later, Mr Leterme (Flemish Christian democrat) will try to bring his mission to an end. He does not throw in the towel, as some had expected.

Yesterday evening, the talks had reached an impasse (see the link below).

Fundamental issue

Speaking at a press conference on Friday afternoon, Yves Leterme said that "there is no consensus on the role of the federal state, the different regions and the language communities."

He called on all parties involved to "have an open conversation on the issue in order to improve the working of the federal state and to allow a better cooperation with the regions and communities."