Thursday 09 September 2010 | Belgium feed


Fears over 'break up' of Belgium

A woman tipped as a future prime minister of Belgium has warned its citizens to 'get ready for the break-up' of the country following the failure of the latest talks to form a new government.

A woman tipped as a future prime minister of Belgium has warned its citizens to 'get ready for the break-up
Laurette Onkelinx has warned of the break-up of the country Photo: EPA

Laurette Onkelinx, a Socialist MP, spoke amid angry recriminations after King Albert II appointed two new negotiators to form a government straddling Dutch and French-speaking fractions.

Elio Di Rupo, the Socialist leader gave up efforts to seal a coalition pact with the biggest Flemish party, the independence-minded N-VA, seven weeks after a general election returned a deadlocked parliament.

"Let's hope it doesn't come to that because if we split, it will be the weakest who will pay the heaviest price. On the other hand, we can no longer ignore that among a large part of the Flemish population, it's their wish," Miss Onkelinx told La Deniere Heure newspaper. "So yes, we have to get ready for the break-up of Belgium.

"When I look at the letters I receive, loads of people think it's possible."

Meanwhile, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and a former Belgian PM said he still believed there was a chance of a breakthrough in the tortuous negotiations.

He said: "In all difficult periods there is a moment when you have to put the details to one side and not keep on discussing until the last million or the last comma.

"You have to say we're taking a risk and making a leap forward in the process of state reforms and a settlement. We have to stand up to our followers, on both sides, Flemings and Francophones, and move forward. It's the only way to reach a solution."

Daniel Hannan

'The most wonderful party'

How does a conductor who grew up under Czech communism get ready for the Last Night of the Proms? Ivan Hewett talks to Jiří Bělohlávek.

News Most Viewed

Sponsored Features

Summer Driving Guide

Indulge in guiltless pleasure on a summer drive with Volkswagen Eos, plus win designer driving accessories.

Win a luxury Italian getaway

Four nights for six people in a luxury villa and dinner at a Michelin star restaurant. Find out more.

Save: Dell computers for small business

Dell business solutions. Fasttrack savings for business. 48hr shipping with free delivery

Pictures of the day

Rowie Meers has found the perfect way to support her melons - using old bras. She whipped out her undergarments to hoist up the fruit after her melon plants started drooping. Supportive customers then helped by sending in more than 40 unwanted brassieres to her farm during the summer. The mum of three says she found the answer to her problem 'right under her nose'

A surfing dog, the moon from space, and a novel way to support melons.

Twitpics from space

Astronaut sends spectacular pictures back to Earth via his Twitter account.

Zombies in popular culture

An American university is offering a new class on zombies.


Sponsored Features

The Scandinavia Show 2010

Visit The Scandinavia Show at London Olympia on October 9-10 for a unique Nordic experience.

World Vision UK

Find out how World Vision is tackling child poverty in Africa and help by sponsoring a child in Sierra Leone.

Britain's Top 100 Employers

Discover Britain's Top Employer for 2010 and find out who are the best organisations to work for.