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Belgium

Yearbook 2007

2007 BelgiumBelgium. In a satirical ad on the e-commerce site eBay in September, the whole of Belgium was offered for sale, as "a kingdom, in three parts". Any buyers were advised to buy one of the parts Flanders, Wallonia or Brussels. The background to the ad, which was soon removed from the site, was the political crisis in which Belgium was in. The country was without government since the parliamentary elections just over three months earlier, and there was talk of the risk of the nation falling apart.

The June 10 election to both parliament's chambers was a major setback for the largest government party, the liberal VLD, and for the government coalition in general. Guy Verhofstadt filed his resignation after eight years as prime minister.

2007 Belgium

According to CountryAAH, the largest party and the winner of the election became the Flemish Christian Democratic Party CD&V, whose leader Yves Leterme was commissioned to put together a new coalition. The task was difficult in the politically complex landscape where most parties are in two sets: one in Flanders and one in French-speaking Wallonia.

Leterme tried to form a government with Christian democratic and liberal parties. But in August, after two months, he was forced to announce that negotiations had broken down. The major battle issue was increased autonomy for the regions, which the Flemish CD&V and VLD advocated, but which their Walloon sister parties rejected.

Many Flemish people wanted increased self-government and reduced the transfer of resources from Flanders to Wallonia, the poorer of the two countrymen.

King Albert now had to step in to try to help find a solution. It was the first time the monarch participated in the formation of government in almost 20 years. The royal house is generally regarded as a unifying factor in the fragmented Belgium.

The attempts to form a government continued during the fall, without success. In November, a long time had passed since the election without a new government; 30,000 people demonstrated in Brussels for a united Belgium and to persuade politicians to form government.

In early December, Leterme gave up for the second time the attempts to form a government. Instead, the outgoing Prime Minister Verhofstadt was invited to form a transitional government to temporarily resolve the crisis. Just before Christmas, a five-party coalition with a three-month mandate was approved.

During the year, the Belgians marked the 100th anniversary of Georges Remi's birth with exhibitions, stamps and plans for a new museum. Remi created under the pseudonym Hergé one of the world's most famous Belgians: the cartoon character Tintin.

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