Belgium still without a government a year after elections

 

A year after the last general elections in June 2010 Belgium still has no official government. Major parties are still in coalition talks but no end is in sight. Although Prime Minister Yves Leterme resigned last year he still is the leader of the Belgian cabinet.

Some Belgians ironically say that they hold a new world record which they took from Iraq. The war-torn Middle Eastern country was without a government for 289 days in 2009.

Theoretically the stalemate could go on until the next official elections, scheduled to be held in 2014. Belgium suffers from a division of the country. Dutch-speaking Flanders and French–speaking Wallonia have been quarreling for years over more rights and control of the country.

 

The Flemish separatist party won the 2010 elections and beat the Francophone socialist party narrowly.

Most people fear that a new election would not end the problem. People in Belgium are getting more and more fed up with government and national institutions. In January thousands of citizens who protested against politicians’ failure of getting together a working government.

Belgian citizens do not experience much of a change in their everyday lives. The economy is good and exports are growing. Many decisions are made by regional governments. In 2010 Belgium successfully presided over the European Union and the country took part in the NATO bombing of Libya.

However , many questions are being raised as to Belgium’s future. Some political experts recommend splitting the country into two nations in order to settle things once and for all.

 

 

Words

  • although = while
  • cabinet = the politicians who have important positions in a government
  • citizen = a person who lives in a country and has rights there
  • decision = a choice that you make after a discussion
  • economy = business; buying and selling of goods
  • experience = feel
  • failure = not a success
  • fed up =not satisfied with; not happy about
  • Francophone = to have French as its main language
  • general election = an election in which all the people of a country can vote
  • government = the people who rule a country
  • however = but
  • in sight = to be seen
  • major = big
  • narrowly = closely, hardly
  • official = real
  • preside = to take control of
  • quarrel = to have an argument
  • raise = here: ask
  • recommend = suggest
  • resign = to step back; to quit a job
  • schedule = plan
  • separatist = a group that wants to have its own country
  • settle = to come to a solution
  • split = divide
  • stalemate =deadlock; situation in which there is no winner
  • suffer = experience
  • war torn = county or city that suffers from a war