Tuesday sees 'important' meetings on Flemish and Belgian government formation

N-VA, CD&V and Vooruit have discussed the state of affairs regarding the formation of the Flemish government on Tuesday. N-VA leader Bart De Wever was then scheduled to gather potential partners for the next federal government before meeting King Philippe on Wednesday.

On the Flemish side, N-VA, CD&V and Vooruit sat down together to resolve recent friction between the three parties. Vooruit, and to a lesser extent CD&V, have criticised the working methods of formateur Matthias Diependaele (N-VA), for working slowly and not taking enough account of their wishes.

According to CD&V negotiator Hilde Crevits, Diependaele's proposals "contain some big problems". That is why Tuesday's meeting is "important to avoid serious friction" between the parties, Crevits said ahead of the meeting. "All parties must feel valued and respected."

Diependaele responded by saying that friction is a normal part of the negotiation process. He also acknowledged that the process takes time. "There is a lot of work to be done in the coming weeks," he said. "We have to make sure during the talks that everyone can identify with the coalition agreement."

The first reactions after the meeting were positive. "The consultation went well," said a spokesperson for Vooruit. "Hopefully we can now pick up the pace again."

Federal negotiations

N-VA's Bart De Wever also has an important meeting on Tuesday, when he talks to potential federal coalition partners Vooruit, Les Engagés, CD&V and MR.

De Wever is still preformateur, which means the formation of a federal government is still in an exploratory phase. That could change after Tuesday's meeting. If the parties come to a mutual understanding, De Wever could be appointed formateur during his meeting with King Philippe on Wednesday, which means he could start drafting a coalition agreement.

As in the Flemish formation process, that will largely depend on Vooruit. The socialists are reluctant to join a centre-right government and want assurances that healthcare and purchasing power will not be hit by austerity measures. Vooruit will announce its decision on whether to join the federal negotiations on Tuesday evening, after the meeting.



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