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Belgian coalition talks 'back to zero'
Date 05/10/2010 13:08  Author webmaster  Hits 980  Language Global
05 OCT 2010

By Honor Mahony | EUobserver

Belgian negotiations on creating a coalition government following the June elections collapsed once again on Monday (4 October) as Dutch- and French-speaking politicians failed to agree on fundamental reform of the state.

The leader of the Flemish nationalist N-VA party, Bart de Wever, the overall winner at the polls, pulled the plug on the talks saying: "We have to clear the table, put the clocks back to zero and try to start again."

Keen to see more powers devolved to the community level, Mr de Wever placed the blame for the collapse squarely at the door of the francophones. "On the essential question for Flemings, we did not obtain a satisfactory response or this response was negative."

He made the statement after having issued an ultimatum to francophones to accept demands for greater fiscal autonomy by Monday.

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