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Belgium’s new cabinet sworn in after 540 days

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Belgium’s new cabinet has been sworn in after one-and-a-half years of deadlock.

New Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and 18 cabinet members took an oath in front of King Albert II at the palace in Brussels on Tuesday.

The country has had a caretaker government since the general election in June last year as negotiations to form a coalition government failed between the Dutch-speaking north and the French-speaking south.

But last week, the US rating agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded Belgium’s sovereign bonds by one notch, resulting in a sense of crisis among the country’s 6 political parties. They finally agreed to form a coalition government.

Di Rupo, a French-speaking socialist, will make his diplomatic debut at an EU summit on Thursday.

The coalition government is likely to face strong public opposition over its proposed new austerity measures to rebuild Belgium’s finances.

NHK.

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Laaska News.
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