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Belgium without a Government ....?





deanhills
I'm totally stumped! Looks as though Belgium has been without a Government for longer than a year? Does anyone from Belgium know whether there are going to be elections soon? Apparently it has been run by a caretaker Government since 13 June 2010. So today has to be an anniversary of sorts?
Quote:
Belgium has notched up some eclectic world records over the past year. Last April, the heaviest cheese sculpture — made with 2,330 lb. (1,059 kg) of Gouda — was carved in the coastal resort of Ostend. In July, a barman in the northern town of Hamme spent a record 102 straight hours serving beer in his café. And in August, in Ostend again, 2,875 people broke the record for group Hula-Hooping. However, this week saw what is probably the most dubious of the lot: Belgium broke the record for the world's longest wait for a government.

On Feb. 17, the country hit 249 days without a government, breaking a record set last November by Iraq. A caretaker government has been running Belgium since elections on June 13, but despite countless negotiations among the fragmented political parties, the nation's leaders are not even close to an agreement on a new coalition.

Looks as though Belgians are quite unaffected by all of this:
Quote:
However, the absence of a government makes little difference to day-to-day life in Belgium. Many state functions, from education to welfare, have already been ceded over the years to regional and community governments. Belgium deftly helmed the presidency of the E.U. in the second half of 2010, and the caretaker government last month headed off market jitters over its debt levels by quickly agreeing on a tighter budget. The country is recovering well from the downturn, with growth last year at 2.1% (compared with the E.U. average of 1.5%), foreign investment doubling and unemployment at 8.5%, well below the E.U. average of 9.4%.

"By and large, everything still works. We get paid, buses run, schools are open," says Marc De Vos, a professor at Ghent University and the general director of Itinera, a Brussels-based policy institute. "We can free ride for a while yet." Still, De Vos worries about how the crisis can be resolved in the longer term. Belgium is a patchwork of Dutch speakers and French speakers, founded in 1830 on pragmatic values of cooperation and conciliation, but it lacks a sense of national unity to push people together, De Vos says.

Source: Time.com
Bondings
Only if there is still no government after the summer there is a good change that there will be new elections - however elections (at least at the moment) wouldn't change much considering the election results would be very similar according to the latest polls.

We still have our local governments (there are a lot of them) and at the federal level there is the previous/"resigning" government taking care of everything except new initiatives (which they aren't allowed to).
deanhills
This reminds me of our HR Department at work. It was operating at its best when there was no Director as all the sub-departments had protocols to work to. Once there was a Director the winds started to pull them into many directions, so every week there is a new "manifest" of doing the same things differently and managers are not really sure of what to do, so more often don't do anything.

Maybe there is something really good in a caretaker Government after all. Very Happy
menino
deanhills wrote:
Maybe there is something really good in a caretaker Government after all. Very Happy

LOL, I'm also surprised by this news, but I think in general, Belgium is one of the few countries that has least amount of corruption, according to the world Corruption barometer (at least of 2009), according to transparency.org.
So I guess almost everyone does their jobs well, I would think.

Still, in my opinion, once they do have a proper leader... leaders usually face politics from opposition parties, as it goes without saying, with I most countries.
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deanhills
menino wrote:
Belgium is one of the few countries that has least amount of corruption, according to the world Corruption barometer (at least of 2009), according to transparency.org.
So I guess almost everyone does their jobs well, I would think.
Most important part is everyone in the caretaker Govrnment has received their pay regardless. All of the machinery is working in automatic .... I guess they even got taxes to be paid by the people as normal as always ..... Twisted Evil
adri
deanhills wrote:
Most important part is everyone in the caretaker Govrnment has received their pay regardless.


Yeah they should get an unemployment pay-out...

I found this video of BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13773297

It's more or less correct.


adri
deanhills
Thanks for the link. Quite funny with the beards, wonder how long they are going to be before the next Government? Very Happy I really like your country. First that video in your blog showing your beautiful and clean high ways with green everywhere, and now a country that can govern itself without a real government. Maybe this is the country I should be visiting this summer!

PS: Hilarious that the Flemish want to rename roads! Hope they don't get their way as it can really be confusing when that happens. Very Happy
RefTest
deanhills wrote:
Thanks for the link. Quite funny with the beards, wonder how long they are going to be before the next Government? Very Happy I really like your country. First that video in your blog showing your beautiful and clean high ways with green everywhere, and now a country that can govern itself without a real government. Maybe this is the country I should be visiting this summer!

I'm not saying that Belgium isn't a beautiful country, but "beautiful and clean highways with green everywhere" is quite an exaggeration. First of all, most roads are being used over capacity with huge traffic jams (in a study Brussels came first as the city with the most traffic jams in Europe) and a lot of roads need urgent repairs. There is some green (grass) right next to the highways, but (at least in the North of the country) there is a huge lack of green (forests, ...) in general considering the huge population density.
deanhills
RefTest wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Thanks for the link. Quite funny with the beards, wonder how long they are going to be before the next Government? Very Happy I really like your country. First that video in your blog showing your beautiful and clean high ways with green everywhere, and now a country that can govern itself without a real government. Maybe this is the country I should be visiting this summer!

I'm not saying that Belgium isn't a beautiful country, but "beautiful and clean highways with green everywhere" is quite an exaggeration. First of all, most roads are being used over capacity with huge traffic jams (in a study Brussels came first as the city with the most traffic jams in Europe) and a lot of roads need urgent repairs. There is some green (grass) right next to the highways, but (at least in the North of the country) there is a huge lack of green (forests, ...) in general considering the huge population density.
Thanks for bringing me down to earth. The helicopter that was filming the car probably must have been filming too high up, I must have missed the "bad parts". I also am surrounded by desert around here and sand blowing every where, so I don't have to see much green to get thoroughly smitten with a place. Anyway, Nirvana it probably then is not, I'll have to check out the next place for my summer holidays. Very Happy
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