Belgians demand unity government

Thousands march in Brussels to demand political rivals form a government after seven-month political impasse.

    Belgium has been without a government since the country's last parliamentary elections in June 2010 [AFP]

    Thousands of Belgians have staged a protest in Brussels against the seven-month long political impasse that has left the country without a government.

    Police in the Belgian capital said at least 30,000 protesters of all ages attended the rally, called "Shame: No government, great country", on Sunday.

    The protest was originally started by students wanting to see a new government and was soon joined by other protest groups.

    Simon Vandereecken, one of the protest's organisers, said: "It's like for years now we've seen our politicians insult each other by press or televisions or things like that. So now, we'd like our politicians to act, to do their job and stop bullshiting each other all the time."

    Rival politicians

    Belgians have been without a working government since the last national parliamentary elections in June 2010.

    Since then leaders from the largest parties in French-and Dutch-speaking Belgium have been unable to form a coalition government.

    While Dutch-speaking lawmakers are pushing for a greater transfer of tax-raising powers and rights to be transmitted to regional governments, the country's French-speaking politicians fear that could lead to the eventual break-up of the country.

    Financial markets have also responded to the political stalemate, with Belgium's public sector debt the third highest in the euro zone in 2009 following that of Greece and Italy.

    Meanwhile, Belgian's caretaker government has pledged to devise a budget for the coming year sometime in the next three months.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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