Belgium under the tutelage of Brussels?
23 November 2011
De Morgen, 23 November 2011
"EU ups pressure on Belgium," headlines De Morgen. The Flemish newspaper writes that "at a time when negotiations on the formation of a government are suspended, the European Commission is once again insisting in its Economic Growth Survey 2012 on the need for structural reforms."
The Brussels daily explains that the report deals with Europe in general and is not exclusively focused on Belgium. For example, it points out that "without a convincing response to the euro crisis, the economic situation of the EU will deterioriate rapidly" – an observation which highlights the fact that time is running out for Belgium, which has been without a government for almost 18 months.
The political crisis also affects the conomy, adds De Morgen: the yield on Belgian debt has continued to climb and now exceeds 5% – a situation judged to be "worrying" by Anne Leclercq of the national Debt Agency. According to Leclerq, "last month, we were pulled down by France. When the country came under pressure on financial markets, we were contaminated too."
This is a concern that is shared by columnist Yves Desmet, who wonders if a pure and simple form of European tutelage would not be the best the solution to the Belgian political crisis: "every day, our politicians demonstrate their incompetence in the fine art of taking democratic decisions: that is, making compromises. If no one in this country is able to see beyond the interests of his party, then it might be an idea to place Belgium under the tutelage of the European Commission."