Verhofstadt III Government

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Belgium 2007–2011 Belgian political crisis

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The Verhofstadt III government was an interim Belgian government inaugurated on December 21, 2007[1] and lasting until 23 March 2008. It was led by Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt government and contained representatives from the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD), Flemish Christian Democrats (CD&V), the Francophone Socialists (PS), the Francophone Liberals (MR) and Francophone Christian Democrats (CDH).

It was succeeded by a permanent government led by CD&V leader Yves Leterme.[2]

Formation of government[edit]

When the Parliament confirmed the formation of this interim Government, it had been 196 days since the Belgian people had voted out the previous coalition, the longest period of formation in Belgian history.

Composition of government[edit]

The government consisted only of ministers. The composition of the interim Government as decided in the inaugural Council of Ministers is as follows:[3]

Minister Name Party
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt Open VLD
Deputy Prime Minister - Finance and Institutional Reform Didier Reynders MR
Deputy Prime Minister - Budget, Mobility and Institutional Reform Yves Leterme CD&V
Social Affairs and Public Health Laurette Onkelinx PS
Interior Patrick Dewael Open VLD
Foreign Affairs Karel De Gucht Open VLD
Economy, the Self-employed and Agriculture Sabine Laruelle MR
Pensions and Social Integration Christian Dupont PS
Employment Josly Piette CDH
Justice Jo Vandeurzen CD&V
Defence Pieter De Crem CD&V
Climate and Energy Paul Magnette PS
Development Cooperation Charles Michel MR
Civil Service and Public Enterprises Inge Vervotte CD&V

The Restricted Council of Ministers (KERN) is the arbitration arm of the executive, which arbitrates disputes within the Government. Under the interim Government, it consists of the Prime Minister and five members of Government representing the five parties in coalition, namely both Deputy Prime Ministers as well as the Minister of Employment, the Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health and the Minister of the Interior.[4]

Under the interim Government deal, it was understood that Yves Leterme will take over the post of Prime Minister no later than 23 March.[5] On March 20, Leterme officially succeeded Verhofstadt and a new government was formed.

Government declaration[edit]

The government declaration to which the parties agreed consists of ten points. The main task of the government is to prepare the 2008 budget. Social security benefits will be increased, and businesses will see their shift work costs reduced. A service agreement will be negotiated with the national railway operator. A national security plan is proposed, and the Treaty of Lisbon will see a quick ratification.[6][7]

Government policy[edit]

One of the first actions of the newly installed government was to raise the Belgian security level in response to a possible Islamic terrorist threat.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Belgium Finally Gets a Government". TIME. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  2. ^ "Verhofstadt to form interim government". VRT Nieuws. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  3. ^ "Members of the Government". Federal Government. 
  4. ^ "Inaugural Council of Ministers Press Release". Belgian Government Press Center. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  5. ^ "Teller is gestopt, maar klok tikt". De Standaard. 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  6. ^ "Verklaring van Eerste Minister Guy Verhofstadt omtrent de interimregering voor de Kamer" (in Dutch). Belgian Chamber of Representatives. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  7. ^ "Allocution prononcée devant la Chambre des Représentants par le Premier Ministre, M. Guy Verhofstadt, portant sur le gouvernement intérimaire" (in French). Belgian Chamber of Representatives. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  8. ^ "Terrorism fears put Belgium on alert" (in English). The Associated Press. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2007-12-21. [dead link]