CD&V finally opts for rejuvenation

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CD&V chairman Joachim Coens has been under heavy fire in recent weeks, but he is keeping his word about the necessary rejuvenation of his party. Vincent Van Peteghem becomes the new federal patron.

The accession congress of CD&V in Antwerp still has to give the green light, but Coens has strengthened his chances with the casting of his party in the new Vivaldi government.

Coens not only brings in heavy portfolios with Finance, the Interior and the attractive Asylum and Migration. He also gets the broom through his staff, something his predecessor Wouter Beke left behind for years.

Vincent Van Peteghem, Mayor of De Pinte, will be Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and responsible for state reform. A very heavy portfolio for the doctor of Economics and professor of organization management in Lille.

Second new name: Annelies Verlinden, a talented business lawyer from Schoten, who had already participated in the party years ago, but opted for business. Remarkable: Verlinden was a prominent player in the Arco trial, where she defended Arco. Has Coens brought in the Antwerp team to put Arco back on the agenda? Not completely clear. It is not entirely an extension of its Home Affairs competence.

The State Secretary for Asylum and Migration will be added to Verlinden’s cabinet. This is pointed out to youth chairman Sammy Mahdi, a man with Iraqi roots who is not afraid to say what it is like.

Coens also landed the vice-chairmanship of the European Investment Bank. But that does not go to Koen Geens. He moves to the House.

The De Croo government will have fifteen ministers and five state secretaries. Two power packages are new. Thomas Dermine, the right-hand man of PS Chairman Paul Magnette, becomes Secretary of State for Relance. A Minister of Ecolo will be responsible for the implementation of the European Green Deal.

As is known, Open VLD gets the prime minister. Vincent Van Quickenborne becomes his Deputy Prime Minister, he will be given the heavy Justice portfolio. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo also keeps the budget close to him. A female Secretary of State for the Budget has yet to be appointed.

Conner Rousseau’s sp.a harvests vigorously. He acquires the Healthcare and Social Affairs package. A name that is making the rounds for that portfolio is that of virologist Marc Van Ranst, although that is disputed elsewhere. Sp.a will also receive development cooperation.

The PS takes over Work and Economy, Pensions, Defense and thus Relance.

The Minister of Energy will get green. Everyone in the Vivaldi majority assumes that the post will go to specialist Tinne Van der Straeten. Public companies and Civil Service also go to Groen, presumably for party leader Kristof Calvo. Ecolo tackles Mobility and NMBS, Green Deal and a State Secretary for Gender Equality and Diversity.

Sophie Wilmès will become Minister of Foreign Affairs for the MR. The liberals also get the Self-Employed and Agriculture and Digitization.

The presidency of the House goes to the PS, that of the Senate to Open VLD.

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