N-VA chairman Bart De Wever and PS chairman Paul Magnette reported on their preformation assignment to the king for the first time on Friday afternoon. After three quarters of an hour their visit was already over and the palace announced that their mission would be extended by a good week, until Saturday, August 8.
Although it was originally intended to move to a real formation, that has not yet been successful. De Wever and Magnette are given extra time ‘to bring together the party chairmen as soon as possible who can provide support for the formation of a government’.
After all, the N-VA and the PS had to send the king a double message: both parties have almost reached their mutual agreement, but the liberals are not yet on board. The N-VA and the PS could therefore not yet submit a defined coalition to the monarch.
Yet it was a very cheerful Bart De Wever who sat in Terzake’s studio on Friday evening. “I am certainly optimistic,” said the N-VA chairman. ‘On day 1 after the elections I already said that we had to reach a big deal with the PS if we wanted to create a Belgium 2.0. It has taken a long time for the PS to want to see reality, but I am convinced that they too have now turned the page. ”
De Wever: ‘It was certainly not easy, because we actually have an opposite opinion on almost everything. But there are environmental factors that have brought us together. To begin with, we simply live in a country in which two democracies together must give a future to all people. In addition, there are unprecedented economic and health crises at the moment. All that while we don’t even have a government now. That looks like an assignment to make something of it. ”
“I am not attracted by the criticism that it all took a long time,” continued the mayor of Antwerp. ‘On March 15 I even wanted to create a government on the basis of a blank sheet, but I did not succeed at the time. Under the dramatic conditions of today it can still work. But then we still have to find partners. ”
Liberal bowling ball
And those partners who have yet to jump on board are the liberals. But they are currently still struggling. Open VLD does not just want to join a purple-yellow construction, where a socio-economic policy with left-wing emphases is exchanged for a state reform, party chairman Egbert Lachaert said in De Standaard last weekend. The liberals will not appear at the start if the starting note for the federal negotiations is not also given a liberal emphasis.
Bart De Wever was not tender about those liberal demands. “The liberals answered our proposal with a note of their own. That does not exude a lot of confidence. That note reads like a fairy tale, like an election program with liberal demands. You are not doing that at this extremely precarious moment of a government formation. That liberal note is like a bowling ball. ”
De Wever: ‘Trust and responsibility are the key words at the moment. It is criminally irresponsible not to make this government now. Who now election programs spreads, causes a meltdown among the population. ”
‘I dare to step to my party with what is now on the table and ask for trust,’ De Wever concluded. “We have a responsibility to assume. We have reached a fairly good agreement with the PS, something with which we can make a Belgium 2.0. Then, as far as I am concerned, the miracle has happened. If we can expand the bubble of five (N-VA, PS, SP.A CD&V and CDH, the parties that are currently on board but still do not have a majority with 70 parliamentary seats, ed.) To a bubble of six (the liberals (ed., ed.), then we will have a decisive government within two weeks that can tackle the pandemic. ‘