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Coronavirus: Belgium's caretaker government remains in place, with extra powers

23:34 15/03/2020

Belgium's caretaker federal government, led by prime minister Sophie Wilmès, has been granted special powers for six months to steer the country through the coronavirus crisis.

Wilmès' government will be able to unilaterally pass legislation, by royal decree, without full scrutiny by the Belgian federal parliament. The emergency powers are exclusively reserved for the fight against coronavirus.

The move, announced on Sunday night, has the backing of 10 political parties and will be put to a vote of confidence in parliament next week.

Belgium has been without a fully functioning federal government since December 2018. Elections were held last May and negotiations have been ongoing ever since to find a compromise between parties.

"The emergency today is to fight the coronavirus," said Sabine Laruelle, one of the senior politicians tasked with leading the coalition negotiations. "We must ensure that everyone in our country affected by this virus can be cared for properly."

She added: "The parties are committed to granting special powers to this government. But the parties are not handing this government a blank cheque - they want to be consulted."

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga

Written by The Bulletin

Comments

danbruylandt

Belgium should have a full federal government, not a caretaker government, in addition to the other five (!) regional governments!!!
After all, the elections were last May!
But as usual, it's a power game between the political parties, with disregard to the shituation of the country and its citizens.

Mar 16, 2020 21:44
Anonymous

Why is this minister allowed to make everybody else poorer?
19 maart 2020 - Vandaag, in volle corona-crisis, trekt minister De Block nog eens €42 miljoen EXTRA uit voor opvang van asielzoekers én VERDUBBELT daarmee budget voor 1ste helft 2020 (+ €128 miljoen). Onze eigen bevolking is in nood,onze mensen (werknemers en werkgevers) vragen zich af hoe ze de eindjes aan elkaar zullen knopen, onze ondernemingen en bedrijven zijn in zware moeilijkheden. Elke extra cent in de begroting zou nu moeten gaan naar deze gezondheids- en economische crisis.Meer dan ooit tevoren: #eerstONZEmensen!

Mar 19, 2020 22:08