Di Rupo at what cost

After a record-breaking 541 days what seemed to become impossible came into realisation: a new Belgian government. Though it did need some warnings from other countries and rating offices. A loss of a plus sign got the squabbling political parties hopefully to see the seriousness of the problem for the stability of the economic situation and even further the stability of the Euro zone.

As a few months ago the new prime minister Elio Di Rupo his first words were for the citizens. Di Rupo recognised that they have had to be very patient, but also gave a feeling that he got time from them to solve the big problem Belgium was facing. Because in those 541 days there was no revolutionary uprising. And surprisingly also not many big contestations really.

After an 18-month marathon of political haggling in which the monarch worked to steer feuding politicians back to the negotiating table the King could receive several politicians who at last came to an agreement.

It was largely his insistence and eye for a possible compromise that produced an agreement, settling a dispute about political rights for Francophones in the mainly Dutch-speaking suburbs around Brussels.

Mr Van de Woestyne says: “Belgians are very grateful for his efforts to resolve the government crisis, which has lasted too long. If he’s not quite regarded as the country’s saviour, he is seen as the man who ended the crisis.”

Forming a Belgian government is hard enough; running one at a time of world economic crisis is something else.

Elio Di Rupo

Elio Di Rupo fresh premier with the King of Belgium Albert II

In French and Dutch, with his right hand raised, Di rupo could say  without a crib “I swear fidelity to the king, obedience to the constitution and to the laws of the Belgian people.” For the German version he had to have to consult his little note. From then onwards Di Rupo became Belgium’s first French-speaking prime minister in more than three decades and the first Socialist at its helm since 1974.

Now there still has to be a vote of confidence in parliament in coming days so that Mr. Di Rupo can attend the European Union summit meeting here on Thursday and Friday. When he heads to the EU summit, he will be one of the few left-wingers at the table in a Europe where center-right governments, led by neighbouring France and Germany, are steering the Continent’s course.

According Di Rupo De Wever characterises the francophones as intransigent over reform, but Di Rupo says this twists the facts. “Yes, we need to remodel, renew our country,” he says. “But De Wever wants to break it. His reality is not the same as mine. I have aims that are more social and altruistic.” “The man is intelligent, he has a good sense of history, and when we don’t talk about current politics, we can have good discussions,” he says. “But  when it comes to our end results, we are completely opposed. I am for an open society, tolerant and multicultural, intelligent, educated, with an economic dimension. I think that communities that are closed in on themselves will face problems.”

English: Flemish politician Bart De Wever.

Bart De Wever, who was excluded from the coalition talks, remarked: “My Nigerian cleaning lady, who has been in Belgium for two years, speaks better Dutch than Elio.” But this should not be such a problem as some like to bring forward. I think a lot of people would not mind taking those little wrong sayings, perhaps to get a smile on the lips, but not so disastrous, because they’ll know what he means.
So the Dutch word “drinken” (English: drinking) instead of “dringend” (urgent) at a news conference, for instance, when talking to reporters about economic austerity is not such a thing to shame for, certainly when Di Rupo has promised to do something about it.

“Commentators on French-language RTL television hailed Di Rupo for taking the oath in three languages and pointed out that it was the French-speakers who had sworn allegiance in two languages, not the Dutch-speakers.” (expatica.com)

Though a poll in the Francophone newspaper Le Soir this week showed just 29 per cent of Flemish people have confidence in him. Support among French-speakers from Brussels and the economically struggling south was at 69 per cent. For the first time ever, a majority of mostly right-leaning voters in Belgium’s Flemish north say they favour greater autonomy up to and possibly including a division of the country.

The politicians came to an agreement containing the necessary 11 billion savings and satisfies at the requirements of Europe. It was the largest effort since the Second World War.  The agreement contains structural social-economic measures, without hitting at the social security the prime ministers wants us to believe, and without the legal pension age raising.  They also say everybody should keep his consuming possibility because they did not change the index system and the purchasing power.

The men that find it difficult to meet the ends, the employees and the middle class should be saved. But when I look at the measures taken for the savings I can only note that those who tried to save something for they old years are taken into a box of shattered dreams. They shall have to face extra tax on their bonds and shares. While people who did not bother to put money at the side can enjoy receiving money from the community to keep their comfort. So everybody has then to pay for those who lived richly and did not save for later.

The Belgian policy officials may delicious cumulate, what was not permitted in former years for the civil servants. Those in a high places that already got a much higher wage were allowed to have an extra income.  An average mandatory  cumulated in 2010 , 6.89 jobs.  The Croo senior may stretch the crown, if we are silent over Dehaene (who gets together a ‘small’ 352,984 per year).  Herman De Croo combined not less then 26 positions, of which six paid.  Di Rupo comes with 24 mandates and jobs in 2004 on 15 back in 2010, while Bart De Wever rose to 8 mandates and positions in 2010.

But pensioners may not earn much extra and lose already part of their retirement money when they do a futile hours to get a reasonable living.
Those who did an effort to save money for their old day, receive a penalty now. They lost already a lot of money on their shares, of which some became worthless, while the big owners received some security not to lose to much. Bonds shall be extra taxed and when the Tobintax shall be introduced the ‘ants’ who saved everything together shall be punished once more. This while those who enjoyed their live and always spend more than they earned receive council aid. While those who did not save anything shall be paid by the whole community, those who provided that money shall be extra penalised.

The saving for the government consists also of  34 per cent less expenses,  42 per cent more receptions and 24 per cent different measures.  According to Di Rupo, the federal authorities must give the good example and become more economically.

While a lot is being demanded from the health care sector they say the patients are not hit and that our exceptional health care system shall remain. But those people, of which there are already not enough shall have to work harder for less income and patients shall receive less repayment.

The fresh prime minister emphasized the necessity of radical reformations because of the high debts burden and the risen life expectation of the Belgians.  Belgium has to take measures to reorganise  for more than 11 billion Euro through economies and tax hikes.

Politically this execution is seen as the trickiest tough job with the agreement about BHV and the finance law or ‘financieringswet’.  A heavy block at the bone of the Flemish getting up to a 600 million offer as an extra for Brussels.  A sum, that can run up to 1 billion Euro or up to 2.2 billion Euro by 2030.  This is just one of the measures to name by which will be grabbed eagerly in the purse of the Flemish people.

The Belgians are a very tolerant people, as long as the job is well done and they are not killed. Harming them a little bit they would not mind and can accept, but it is a question how far one can go?


In Dutch:

Di Rupo aan bevolking: “Bedankt voor jullie geduld”

‘Diversiteit is onze troef’
Elio Di Rupo heeft in zijn regeerverklaring alle burgers bedankt voor hun geduld en hen een betere toekomst beloofd. ‘We verhogen onze geloofwaardigheid in de wereld en bij Europa.’

  • Gay, socialist and born in a squatters’ camp – meet the new PM of Belgium (independent.co.uk)
    “My life is a fairytale,” he told a journalist, Francis Van de Woestyne, in a biography. “You could not make it up. With nothing [my mother] gave us happiness. On celebration days she would buy sandwiches that she cut in two.”Colleagues on the Francophone left say they are a little tired of his tales of “divided sandwiches” and his parents’ “solitary, wooden suitcase”. Opponents are more generous. “Di Rupo is the American cream, Belgian version,” said Vincent Van Quickenborne from the Flemish liberal party, Open VLD.
  • Meet Elio Di Rupo: The Unlikely Man With The Crazy History Now In Charge Of Belgium (businessinsider.com)
    After a record-breaking stint, financial turmoil and debt has finally pushed Belgium’s politicians into forming a fragile and diverse coalition government.
    Out of this bizarre agreement the country’s hero has emerged – Elio Di Rupo.
  • New Belgian government sworn in, ending crisis (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
    Socialist Elio Di Rupo took the oath as Belgium’s first Francophone prime minister in nearly 40 years on Tuesday, formally ending a record 541-day government impasse.
  • New Belgian Government Sworn in, Ending 18-Month Crisis (foxnews.com)
    Di Rupo’s knowledge of Dutch has long been criticized as insufficient, but as he made the presentation of his ministers to the king he went out of his way to introduce some of them in the nation’s majority language. He has promised to improve his language skills during his term in office.

  • Belgium has a new government (brobrubel.wordpress.com)
    Of course, it’s hard to say what the Belgians think about it. When you go a year and a half without a government, and your quality of life really doesn’t suffer (and for the most part improves), why would you want a functioning bureaucracy anyway?
  • After 18 months, Belgium has a government again – CBS News (cbsnews.com)
    Socialist Elio Di Rupo took the oath as Belgium’s first Francophone prime minister in nearly 40 years on Tuesday, formally ending a record 541-day government impasse.
  • Belgian King Names New Government (myfoxphoenix.com)
    Di Rupo has been negotiating for weeks to hammer out an agreement to reduce the deficit, reform the economy, and devolve power to the two bickering language regions — and a small German-speaking community.

    After a June 2010 election failed to produce a workable government, feuding politicians squabbled for 18 months to bring together a coalition.
    Belgian King Albert II named Socialist Elio Di Rupo to head a new government Monday, turning the page on 540 days without a government — the longest political crisis in the country’s history.
    In a nation increasingly divided by its language barrier, the coalition put together by Di Rupo comprises parties ranging from center-left to center-right from both southern French-speaking Wallonia and wealthier Dutch-speaking Flanders.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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1 Response to Di Rupo at what cost

  1. Pingback: Hard werk met tegenwind | Marcus' s Space

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