Thursday, July 21, 2011

King Albert II says political standoff not good for Belgium

King Albert II of the Belgians said Wednesday that the country's "lengthy political stalemate could permanently damage" the country and "hurt the cause of European integration," reports the Voice of America.

He said during his national day speech:  "On this national day, I would have liked to enjoy with you the swearing in of a new government. Alas, we are not there yet, and I deplore this," he said.
Banging the table during Wednesday's broadcast from his castle just outside Brussels, the king castigated "ignorant" voters and painted a pessimistic picture of the divisions between Dutch and French speaking communities.
"Our current situation is a cause for concern among our partners and could damage our position in Europe, and even the momentum towards European integration which has already been undermined by populism and Euroscepticism."

Belgium has been without an elected government for 14 months.

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