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No Government, No Problem - Belgium Celebrates 450 Days Without Government But With Growth

Belgium has not had a government in over 15 months, a record for modern economies.  Yet their economy somehow managed to outperform those of the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Finland, and Switzerland in the most recent quarter.


It has been 15 months since Belgium last had a government. More than 450 days later, Belgian politics remain stuck in a gridlock after election results meant that no single party received more than 17.4 percent of seats in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives and 19.61 percent in the Belgian Senate.

"Technically this can last until the next federal election has to be called in 2014," said political scientist Dave Sinardet to the BBC.

"Let's say we have elections in 2014 and we have some problem forming a coalition, this caretaker government could still go on after that. As long as it commands a majority in parliament, the only obstacle to it continuing would be the fear of absurdity.

Belgian officials however appear to care less. Since the elections, 10 politicians have tried to negotiate a new government and none have succeeded. Francophone socialist Elio Di Rupo is the latest to give it a go, though the negotiations have reached another standstill.

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