Is Paul Magnette (PS) able to make a deal? That is the question that people ask themselves at N-VA, but also Open Vld and CD&V. After a conversation between Egbert Lachaert (Open Vld) and the socialists, it is clear: if the PS ever wants a construction without N-VA, it will have to pay a very high price. The premiership? Open Vld is not interested in that.
In the news: The socialist presidents continue their round of contacts.
The details: However, a crucial meeting with the new Open Vld chairman makes it clear.
- Paul Magnette and Egbert Lachaert first met on Friday in the foyer of the VRT. The PS chairman waited there especially after his performance To the point at the bar, so that he could already greet his Open Vld colleague. The new Open VLD chairman is from a different generation, and only became party leader when Magnette had already said goodbye to federal politics. But Friday there was therefore a first, warm contact.
- Yesterday Lachaert then received the delegation from the PS and sp.a boss at 34 Melsensstraat, the headquarters of Open Vld. There Lachaert had Good news and bad news for the PS chairman.
- The good news: Open Vld is also not married to N-VA under Lachaert, everything is open to other formulas. The Flemish liberals are not going to be difficult about compositions, and dislike ideas such as “a Flemish majority in the House”.
- The bad news: if Magnette really thinks of a coalition without N-VA, which is by definition “left” because of the composition, the bar for Open Vld will be very high. “The price will then be high. Very high”, It can be noted.
- An important additional message also: posts do not interest the Open Vld, to be spawned in a scenario without N-VA. The Sixteen, a possible premiership for Alexander De Croo (Open Vld)? “No thanks,” they say at Open Vld, “we are going to De Croo don’t fall into the same trap as Gwendolyn Rutten. ”
- In the meantime, they have also noticed with the Flemish liberals that Magnette is not moving up much in terms of content, and that a deal will therefore be extremely difficult. With N-VA, but also with them. The role of sp.a as a whole remains somewhat enigmatic for the liberals. “It is not clear to us to what extent they always agree. ”
- “The question is even whether the bar is lower for Bart De Wever (N-VA) and co. It is quite possible that the PS is dragging more out of there, ”it can be heard. “No problem for us, we have not afraid of the oppositionSays a leading blue source.
- Striking: the idea that Open Vld will be a tougher customer than N-VA in terms of content has already been heard by the PS itself. After all, with the N-VA, there is always that currency of the Community, while, the Flemish Liberals want to score purely socio-economically.
- But the PS still seems to be looking towards Vivaldi. In the morning, Magnette had already set the mood for the meeting with Lachaert on the RTBF radio. Because the PS chairman had distanced himself from the N-VA there: “We give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But they need to understand that we are going to talk about the re-federalization of healthcare. The sp.a, the greens, Open Vld are all in favor of that now, that is an extremely important factMagnette had stated.
- But besides that one requirement, which is lacking at least some credibility, because the PS says something completely different behind the scenes, Magnette put two more “absolute conditions for a government” on the table: the health care must receive much more money, and the lowest wages must rise.
The big problem of the PS: Everywhere you come across Georges-Louis Bouchez (MR).
- “We try to speak constructively, we go really don’t sabotage, Says Open Vld about the various options, including a Vivaldi coalition. “But it is by no means all in the least,” the Open VLD summit points to the attitude of their French-speaking sister party, the MR.
- On Monday Lachaert and Bouchez had a first, long meeting and it went very warmly. It is clear that both are very much on the same line in terms of content, and are making the same socio-economic analyzes of the current crisis. And the message is not exactly that more state intervention and a drastic increase in spending will save the economy: both reinforce each other in liberal beliefs.
- Bouchez also leaves no room for doubt: for him, a government without N-VA, a left-wing alliance with the Greens, is actually excluded at this time. The MR chairman holds seven ministerial ministerial portfolios in the federal government, so he can lean back: a deal is not necessary right away.
- Moreover, it is known that the PS does have some sort sense of urgency feels: Magnette is nervous about the relance, and believes that big plans must be made quickly to save the economy. But the MR does not immediately want to participate in this: Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès (MR) blocked all that question from the PS on the super-core, and Bouchez keeps repeating that those recovery plans “must be part of government negotiations”.
- So the MR has absolutely no intention of making the PS and Magnette one allow breakthrough. The mere fact that his red rival unilaterally awarded himself the initiative remains high.
Remarkable: The N-VA speaks soothing language. Via Theo Francken (N-VA).
- A second big meeting between Rousseau, Magnette and De Wever is planned this week. But the the situation is not there to get the N-VA summit enthusiastic. Because there too, it is of course noted how difficult it is between Magnette and Bouchez, a recipe that always ended in a fiasco in the past.
- But the N-VA, with the exception of a sharp tweet from Peter De Roover (N-VA) yesterday, does not address Magnette’s sharp language at their address. A remarkably disciplined Theo Franken was very careful this morning on Radio 1 with his statements.
- “I don’t know if Magnette has demanded that the healthcare system be federalized. He has summarized that a number of parties put that on the table. But that his own party wants that? I didn’t hear him explicitly about that, ”said Francken.
- And the door is also open in the field of health care to increase financing if necessary. But Francken mainly emphasized “efficiency”. “We are the absolute tax champion, so I am in favor of efficiency. But demanding savings on health care, we absolutely do not. ”
- In addition, Francken, who has long advocated government participation within the N-VA, reiterated that his party’s hand has been extended: “There must be a government with broad democratic support and a strong majority. We must now win the economic battle. Such a government, that will be with pinched nose, never wholeheartedly, but it is necessary for the economy. The time is up, now it has to go fast. ”
The question that all of Wetstraat asks: Can Magnette move?
- How ‘ready’ is the PS supporters this time to still accept a coalition with the N-VA? Magnette clashed in mid-March when an emergency government could be made with the N-VA, at his own limits as chairman. After he reached an agreement with De Wever, it leaked on Friday, and a torrent of criticism started from his own base. And finally, on the night of Saturday to Sunday, May 15, he turned his back: an emergency government’s plan fell apart.
- “What kind of chairman are you if you are yourself don’t even have that kind of authority? After such humiliation, I would have seriously considered offering my mandate again. But Magnette just stayed put ”, according to a fellow chairman.
- Magnette himself ensures this time that he has his entire desk and party with him, but how broad would the support be if he tried again with N-VA? “With the notorious exception of Elio Di Rupo (PS) and a few big party bosses, everyone is still strongly against that idea, “writes La Libre today very affirmative.
- Francken already made a comparison with his N-VA. “Does our party like that we talk to the PS? Absolutely not. But we have long accepted that, clearly communicated about it. Our supporters are prepared, our mayors are with them. That PS constituency, those mayors, little work has been done there, they have not been prepared. ”
- What’s more, the question is how the PS can endure such an alliance with the N-VA. When Magnette went a long way in conversations with De Wever, including at the initiative of Koen Geens (CD&V), the supporters, including the friendly newspapers, systematically receive information other than what was negotiated at the table. And when an emergency government was to be made in mid-March, it was a complete shock to large parts of the PS constituency, while N-VA thought it was a logical step.
- The question therefore remains whether purple-yellow can ever be an option, if the PS as a party simply cannot handle that track. But the alternative, with Open Vld demanding a high price, and Bouchez not wanting a deal at all, plus CD&V and even sp.a who also have to agree, remains horrifying for a while.
Rumble in the VRT jungle: Op To the point Tom Van Grieken (Vlaams Belang) and Conner Rousseau (sp.a) did get into a big fight.
- It was announced in advance as a “must see“Debate, which it became: a one-on-one confrontation between the two young gods among the party chairpersons, Van Grieken versus Rousseau.
- You can see from the number of responses from interest representatives, people were quite shocked by that: it was clear that Rousseau opted for a head-on confrontation, and dared to lash out at Van Grieken.
- So much so that they are no longer used to it at Vlaams Belang: the party surfed with Van Grieken, who often appears to be sympathetic and controlled, on a ‘softer’ image, and the other parties did not bother to look for the conflict both before and certainly after the elections: that was almost systematically between N-VA and the others.
- But Rousseau did things differently, a bit to the surprise of Van Grieken. Which had the classic trick of “the piece of paper” ready: this time a list of all nine health ministers in the country. He offered it, also classical, to Rousseau. “Feel free to keep your list,” sneered, at which a mud fight ensued, in which both of them got some dirt.
- “My party has set up social security in the past, after the biggest crisis, yours has been convicted of racism. If I were you, I wouldn’t open the door from the past. ” “Vlaams Belang has never been convicted of racism, you even come up with a lie,” replied Van Grieken.
- “The only thing that has changed about you, might be your costume. For the rest, it is still the same party that was convicted of racism, “said the sp.a chairman. “Ah, it even gets personal. Is that the level, is that the new style of the sp.a? About costumes? What a toddler level, Mister Rousseau ”, Van Grieken sneered back.
- The debate continued like this for a while: the two are anyway risky. And certainly scores this kind of exercise for the small, loyal supporters: on social media, both camps felt it was “profit” in the debate. But to gain broader appeal, to appeal to more people, which should certainly be the case for Vlaams Belang as a party of almost a quarter of the Flemish in the polls, it is harmful: arguing does not work attractive.
To follow: Belgium advocates full attention for SMEs in Franco-German recovery plan of 500 billion, which the EU is now developing.
- The European Commission is coming with her today proposals for a massive recovery plan for the European economy. That comes after a deal between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
- The main lines: Europe is going to borrow money together, preferably 500 billion euros, and that through loans but also will give out subsidies to the Member States affected by Covid-19.
- It had been known for some time that Belgium was on that Franco-German line. At the request of Anneleen Van Bossuyt (N-VA), the Belgian government confirmed this again in the Chamber yesterday. And interesting to note: Deputy Prime Minister Koen Geens (CD&V), who is also responsible for European Affairs, indicated that Belgium is lobbying to involve as many SMEs as possible in that gigantic support package.
- “The different situations in the Member States must also be taken into account. In Belgium, a large part of the economy is based on SMEs and especially on small companies. The recovery plan needs the Member States provide sufficient flexibility to respond to this, Said Geens.
- Incidentally, Belgium fully agrees with the Franco – German line, against four stricter countries, the frugal four, in. The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden struggling with the EU plan to provide grants, handouts, not loans. And also that those 500 billion are borrowed “collectively”, the beginning of Eurobonds, and a revolution for the EU.
- “Loans will be an important contribution to the recovery plan. But there is in Belgium also openness to talk about subsidiesGeens confirmed.
- Incidentally, that exercise around the gigantic recovery plan is not the only hot issue within the EU. The long-term budget must also be recorded. And it also contains the flows that Belgium can receive from Europe, and these are no less. A number of countries want adjustments because of the Covid-19 crisis. But Belgium is fencing including the consequences of Brexit, for which a heavy price will be paid.
Interesting post: The prime minister receives a sensitive open letter: the Catholics complain about the absence of mass.
- Who afterwards does the exercise about the “deconfiguration“Getting it out of the lockdown will be one a nice overview of the intrinsic strength of each lobby group. It has become clear that the Boerenbond towers above everything and everyone, and that the hairdressers also have quite sturdy tentacles in the Wetstraat. And that professional football can afford to do anything to stop competitions.
- One group, which was nevertheless historically supreme in this country, is getting sick of it: the Catholics, and more specifically the practicing believers among them. They now rely on a proven technique, an “open letter to Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès (MR)” to get back what they long for: the mass.
- A warm call appears in Le Soir: “Mrs. Wilmès, allow us to reopen the doors of our churches.” Technically, that’s not the best title: the church doors are already open, these are celebrations that are still prohibited. This lobby group already drew before that to the Council of State, just to get their mass back.
- Among the signatories in Le Soir, many roaring noble names. But the plea sounds pretty “liberal”: “Give us back our freedom from our faith, give us back our freedom to celebrate our sacraments, in all our churches, give back our freedom from our mass to celebrate publicly every day, so that Catholics can be spiritual and sacramental to feed.”
- “We have been accepting the situation for two months now, out of common sense and civility, to no longer celebrate mass in group. We have an interest in these two months learn to rediscover daily prayerbut we long for the Eucharist again. “
- Waiting to see whether the technique of an open letter works in Le Soir, to speed up the file: you can do that in the exercise afterwards another lobby group will be added to the list.
Penalty: Ten former presidents of the LVSV, the Liberal Flemish Student Union, are stirring about the course of ‘their’ party.
- The LVSV must are almost the breeding ground of the Open Vld, many a topper of the current generation who lead the Flemish liberals, comes from the stable. Egbert Lachaert, the Open Vld chairman, and Mathias De Clercq, the Open Vld mayor of Ghent, shared joys and sorrows.
- It is therefore striking that the LVSV is so agitated. Or rather their former chairmen, ten of them, together signed an opinion in De Standaard, in which they lash out strongly at “their” liberal political arm: “Open Vld mines its own grave by flirting with Belgianism“.
- “That there is something wrong with the Belgian state architecture is rather wiedes. But we fear that this is community cornering costs the party a lot of credibility. (…) Plumber federalism and waffle irons hit their limits during this crisis. A bis number of the unitary Belgium is just about the worst possible idea for liberals. ”
- The ten letter writers hint, among others, at the plea of Alexander De Croo (Open Vld) for the to bring healthcare back to the federal level, a proposal that PS chairman Paul Magnette eagerly responded to yesterday.
- They are not particularly sweet to the liberal party: “Open Vld lost a lot of its feathers due to the poor socio-economic record of the purple governments. The entente with the socialists resulted in embellished budgets and socio-economic delays. The result is a debt-addicted Belgium that is unable to mine the aging bomb. She exchanged a sharp blue profile for a light-hearted marketing story about enthusiasm, doers and wings. The harrowing result of that round of existential panic football is a party that balances on the electoral abyss. ”
- One bright spot, however, the new chairman: “We are convinced that Egbert Lachaert can write a new community story that lasts for several generations and is not slaughtered on the altar of party politics of discernment. ” So, as a message during the Lachaert honeymoon, that can count.