- Verhofstadt III Government
The Verhofstadt III government was an interim Belgian government inaugurated on
December 21, 2007[cite news | title = Belgium Finally Gets a Government | url = http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1697607,00.html | publisher = TIME | date = 2007-12-21| accessdate = 2007-12-21] and lasting until 23 March, 2008. It was led by Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadtgovernment and contained representatives from the Flemish Liberals (Open VLD), Flemish Christian Democrats (CD&V), the Francophone Socialists (PS), the Francophone Liberals (MR) and Francophone Christian Democrats (CDH).
It was succeeded by a permanent government led by CD&V leader
Yves Leterme. [cite news | title = Verhofstadt to form interim government | url = http://www.vrtnieuws.net/cm/flandersnews.be/News/071217_interim_govt | publisher = VRT Nieuws | date = 2007-12-17| accessdate = 2007-12-17]
Formation of government
When the Parliament confirmed the formation of this interim Government, it had been 196 days since the Belgian people had voted out the previous coalition, the longest period of formation in Belgian history.
Composition of government
The government consisted only of ministers. The composition of the interim Government as decided in the inaugural Council of Ministers is as follows: [cite web | title = Members of the Government | url = http://www.belgium.be/eportal/application?pageid=indexPage&navId=46943 | publisher = Federal Government]
The Restricted Council of Ministers, or KERN, is the arbitration arm of the executive, which arbitrates disputes within the Government. Under the interim Government, it consists of the Prime Minister and five members of Government representing the five parties in coalition, namely both Deputy Prime Ministers as well as the Minister of Employment, the Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health and the Minister of the Interior. [cite news | title = Inaugural Council of Ministers Press Release | url = http://presscenter.org/archive/20071221/e78b618322fddc1c2292ddbb1a8579fb/?lang=fr | publisher = Belgian Government Press Center | date =
2007-12-21| accessdate = 2007-12-21]
Under the interim Government deal, it was understood that Yves Leterme will take over the post of Prime Minister no later than
23 March. [cite news | title = Teller is gestopt, maar klok tikt | url = http://www.standaard.be/Artikel/Detail.aspx?artikelid=GS1LLPLR | publisher = De Standaard | date = 2007-12-20| accessdate = 2007-12-20] On March 20, Leterme officially succeeded Verhofstadt and a new government was formed.
The government declaration to which the parties agreed consists of ten points. The main task of the government is to prepare the 2008 budget. Social security benefits will be increased, and businesses will see their shift work costs reduced. A service agreement will be negotiated with the national railway operator. A national security plan is proposed, and the
Treaty of Lisbonwill see a quick ratification. [cite news | title = Verklaring van Eerste Minister Guy Verhofstadt omtrent de interimregering voor de Kamer | url = http://www.dekamer.be/kvvcr/pdf_sections/home/Regeerverklaring%20nl.pdf | publisher = Belgian Chamber of Representatives | date = 2007-12-21| accessdate = 2007-12-21 | language = Dutch] [cite news | title = Allocution prononcée devant la Chambre des Représentants par le Premier Ministre, M. Guy Verhofstadt, portant sur le gouvernement intérimaire | url = http://www.lachambre.be/kvvcr/pdf_sections/home/Regeerverklaring%20fr.pdf | publisher = Belgian Chamber of Representatives | date = 2007-12-21| accessdate = 2007-12-21 | language = French]
One of the first actions of the newly installed government was to raise the Belgian security level in response to a possible Islamic terrorist threat. [cite news | title = Terrorism fears put Belgium on alert| url = http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jL1hB2vYX7e8nF3NJstBaa0tEWvwD8TM1DR00 | publisher = The Associated Press | date =
2007-12-21| accessdate = 2007-12-21 | language = English]
2007-2008 Belgian political crisis
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