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Is Belgium next?
For four months Belgium has been without a government, its public debt is approaching 100% of GDP and the spread of Belgian 10-year bonds over the German benchmark is today three times as high as at the beginning of this year. Is Belgium the next country with a sovereign debt crisis?

So far the country has managed to stay off the radar screens of most international investors, who focus on Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. But that may change if the political crisis - which has been going on for more than two years - is not resolved soon. At the June general elections, the separatist NVA emerged as the strongest party in Flanders, while in French-speaking Wallonia, the Socialists came out first. In the ensuing coalition negotiations, the N-VA has chosen to get a federal reform agreed first before building a government, in a complex bargaining process between the seven parties that currently participate in the negotiation talks. The result is a political stalemate that risks paralysing the political system for months.  

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:13:38 PM EST
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