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Bravo Belgium: a world record 249 days (and counting) without a government

Thursday, 17 February 2011
Perhaps secretly this was what the political deadlock and lack of progress in negotiations was all about: today Belgium broke the world record for a country with the longest time spent without a government.

Snatching the record away from a surely disappointed Iraq, it is now 249 days (and counting) since the country, home to the European Union institutions, has had an active government in place.

A caretaker administration has been operating since the inconclusive parliamentary elections on 13th June last year, and the country remarkably was able to carry out its additional duties of holding the rotating presidency of the European Union relatively smoothly.

The unrelenting political deadlock between the French and Dutch-speaking parties has exasperated Belgians, who have staged various forms of protests - from street marches to calls to grow beards - even calls on politicians' wives to withhold sex until a government is formed!

Now that they have the record, maybe now there will be an increased desire to make progress - unless of course they're looking to break the 365 day barrier...

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