Belgium’s coalition breaks up over the un migration pact

Belgium's coalition breaks up over the UN migration pact

The Belgian coalition government has broken up over the dispute over the UN migration pact.

Flemish regional party N-VA left government because francophone prime minister charles michel insisted on traveling to UN conference in marrakech. That’s where the migration pact is expected to be approved this monday.

"i think that – formally speaking – we resign," said interior minister jan jambon (N-VA). "we said that if the coalition goes to marrakech, it will go without us," the former vice prime minister added. Flemish nationalists categorically reject the UN migration pact.

Michel went to the Belgian king this Sunday to announce a reshuffle of the government without the ministers of the Flemish N-VA. He now wants to lead a minority government of his francophone liberals of the reform movement (mouvement reformateur/MR) instead.

"i have observed today that the N-VA has left the government," michel had said, according to the belga news agency. "i take note in the clarity of this position and thank you for it."

He proposed replacing three N-VA ministers with secretaries of state "to ensure the continuity and good functioning of our institutions and stability".

How michel intends to find majorities in parliament initially remains unclear. In particular, the budget has yet to be approved. Belgium’s next regular parliamentary elections are due in may 2019.

deputy prime minister didier reynders expressed optimism. The government has broad support in parliament for its international commitments, michel’s MR party colleague assured, according to belga.

on saturday evening, the belgian cabinet had already met for a crisis meeting. There michel had reaffirmed to travel to morocco. This means that michel is "de facto" dismissing the N-VA from the government, the party leader of the Flemish nationalists, bart de wever, had declared after the meeting.

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