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Any longer without a government, and Belgium might just do without one forever

Paralysis and secession in Europe's capital state

By Stephen Castle   June 2011

Protesting students in Ghent dress as frites

Belgium has now won not only the European record for the longest time without a government, but also the world record. Approaching the anniversary of its last election, on 13th June, it confronts a question worthy of a nation that produced the surrealist artist René Magritte: does a country need a government at all? So far, this kingdom of Dutch speakers in the north and francophones in the south has done well without one.

Although it is a small nation embedded in the EU, Belgium’s experience is of interest to Britain following…

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