“I will not be intimidated by the blackmail being carried out by the N-VA regarding the budget,” said Prime Minister Charles Michel on Monday.
“The budget was approved and supported by the Minister of Finance,” he said. The Minister of Finance at that time was N-VA’s Johan van Overtveldt.
“Not one euro was changed in the budget proposal,” he went on. “The N-VA is conditioning its vote to either, the acceptance of early elections and therefore to a long period of immobility, or to a retreat from the Co-Federal. In both cases, its conditions are unacceptable,” said the Prime Minister. “The government continues to work to secure the interests of citizens, more specifically on purchasing power, security and climate issues,” he concluded.
Upon arrival at the small ministerial committee, Deputy Prime Minister CD & V Kris Peeters also expressed anger at the demands that the N-VA has meanwhile made known to the media. “If the N-VA calls for early elections, let it be said clearly, but then it will need the PS,” said Peeters, even if the convening of early elections would belong to the minority government.
The Prime Minister had contact during the weekend with the N-VA. He had no more contact this weekend with the Socialists, Eco, the cdH or DéFI. The Parliament expects the current minority government to raise the issue of confidence by Tuesday December 18th, at the latest, but the Michel government refuses, saying that parliament can vote a motion of mistrust, if it so chooses. The budget of the Swedish coalition is on the agenda for the plenary session of the House on Wednesday and Thursday.