Prime Minister Alexander De Croo expressed his willingness to accept N-VA leader Bart De Wever as the next prime minister, provided the focus is on strengthening the

country rather than dividing it. De Croo made these remarks during a debate on the VRT talk show Terzake on Tuesday.

During the debate, De Croo reiterated his call for a centre-right coalition following the June 9 elections. "Together, we can make the reforms that people are waiting for," he stated. In response, De Wever expressed his openness to a centre-right government aimed at implementing reforms that he claims the Open VLD has failed to achieve in recent years.

However, De Wever insisted that the prime minister should come from the largest party. De Croo acknowledged this point, saying, "That is logical," but he emphasized that any state reforms should not lead to prolonged stagnation. "If it is to make our country stronger, yes. If it is to bring our country to a standstill, no," he added.

Centre-Right Coalition

De Croo views a centre-right government as essential for addressing Belgium's budgetary issues. The country faces a growing budget deficit, which could trigger European sanctions if not managed effectively.

Forming a government to address this challenge will be complex. Recent polls indicate that extreme parties Vlaams Belang and PVDA are poised to win a combined total of over one-third of the votes.

Even forming a centre-right government poses significant challenges. The N-VA seeks a stronger Flanders, which contrasts sharply with De Croo’s pro-Belgian stance. De Wever emphasized this point during the debate, stating, "You say state reforms would block the country. This country is already blocked. Your government was the blockage."

As Belgium approaches the elections, the debate highlights the stark contrasts in vision between the leading parties and the complexities involved in forming a stable government. The focus on fiscal responsibility and state reform will be central themes as voters head to the polls. Photo by Paul Van Welden, Wikimedia commons.