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Beke seventh negotiator to try to unlock Belgiumís stalemate

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BRUSSELS Ė King Albert II, the Belgian monarch, has appointed Wouter Beke, the Flemish Christian democrat leader, as the latest negotiator to try to unblock the political stalemate in Belgium. King Albert has asked Mr Beke to prepare a new package of state reforms. A day earlier, the former Francophone liberal leader, Didier Reynders, handed King Albert his final report. It followed a one-month mission aimed at discovering whether there was common ground for parties to negotiate an agreement on state reforms. Mr Reynders concluded that the political will was present, though he did not identify the parties that would take part in this process. On the 262nd day after last June's general election, Wouter Beke was invited to the Palace. He stayed for barely an hour and left with the job of negotiating a deal. Beke, who is the seventh politician to take on the job, has not been asked to form a government or negotiate a government agreement.