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  Belgium government collapses, King holds talks
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Last EditedPatrick  Jul 15, 2008 03:52pm
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MediaNewspaper - San Francisco Chronicle
News DateTuesday, July 15, 2008 09:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionBelgium's government collapsed Tuesday, unable to resolve an enduring divide over more self-rule for the country's Dutch and French-speakers. The gap was so wide the premier suggested the end of Belgium as a country was looming.

King Albert II immediately began political discussions with lawmakers to try to resolve the situation, talks expected to take several days. He did not formally accept the resignation of government offered by Premier Yves Leterme late Monday, so Leterme's government stays on in a caretaker capacity for now.

In an unusual declaration, the premier said Belgium's constitutional crisis stems from the fact that "consensus politics" across Belgium's widening linguistic divide no longer works.

"The federal consensus-model has reached its limits," Leterme said.
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