House of Cards De Wever and Magnette contains few blue and green cards

The deal between the N-VA and the PS – a state reform in exchange for some socio-economic left-wing symbols – has little to offer the liberals. Preformers Bart De Wever and Paul Magnette stare at the greens, but there is little to gain for them either.

What the Wetstraat has been waiting for months has been successful: the PS and the N-VA have come closer to each other. But we are still not ready for a federal government. The PS and the N-VA and their allies at the sp.a and CD&V together have 70 of the 150 parliamentary seats. Last week they tried to take the liberals into the bath, but they failed. Therefore is now beckoned to Groen and Ecolo. The ecologists will visit the preformers for a first interview on Wednesday.

De Wever did not have a good word on Friday for the attitude of the Open VLD and the MR. “Criminal irresponsible”, as he called Friday evening in Terzake the liberal objections to what he called “the house of cards between the PS and the N-VA”. Open VLD chairman Egbert Lachaert responded on Saturday with a video message. He spoke of a “socialist economic program by Mr Magnette”.


The French-speaking socialists bring in a series of symbols. The plan is to increase the minimum pension to 1,500 euros net and the benefits above the poverty threshold.

The house of cards of De Wever and Magnette contains a fragile balance in the wishes of their parties. The French-speaking socialists have a view of a series of symbols. The plan is to increase the minimum pension to 1,500 euros net and the benefits above the poverty threshold. Health care expenditures should rise by 2.5 percent on top of inflation, compared to 1.5 percent in the previous board period. The 1996 law would be broken open, allowing prosperous sectors to grant higher wage increases.

Capital gains tax

There is also a tax reform menu on the table, with a capital gains tax option. All property income would be taxed at the same rate. In exchange, the withholding tax on interest and dividends, which is now 30 percent, is then reduced. The securities tax, a tax on wealthy investors that the Michel government introduced, but which was overturned by the Constitutional Court, is said to be dusting is another option. All investors should pay him.


After the pandering in the elections of May 2019, in which the party lost many votes to Vlaams Belang, the N-VA has analyzed that the party should pursue a more social policy. This makes the concessions to the PS justifiable.

After the pandering in the elections of May 2019, in which the party lost many votes to Vlaams Belang, the N-VA has analyzed that the party should pursue a more social policy. This makes the concessions to the PS justifiable. Moreover, they find at the N-VA, the French-speaking socialists have swallowed a lot of demands: the reduction of the retirement age, higher minimum wages or the reversal of the corporate tax reform.

Moreover, the Flemish nationalists are given the prospect of a far-reaching state reform in exchange. The full splitting of the health care, labor market and mobility policy, the judiciary, the police and the fire brigade, among others, are on the table. Because a comprehensive state reform is only possible after the next elections for constitutional reasons, it is thought to follow the plan that Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (N-VA) previously put on the table. For the as yet federal powers, a Flemish and a French-speaking minister would be appointed, each of whom would receive their own budget to pursue different policies in their region.

Liberal suicide

For the liberals, these reforms are going in the wrong direction: they want to turn right socio-economically. The Open VLD and certainly the MR are anything but ready for a state reform. “We should take note of what the N-VA and the PS have negotiated and should support it. You can just as well ask us to commit suicide, “it is said in liberal circles.

Attempts to separate the Open VLD from the MR failed. MR Chairman Georges-Louis Bouchez was dismissed as a madman, which should make it easier for Lachaert to release his sister party. However, the East Fleming did not go into that. To reverse the picture, the MR launched a somewhat irritating charm offensive towards Flanders.

Press greens

Because the attempts with the liberals come to a dead end, De Wever and Magnette set their sights on the greens. That is remarkable, because before the elections De Wever vowed that he would never form a government that includes both the PS and Ecolo. Some see conversations between the preformers and the Greens as a maneuver to increase pressure on the Liberals. The reasoning is that they will turn their cart if they risk losing their ministerial posts. Although it has been heard in PS circles that it is a ‘serious attempt’ to help the ecologists take a bath.


Some see conversations between the preformers and the Greens as a maneuver to increase pressure on the Liberals. The reasoning is that they will turn their cart if they risk losing their ministerial posts.

The plan of De Wever and Magnette is interesting from a socio-economic point of view. However, this is much less the case with regard to migration and climate. For example, the preformateurs want more closed centers, in which people who cannot claim a stay in our country can be locked up pending their deportation. Two of the seven nuclear power plants would also continue to operate after 2025. The greens should make concessions to their core business. The house of cards of De Wever and Magnette, for example, contains not only few blue cards for the liberals, but also few green cards.

It can be heard from the preformateurs that the note cannot be taken or omitted, but that the underlying philosophy is difficult to adjust. Political chaos and the corona crisis are used as a means of persuasion to convince at least one party. If the ultimate attempt by the N-VA and the PS to form a government fails, however, there will be little left but the stumbling Wilm├Ęs government, which can hardly be called legitimate with only 37 parliament seats. More than fourteen months after the elections, a new ballot box seems inevitable, although there is still no majority to organize it.

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