Oct 11, 2014 4:41 AM

New Belgian center-right government sworn in

The Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) Belgiim's King Philippe has sworn in a center-right government under the leadership of Francophone free-market liberal Charles Michel on Saturday, ending a four-month deadlock.

Despite an overwhelming victory of the Dutch-speaking N-VA nationalists, the party allowed a French-speaker to lead the linguistically divided nation for the second time in a row. The four-party coalition will back the business-friendly policies that N-VA leader Bart De Wever has long pushed in the face of the former socialist-led government.

Three parties from Dutch-speaking Flanders and Michel's francophone liberal party, MR, took until Friday to divvy up the portfolios with the foreign affairs post staying with MR veteran Didier Reynders.

With the socialists sidelined, the government will be looking for austerity measures and some 8 billion euros to reach a balanced budget by 2018.


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