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Belgium remains without government

  • Story Highlights
  • Political parties unable to form a ruling coalition since June 10 general election
  • Outgoing PM expected to raise issue with the king on Monday
  • Belgium's political crisis may be the result of years of problems
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(CNN) -- Political parties in Belgium have been unable to form a ruling coalition since the June 10 general election, leaving the country without a government for half a year.

Outgoing Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has remained in charge since June.

Outgoing Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, who has remained in charge, is making informal attempts to solve the impasse.

The prime minister was expected to raise the issue during his weekly audience with the king on Monday, said Koert Debeuf, a spokesman for Verhofstadt's office.

Belgium's political crisis may be the result of years of problems finally rearing their heads, said Hugo Brady, a research fellow at the Center for European Reform in London.

"Belgium has always been a country that has worked better in practice than in theory, and I think theory may have intervened finally," Brady said, in a reference to how the nation was constructed.

He said a problematic political setup in Belgium has always made it difficult for the parties to agree on a coalition.

Elections pit Flemish parties in Dutch-speaking Flanders against French-speaking parties in Wallonia. None represents the entire country, and and none holds a majority in parliament.

Brady said Belgium's political parties have always felt they struck an unfair bargain in order to rule the country. That sentiment has now peaked, Brady said, leaving the parties unable to form a coalition.

The public is annoyed at their politicians' behavior, Brady said.

The situation could affect the signing of a major European treaty this week. The Lisbon Treaty will reshape the proposed EU constitution which was scrapped in 2005.

Every EU member nation is sending a representative to attend a formal signing of the treaty in the Portuguese capital. If the Belgians are unable to send one, it may delay the signing of the treaty. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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