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Konen, Michel

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

La Libre Belgique - Belgium | 19/03/2008

Belgium finds a new government

Michel Konen is glad to see that Belgium can at last count on a government, but doubts the new team is very efficient. "To speak of a program related to this agreement is excessive. Let us rather talk about a catalogue of good intentions. Just enough to address a declaration to Members of Parliament who don't wish to inflict any trouble on their freshly minted ministries. It is true that their promises are numerous. They have had no shortage of spending ideas. They have so many that they haven't had time to look for the savings necessary to carry them out. ... Leterme hasn't put the unresolved problems on ice, which is Belgium's traditional technique. He has just put them off until later, for a few weeks or months. He has paved his future with traps that will be so many occasions for arguments among men and women who have yet to demonstrate a deep desire to work together as a team. Is Leterme's first government a , 'no future' one? 

La Libre Belgique - Belgium | 19/12/2007

Belgium is given an interim government

After a six-month crisis, the outgoing Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt managed on Tuesday, December 18th, to form an interim government responsible for treating urgent matters. Yves Leterme, winner of the elections held last June 10h, will take over as head of the definitive government on March 23, 2008. "Finally, common sense has triumphed ", sighs the editorialist Michel Konen with relief. "Guy Verhofstadt has had to listen to, integrate and imagine solutions. This is the domain he excels in. Naturally, the solution that has been found to get out of this crisis is so Belgian that it defies analysis by the most informed of political scientists. This is 'ex nihilo' as the learned say, i.e. something never before seen in the political history of the country."

La Libre Belgique - Belgium | 10/09/2007

The part of French-speakers in the Belgian crisis

For three months this Monday, September 10th, Belgium has been without a government. Since the legislatives on June 10th, the Flemish and French-speaking Belgians have failed to agree on power-sharing. For Michel Konen, the daily's editorialist, "what the past 93 days have shown us is the lack of French-speakers preparation in the face of the Flemish who, rightly or wrongly, believe ... that Belgium has nothing left to offer. The Flanders region wants to take its future into its own hands. This situation ... demonstrates this major political fact: that the French-speakers did not see the Flemish demands coming or, at least never thouht they would take on such proportions. Big mistake!"

La Libre Belgique - Belgium | 24/08/2007

Belgium is still waiting for a government

Yves Leterme finally threw in the towel on August 23rd. The Flemish Christian democrat had been requested by the King to form a new Belgian government after the legislative elections in June. He failed to conciliate the demands of Flemish and French-speaking communities, regrets the editorialist Michel Konen. Yves Leterme "was not the man for the job. ... He had too much self-confidence and not enough faith in others. This resignation also questions the Flemish strategy, forced entry. ... But Leterme's failure should delight no one. It illustrates the deep divergence between the Flanders region and French-speaking parts of the country when it comes to deciding on the future of the Belgian State. No one should be fooled; the party will be back, harder, and with a vengeance. ... In 2007, it is surely possible, within a convention bringing together the whole political world, distancing itself from partisan mediocrities and considering the common good, to reinvent, to rewrite this country of ours!"

La Libre Belgique - Belgium | 03/04/2007

Ecologists gain ground

Michel Konen in the daily's editorial notes that "something has changed in public opinion. Ecologists are no longer considered as dreamers fit only to raise goats. At the moment when in Brussels, the second session of the Intergovernemental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is being held, all political parties have included the theme of the environment in their programmes. ... There is a real awareness today. Thanks to the action of people such as Al Gore, or Nicolas Hulot [in France] or closer to home, Alain Hubert [a Belgian environmentalist] to mention those most covered by the media. Thanks also - to give them their due - to the hundreds and thousands of militant ecologists who for the last 20 years have been ringing alarm bells. ... But let's make no mistake about it, the Earth has not yet won the battle. We may well vote in her favour but the outcome depends it's the behaviour of each individual."

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