The Chamber approved Thursday in plenary session, by 81 votes for and 59 against, a motion of confidence in the government after the statement of the Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, and a 34-hour marathon debate. The parliament started the debate on the government declaration at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, first with a general discussion during which the group leaders of the various parties intervened, followed by thematic discussions with most of the ministers.
These ended at 8 p.m. on Thursday with the Secretary of State for the Budget, Eva De Bleeker (Open Vld), who recalled the main lines of the 2022 budget on which the Vivaldi government agreed. In particular, she insisted on the path of restoring public finances that the executive was taking by making an effort of 2.4 billion euros while launching new policies.
Unsurprisingly, most of the discussions during these long hours revolved around the energy bill, putting long-term patients back to work, employment reforms and tax measures. Over time, it was the opposition that held the spittoon, in particular the N-VA and the Vlaams Belang, the first two parties in Flanders.
The same discussions will be repeated thanks to the general policy notes tabled by the various ministers, as well as the budget traditionally approved at the end of the year.
For the De Croo team, the Vivaldi majority and the opposition, this government statement was of particular importance. It is indeed the first exercise of its kind that takes place in a context of the beginning of the exit from the health crisis and a gradual return to normalcy.