Belgium. Political deadlock and continued government crisis characterized Belgium almost the year out. Already in March, the world record was set for how long a country in peace time has been without ordinary government. This led to some original protest actions: Women were invited to sex strike and men to stop shaving. Several central squares were symbolically renamed after a Belgian national symbol for the “French fries place”. According to Countryaah official site, the reason was dissatisfaction with the political deadlock. Despite repeated attempts, no one succeeded in forming government. In June, the anniversary was passed by the new election held since the fifth government expired in three years.
In September, the situation seemed to get worse when the head of the Ministry of Expedition, Yves Leterme, announced that he was planning to step down. Shortly thereafter, however, a breakthrough was reported in the old crackdown on the only bilingual electoral district in the country, Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde. Subsequently, agreements were reached which included, among other things, This meant increased self-government for the regions, something the Flemish people are pushing for and the Walloon brakes have been slowing down since the 1970s. Thus, everything seemed clear for an eight-party government formation. But the settlement cracked because of continued disagreement on budgetary and immigrant issues.
In November, Belgium’s borrowing costs rushed and Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency lowered its credit rating. It helped to speed up the settlement that was finally completed in early December. Then the French-speaking socialist leader Elio Di Rupo could form a government with six parties: a French and a Flemish from each socialist, Christian democrat and liberal. Just a week later, the country was shaken by an act of insanity when a man shot dead five people, including three children, and wounded over 120 people in a square in Liège before committing suicide.
In April, Belgium became the second country in Europe (after France) where a ban came into force on a comprehensive veil in public places. The law banned all clothing that conceals identity. Two women who considered the law discriminatory appealed to the Constitutional Court to have the law tested.
The big bank Dexia was threatened with bankruptcy because of the crisis in the euro zone and its large exposure to several crisis countries. Belgium stepped in to try to save the bank together with France and Luxembourg.
A well-known Belgian appeared in new form when a 3D animated film with the ever young journalist Tintin premiered. The film, directed by American Steven Spielberg, was expected to give the 80-year-old serial hero a new audience.