Flemish separatists win Belgian election

A workable coalition government could still be months away

It’s expected to be months before politicians in seemingly ungovernable Belgium figure out a way to cobble together their disparate parties into a workable coalition. Flemish nationalists finished with the most seats (27 of the country’s 150) in the country’s general elections, finishing one seat ahead of the French-speaking socialists. The election dropped the ruling Christian Democrats to fourth place. Whatever hodge-podge government does end up coming together will have to deal with Belgium’s near-crippling level of debt. With the third-highest debt relative to gross domestic product in the euro region, Belgium will need to cut spending or raise taxes by 8.7 billion euros in the next two years to lower its budget deficit to less than 3 percent of GDP.