- Category : Political
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (16)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 3
Yves Camille Désiré Leterme (born October 6, 1960 in Wervik, Belgium) is a Belgian Senator, a former Minister-President of Flanders and Flemish Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Yves Leterme was the favourite to become the next prime minister of Belgium following the 2007 Belgian General Election. He tendered his resignation as Flemish Minister-President on June 26, 2007, and has been succeeded in that position by Kris Peeters. Since July 16, 2007 Leterme has been leading the formal coalition talks into forming a new government.
Before entering national politics, Leterme served as an auditor at the Belgian Court of Audit (Dutch: Rekenhof, French: Cour des Comptes). He then became adjunct and then national secretary of the CVP until he resigned to become a civil servant with the European Union. In 1997 he went on indefinite leave from that position when he was appointed Member of the Belgian Parliament. He has been a member of the city council of Ieper since 1995. He served as alderman of Ieper from 1995 to 2001.
He was appointed to the Belgian House of Representatives in 1997, elected in 1999 and 2003. After the defeat of the CD&V in the general elections of 2003, he succeeded Stefaan De Clerck as party chairman. He served as chairman until he resigned after the regional elections of 2004 to become Flemish Prime Minister. In 2004 his party won the elections, thanks to success of the newly-formed coalition with the smaller separatist party New-Flemish Alliance (N-VA). Since 2004 he has headed the Flemish government, which consists of the three traditional Flemish parties (CD&V-N-VA, Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD), SP.A-Spirit).
During an interview with the French newspaper Libération in August 2006, Leterme, who is himself bilingual and son of a Walloon father, declared regarding the reluctance of French-speaking inhabitants of the municipalities with language facilities in Flanders around Brussels to learn to speak Dutch:
“ Initially, the idea was that many French speakers would adjust to the new linguistic reality. But apparently the French speakers are intellectually not capable of learning Dutch. ”
According to him, the only common things to Belgians are "The King, the football team, some beers...". Most prominent Francophone politicians such as Elio Di Rupo and Isabelle Durant and some Flemish politicians such as Pascal Smet and Guy Vanhengel found these comments insulting for the Francophones in the Flemish region around Brussels.
A news report produced by the Belgian Francophone television company RTBF for the Questions broadcasting reports that Leterme said in the Flemish parliament: "I don't need the King" . According to Flemish newspapers, this sentence was taken out of context, because Leterme was talking about the creation of Flemish statutes (decrees): legislation approved by the Flemish parliament, unlike federal Belgian legislation, does not need the king's signature in order to become law. The Flemish Minister-President signs the decrees himself.
Upon being questioned by a television journalist about the reason for celebrating the Belgian independence day on July 21, Yves Leterme answered that it was the day the constitution was proclaimed (which is wrong, because it is the day the first King, Leopold I, got sworn in). Subsequently, he was asked if he knew the French lyrics to the Belgian national anthem, the Brabançonne, and he began to sing la Marseillaise, the French national anthem.
2007 general elections
On May 6, 2007 he officially launched his candidacy for the general election on June 10, 2007, leading the list of candidates of his party. On election day, he received about 800,000 preferential votes, which is the second largest number of votes ever gained in the history of Belgian elections.
Yves Leterme was the favourite to become the next prime minister of Belgium following the 2007 Belgian General Election. From July 16, 2007, up to August 23, 2007, Leterme lead the formal coalition talks into forming a new government. On August 23 he resigned as formateur after negotiations failed over constitutional reform.
On September 29, explorer Herman Van Rompuy presented his final report to the King. Afterwards, the Royal Palace announced that the King relieved him of his exploratory mission. Later that day, King Albert II again appointed Leterme as formateur.