Belgium Swears in New P.M.

And we thought the U.S. Congress was gridlocked. Belgium swore in Elio Di Rupo as the new prime minister on Tuesday, after a record-breaking 541 days without a government. Also sworn in by Belgium’s Prince Albert II were 12 cabinet ministers and six secretaries of state, the first central administration officials since the last government resigned in April 2010. Belgium’s political deadlock has become somewhat of a joke among its citizens, stemming from a disagreement over voting rights by French and Flemish voters. The delay eventually evolved into a disagreement over budget and immigration issues, and many wondered if the country would ever reach move past the impasse. Indicating the country’s long-standing language difficulties, Di Rupo, a French-speaking Socialist, took the oath of office in French, Dutch and German.