28 Nov 2011

Belgium stalemate tipped to be ending

11:12 am on 28 November 2011

Belgium seems finally to be about to acquire a government after 532 days without one.

Officials say a new administration in now likely to be formed next week, after six political parties struck a deal on a budget for 2012.

The breakthrough was hastened by downgrades in Belgium's credit rating from AA+ to AA by Standard & Poors on Friday.

Belgium needs to save 11.3 billion euros ($US15.0 billion) next year to bring its public sector deficit down to 2.8%.

Inconclusive elections were held in June last year. Caretaker prime minister, Yves Leterme has been in charge since then.