7 Dec 2011

New government in Belgium sworn-in

6:02 am on 7 December 2011

Belgium has a new government after 541 days of political deadlock.

New Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo was sworn in by King Albert II at the royal palace in Brussels along with 12 cabinet ministers and six secretaries of state.

Mr Di Rupo, 60, a French-speaking Socialist, took the oath of office in French, Dutch and Flemish. The event was televised live on Tuesday afternoon.

Belgium was run by a caretaker administration since the last government resigned in April 2010.

The BBC reports the delay in forming a new government revolved around arguments over budget and immigration issues.

Politicians have been under pressure from financial markets and ratings agencies to create an effective government capable of carrying out structural reforms and reducing debt.