BRUSSELS — King Albert II named Elio Di Rupo as the first French-speaking prime minister in nearly 40 years late Monday in one of the final steps before a new Cabinet takes office, formally ending the record 541 days the country has gone without a government.
The swearing-in Tuesday will be a long-awaited relief for the entire nation of 6.5 million Dutch speakers and 4.5 million French speakers who long ago grew frustrated with the deadlock between politicians over linguistic differences.
Mr. Di Rupo, 60, will lead a grand coalition of Socialists, Christian Democrats and Liberals, each split in Dutch- and French-speaking parties. Among his leading ministers, outgoing Finance Minister Didier Reynders, a Francophone Liberal, became foreign minister, and Dutch-speaking Christian Democrat Steven Vanackere made the reverse move.
Dutch-speaking Socialist Johan Vande Lanotte, experienced in finance and budgetary issues, was named economics minister.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
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