Belgian government on brink of collapse over migration

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, is greeted by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel prior to a meeting in Brussels, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Brussels to attend a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium’s political crisis eased somewhat on Wednesday after the biggest coalition partner said it would remain in the government despite its opposition to a U.N. migration pact that the others back.

Prime Minister Charles Michel has taken the treaty to parliament for approval, against the wishes of the right-wing N-VA.

There had initially been fears that the party would pull out of the government following the vote, but it said too many other economic and social issues are still on the plate to abandon the coalition, five months ahead of elections.

Parliament is set to back the U.N. migration pact in a vote later this week, and Michel plans to travel Marrakech, Morocco, to express his support. But actually signing the deal, a week later in New York, might prove more problematic because he does not have government backing.

But the N-VA indicated it would not pull the plug on of the government itself. “I am not talking about the end of the government. I want to continue. There is more than enough left to do,” its legislative leader Peter De Roover told VRT network.

Michel told RTL network early Wednesday that “whoever makes the government collapse shows a lack of responsibility.”

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