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Belgium celebrates "world record" in gov't talks

BRUSSELS — The world record awaits official ratification, but why spoil the chance for a good party?
While politicians wallow in Belgium's longest political crisis which pits the leaders of 6 million Dutch-speaking Flemings against those of 4.5 million Francophones, people from around the country are uniting in celebration of crisis day No. 249 on Thursday — which many see as equaling the world record for trying to form a government, held by Iraq.
In Ghent, they hope 249 people will strip naked to mark the days of the crisis as part of a party expected to draw thousands. There will be free fries, Belgium's beloved national dish, in Leuven and lots of Belgian beer in the French-speaking town of Louvain-la-Neuve. In short, parties galore for what many across the world would consider a humiliation.
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